OLIVE TWP. — Michelle Kenat with BestPals Animal Rescue in Holland is holding out for a holiday miracle.
Kenat is the nonprofit's executive director — and over the years, she's seen just about everything. But this month, Kenat is hoping to rehome an unusual bonded pair: a seven-year-old German Shepard, Bella, and her three-year-old pal, Dusty, a cat.
The duo came to BestPals after their family was forced to surrender them while going through difficult times. According to Kenat, it's rare for adopters to show interest in more than one pet — let alone such different animals.
"People are usually looking for one or the other," she said. "I've already had people show interest in Dusty and Bella, and then step away. It's more difficult to get pairs adopted in general, but I do everything within my power to keep them together — and they're welcome to stay here as long as it takes."
Bella is currently living with Kenat.
"She's such a good dog," Kenat said. "She walked in with three other dogs and cats, too. She gets along with all of them. She just walked right in and made herself at home. She didn't even bark."
Dusty, meanwhile, is staying in the organization's cat shelter.
"He was very scared when he first got here," Kenat said. "We try to make little cubbies for the animals, so they have places to hide. We didn't see him the first day, but he was doing really well by the second day."
The pair was reunited just before noon Wednesday, Nov. 24.
"Their owners said they were a fun pair to watch," Kenat said. "They like to play together. It doesn't have to happen, but it's my wish, and I'm going to start there."
Both pets are experienced with children and friendly with other animals.
"Some people say they'd never leave their animals," Kenat said. "But I try never to make people feel bad for their choices or decisions. Even if it sounds horrible, they know in their head, in the long run, their pets will be better off."
BestPals offers foster-to-adopt options to ensure families and animals are comfortable with their new arrangements.
"These animals really become mine," Kenat said. "We go through so much, and I keep in touch with the owners and I tell them to come back if it's not working. And there's always a next one — always."
To learn more about Bella and Dusty, call BestPals at 616-212-3368 or visit bestpalsrescue.org.
This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: Animal rescue hopes to rehome cat-and-dog duo together