Asa Shibuya has a passion for helping homeless pets find their forever homes.
The New York City resident has fostered 173 animals over the years. Many, many kittens ago, Asa noticed that her mixed breed dog Kona was taking a special interest in their houseguests.
What started as curiosity quickly became friendship, and then the pup took on a babysitting role. After a little while, Kona stepped in as the canine mother these babies didn’t even know they needed!
Asa now counts on Kona to help the kittens feel safe and secure when they arrive in her home. In December, she took in two 3-month-old kittens named Chester and Blair, who had been found in a backyard in the city.
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The kittens were scared and had never socialized with humans. While they wouldn’t even stay in the same room as Asa, they bonded with Kona immediately.
“I think maybe she sensed that these two were a lot more reserved and under-socialized than the other kittens we’ve fostered recently,” Asa said. “She really has the magic touch!”
For the first six weeks, Asa could hardly get near the frightened cats. Meanwhile, Blair, Chester, and Kona were becoming fast friends. Eventually, Asa was able to bring them out of their shells a bit more, so now they’ll eat food from her hand, purr when she pets them, and play and fall asleep near her. Progress!
Having a helper like Kona makes the difficult job a little bit easier. Asa said fostering has been a rewarding experience from the start. The best part is “watching these animals blossom.”
Whether it be seeing an under-socialized kitten or timid dog open up and learn to trust people, watching a kitten or puppy grow up, or being there to experience and witness a dog’s ‘first’ (first time on leash, first bath, first treat, first snow, etc.), each and every one has their own story and their own way of blossoming and it is just such a rewarding experience being there to witness all this happening.
The toughest part for Asa is saying goodbye. She tends to bond with each foster animal, but she understands that her role is not to adopt every little one that needs a home. Her job is simply to help them adjust to living in a home and being around humans and other pets, and to help them find a safe, loving forever family.
“Goodbye is the goal” is the slogan Asa uses on her Instagram page, where people can see pictures of mama Kona caring for whatever pet needs a hug at that particular time.
Asa hopes that Chester and Blair will soon be adopted together, since they’ve bonded so much. She and Kona will be sad to say goodbye, but they will be ready to welcome their next batch of struggling babies!
Share this story to thank Asa and Kona for their hard work helping homeless animals.
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