A decade ago, Eileen and Carl Adamec received a very special Valentine’s Day card from a friend. It was a card that would change their lives and open their hearts to a whole new circle of friends.
Their friend, Linda Baumann, sent them a Valentine’s Day card from The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS). Linda probably had no idea how much that card would mean to so many!
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Soon after the card arrived, the Adamec’s learned even more about TWS and decided to sponsor one of the wild cats. Back then, TWS was located in a different county and consisted of about 20 rescued cats. Tammy Thies, the director, had limited space but, it was obvious to the Adamec’s when they visited, she knew and cared for all the special needs of each one of these animals.
Realizing that the cats needed to be in the wild, but really had no “wild” to go to, really moved Eileen and Carl. They understood why the Sanctuary was so important, what a huge need there was for it. This visit also made it very clear that Valentine’s Day would always have special meaning to them. They had made a true love connection, falling in love with the Sanctuary, and they decided to share this love by sponsoring a second cat.
They also founded a non-profit (then called CRY) to make people aware of the misery that wild animals in entertainment suffer. TWS inspired them since the staff and volunteers understood the devastating effects of punishment and confinement, how animals are destroyed mentally and physically by it. The Adamec’s saw the hard work the staff went through to relocate the Sanctuary to another county, to create the right spaces, buildings, and environments for each resident, to assure the animals were never on display and how the animals’ dignity was restored.
The Sanctuary became a place of peace for the animals, and the Adamec’s. Knowing the animals rescued would never have to go back to the horrors they once knew, that they would each have their special needs met, these were the things most important to them.
Luckily for a little orphaned cougar cub, Carl and Eileen won the “Name the Next Rescue” opportunity at the Sanctuary’s Jungle Boogie fundraiser in 2009. That meant that sweetheart #3 would come into their lives. They named him “Carlo” and they opened their hearts again to this cub, who had been orphaned in the wild, along with his two siblings, after his mother had been shot by a hunter.
The Adamec’s continue to mark many special occasions in their lives by including TWS. On their fortieth anniversary, they gave a gift to each other by bidding on and winning a beautiful quilt of the Sanctuary animals at another Jungle Boogie event. Now, they can “virtually” cuddle up with all the cats that have come to mean so much in their lives.
If you ask Eileen and Carl what is the greatest gift they’ve received, they say it has been “to see our donations put toward making these formerly abused animals as whole as they can be for the rest of their lives.”
On this, and every Valentine’s Day, may we all experience true love, especially the kind that has touched the Adamec’s. They continue to inspire others with their message, “we would tell anyone who is thinking of giving to TWS to go ahead – you’ll never regret it! Thank you Tammy, and your volunteers, for the real miracle that is TWS.”