MORGANTOWN, W.Va.- Sarah Poteracki grew up with a home full of rescue animals and knew they wanted some of their own to keep them company while away at college at WVU. After thinking about the decision, Poteracki decided to adopt two tabby cats at a free event.

“I hate it and I always joke about it because I walked in and I was like ‘tabbies are kind of boring, I want a more interesting looking cat’ because it was awful of me and they ended up being the best little friends I could ever ask for. Audrey’s over here just rubbing everything,” said Poteracki.

Audrey and Cricket, three months old at the time of their adoption, quickly grew into their own personalities after adjusting to their new home. Audrey is playful and always looking for attention, while Cricket is social and seeks adventure.

“The big thing is, shelter animals when you meet them in a shelter you have to remember that they’re in a shelter. They’re in a cage most of their day. They don’t have a home that they really go to unless they’re foster animals that are kind of there throughout the day,” Poteracki explained.

Poteracki’s cats are also emotional support animals, which is recommended to help those with disabilities. Anyone interested in exploring this idea is encouraged to speak with a primary care provider or therapist rather than filling out forms online. Registering emotional support animals online is not a valid form and is often a scam to get money from those looking to register their pets.

“You can ask them ‘can you write a letter of accommodation for me saying that I have been in your care and you do think it is medically beneficial for me to have emotional support animals?” and that’s it,” Poteracki explained.

For more on how to volunteer or rescue a pet in North Central West Virginia, visit our Clear the Shelters page.