12-Year-Old Tel Learns First Hand the Joy of Responsible Pet Companionship

Today’s youth are the heart of our shelter. Our donors start at a young age, with lemonade stands, bake sales, birthday parties and volunteering weekly. Our animals enjoy their young friends, and we enjoy the children’s energy. Often these kids have adopted from our shelter and have learned first hand the joy of responsible pet companionship.

We love this touching (and funny!) story from 12-year-old, Tel Trohkimoinen, and how the pets in his life made him smile.

“I would like to share my story about my trips to the Western Hills Humane Society. I went there about three years ago, and I found a cat that had been there for a long time. He was an orange and white cat who reminded me of a crabby old man, and I could kind-of see why nobody wanted him. He was fat and didn’t like people very well. He was 10 years old! He was older than me at the time!”


“I decided I should take him home with me because I was sad that he was old and did not have a home to call his own. He came home, hid under my dresser for a day, and finally came out and started eating. We changed his name to Lump (from Scrapper) because he was just like a lump on my bed. He NEVER moved, unless he was hungry or thirsty. He loved to lay curled up on my bed. Sadly he passed away about six months after we got him. I was happy he passed away in a home where he was loved. We all loved that grumpy old cat.

After Lump passed away, my parents let us adopt again. This time we got two cats. I picked out a pure black cat (I have heard that sometimes they do not get adopted as much since they are rather ordinary looking) This cat was named Max. He was such a sweet cat. When we first got him, he only weighed about 8 pounds and after having him for a month or two we noticed he would crawl into the cat food bag and just eat nonstop. We started putting the cat food in a garbage can with a lid. We weighed him one day out of curiosity and he weighed 12 pounds! He grew 4 pounds, he was like a real life Garfield. He was a great cat. We got him at the same time we adopted my brother’s cat, Sonny. They were good friends. He was only about 5-6 years old when he passed away. One day I was playing with a ball with him, the next he had passed away. Sonny is still around, though.

12509070_10153839341445030_3038089979194335153_nThen I got my cat Peaches, the weirdest cat I have ever seen. When I went to the shelter and met Peaches, I was actually kind of intimidated of her at first because I was petting her and then she would bite me. Becky at the shelter told me she was not mean, just awkward. Besides being awkward she is a little funny looking. She is a tortoise shell calico with a 1/2 a tail that she uses like a propeller. Every time I went to the shelter I would visit Peaches. After a couple different visits, I decided that we should bring her home because I was afraid she would not get a home because she was so awkward. I am glad I took the chance. She is nine right now. She is so weird, but I love her a ton. She had been at the shelter for 2 years! She is such a sweetheart, she is still awkward but I now find it a bit endearing. I still have her and she is healthy as she could be. Peaches is very independent and does not want a lot of attention, but she does like to sleep with me every night.

Most recently we decided to adopt a dog Whiskers to be my inside dog. Whiskers is an eight-year-old Jack Russell Terrier/Shih-Tzu cross. He is as ugly as they come, he has wiry hair and a massive underbite. But he loves our family and gets along with our big dog, Norm. He is a great dog and is very playful. Whiskers also has a funny personality. He loves us all, but he is especially attached to my Mom. When Mom leaves for work, he sleeps by the door and waits for her. Whiskers also only likes listening to Mom. If my Dad, Brother or I try to tell Whiskers what to do, he barks and growls at us. If you try to put Whiskers out to go potty when he does not feel like it and you try to force the issue, he is not afraid to bite you. Lucky for us, it does not hurt much due to his underbite, he can’t grip all that well. Overall, he is a good dog and he really does seem to like his new home. We love him regardless of his spoiled tendencies.

I feel thankful that I could give older pets a good home until the end. Thank you, Western Hills Hill Humane Society for letting me get all my pets from you!” – Tel Trohkimoinen



It’s stories like Tel’s that bring joy and smiles to our days too! And Tel is an excellent writer, isn’t he? Thank you to Tel and his family for opening their home and hearts to some special animals. We are so grateful for families like you!

Would you consider making a donation today in support of the work we do? Also, if your children have a heart for animals, we have kid’s programs including a reading program and volunteer opportunities.

Donate online here – thank you!

We are incredibly grateful for each of you reading this today and look forward to sharing our stories of gratitude over the next 13 days.