By: Heather Lang

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Six and a half million pets.

Every year, 6.5 million animals enter shelters across the country. Of those, 1.5 million are euthanized, according to the ASPCA.

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That’s 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats here one day and gone the next due to overcrowding.

Thankfully, Sir Gregory is not one of those cats, but he so easily could have been. His story is a sad one, but the Kitty Queen Cat Rescue in McKees Rocks is giving him a chance for hope.

(Source: Kitty Queen Cat Rescue)

“He is as sweet as can be. Purrs as soon as you pet him. Loves to lay on the couch behind your head. ‘Chats’ back when you talk to him and tell him he’s a pretty kitty,” Christa Amari, the founder of Kitty Queen Cat Rescue and Lounge, said of Gregory. “Frankly, he must think the people who dumped him are insane because everyone at the Lounge tells him how handsome he is.”

Orphaned with seven other cats when their owner died, it was handsome Sir Gregory who was singled out when they were all rounded up and left at an animal shelter. The only home they’d ever known about to be sold.

A senior cat, the person who turned them in told the shelter workers that Gregory could be euthanized because he was “old and ugly.”

“Old and ugly” and no one would want him.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, Gregory might not be as young as he once was, but like other senior pets, he is a living creature with plenty of love left to give.

But just because one person decided to toss Gregory aside doesn’t mean others didn’t see his wonderful potential.

“A rescue stepped in to transport him up to us, and we took him because we don’t care about a cat’s age or appearance,” Christa said about taking Gregory into her rescue.

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Now in Kitty Queen’s care, Sir Gregory is not quite ready for adoption. He is living with a foster family while he’s being treated with prescription medicine and a special diet.

More than that, he’s getting a caretaker’s touch, something he probably has not had in a very long time. Knowing the feeling of being loved and wanted can make a world of difference.

“I doubt very much the original owner of Sir Gregory would be very happy with the way their cats got treated after they passed,” Christa says.

(Source: Kitty Queen Cat Rescue)

So, what should you do to keep your pets from living the same sad story as Sir Gregory? Kitty Queen’s Christa has some advice.

The best bet is to plan for the care of your kitties before something happens (death or illness), and make sure that family members, friends, or even your attorney knows what to do with your pets,” she says.

“Our policy at Kitty Queen is to assist in whatever way we can. Of course, we try to get the cats under our care at the Lounge; however if we are full, we provide a list of other alternatives to try. We also work with owners and families who are having behavior issues that are causing problems in the house. Often times, the first thing people want to do is just surrender the cat if there are peeing or [having] aggression issues, but we are happy to educated and work with people to help keep the kitty in the home and keep everyone happy.”

(Source: Kitty Queen Cat Rescue)

And, happy again is Gregory, no longer the old, ugly and unwanted. Now he’s Sir Gregory, the brave, handsome and gentle.

For more information on the Kitty Queen Cat Rescue and Lounge, visit their website at this link. There are plenty of wonderful cats there looking for good homes, if you’re thinking about adopting and would like to talk to them about taking home one of their cats, visit this link.

You can also view their Facebook page here!

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Stay tuned animal lovers for more Furry Tails! You can follow me on Twitter at @HeatherLang24