Isabella Hillmayr is the founder of Tea Cup Rescue just outside of Athens, Greece where this German native has spent the last 40 years. She tends to every living thing that squeaks, purrs or scurries. She and a few other volunteers have created a movement that is drawing admiration and setting the example for younger generations.
“Instead of knitting we rescue animals”, Isabella, 60, says proudly. “Our lives revolve around the animals we love and care for. We love anything living, may it be a kitten or a puppy, a hen or terrapin turtle, pigeons, hedgehogs, lizards and fish. We love the blind and feeble and the boisterous young. We love life. We rescue because we believe that any life is worth living as long as it is loved and cared for.”
“Our municipality has stopped neutering the stray cats, so Tea Cup Rescue is stepping in,” Isabella continues. “At a time, when adoptions and free travel are no longer a given, Trap-Neuter-Release programs are the only way to go. Especially for us. We do have a cat shelter, but no matter how big, the place is always limited.”
Recently, Tea Cup Rescue resolved a hoarding case with an unusual measure of compassion. Knowing that there were few rescue centers to absorb the animals involved without putting them down, they worked with the couple living at the home and together, they cleaned the house from top to bottom. They made provisions for clean litter boxes, healthy food and basic clothing and toiletries for the human residents. What came next was a ripple of healing. The home owners felt connected to the outside world for the first time in a long time. They wept with gratitude and have been given a checklist of activities to keep things in order. They will now receive regular check-ins to make sure the health of the animals remains strong. Truly, you would not recognize the home after such extraordinary efforts.
We gave a very small bit of aid to Tea Cup Rescue at the end of the year and hope to contribute again next week.
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