December 14, 2020

program expanded for struggling pet owners

By haziqbinarif

It’s been a hard year across the board, but for John Hally, 2020 has been extra rough.

The long road began in January, when his mother passed away.

Given just a few days off work to grieve, in February he left his job in health care management on amicable terms with his employer, just to have more time to grieve and process.

In March, just as he began looking for another job, COVID-19 lockdowns took hold. Jobs were scarce. Hally, 53, landed just two job interviews in the next three months.

“COVID had hit,” he said. “I was thinking about the mortgage and am I going to be able to find work.”

Savings dwindling, he decided to put his Spindale house on the market and sold it for the asking price in just three weeks. That bought him some time but threw another curveball his way: what to do with his two cats, Josephina and Checkers

The Polhamus family fosters animals through Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, including with the organization's Keep Me Safe program, which has been expanded during the pandemic to include animals temporarily surrendered by owners experiencing a lapse in housing due to the pandemic.

“It was very stressful, and when I decided to put the house on the market in June I honestly didn’t think it would sell,” Hally said. “But then I had the uncertainty, what are we going to do with the cats? Then more uncertainty about going to Pinehurst, staying with a friend and trying to find work.”

That friend in Pinehurst offered to put him up until he found something for himself but is allergic to cats.

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