A heartwarming story about a girl and her cat lead to a $5,000 grant for Addison County’s Humane Society – Homeward Bound.

The grant was awarded through the Petco foundation which invests in lifesaving animal welfare work and inspires communities to adopt pets. During the holidays the foundation runs an annual Holiday Wish Grant Campaign that raises money through donations. This year, $875,000 were given in grants across the country.

In order to apply for the Holiday Wish Grants, people who have adopted pets from different organizations can submit their stories to the Petco Foundation.  District General Manager Marc Anastasi says they write a story about their dog, cat, or animal that changed their life for the better. Chosen stories win grants that go to wherever you adopted your pet from.

16- year Old Kira Serisky submitted a story about her adopted cat, Arminius. Kira has a passion for fostering cats, but when she met her cat Arminius, she developed a bond like no other.

Kira’s father Pete says Arminius was very shy at first and immediately drawn to Kira. Arminius was having a hard time getting adopted because he was sick and has disabilities.

“He actually became what’s referred to as what’s called a foster fail, which means a foster that never got adopted, but Kira likes to say he’s not a foster fail… he’s meant to be,” said Pete Serisky.

The cat’s sickness would soon lead to something that connected the two in a way they could have never imagined. Kira suffers from a rare connective tissue disease. Shortly after beginning to foster Arminius, Kira noticed he had some of the same symptoms she had.

“It turns out he has the same rare disease that she has. There is a feline version of it,” said Kira’s dad.

Kira adopted Arminius and decided to share her story with the Petco foundation for a chance to win a Holiday grant.

“It just blew me away… by far probably one of the most heartwarming stories I read,” said Anastasi

The Addison County’s Humane Society Homeward Bound is grateful for Kira’s efforts.

“It means more funds to not only care for animals but funds to work in some of our low-income support programs,” said Executive Director Jessica Danyow.

There is still a chance to help Homeward Bound win even more money through the Petco Foundation by voting for Kira’s story as people’s choice.

People’s Choice Award Competition

“All animal lovers can help make even more Holiday Wishes come true by voting for their favorite Holiday Wishes story at petcofoundation.org/holidaywishes. Starting Dec. 6 through Dec. 20, 2019, noon CST, the People’s Choice Award will give the top five organizations with the most votes the chance to receive additional grant funding from $5,000 to $25,000. Results of the “People’s Choice Award” will be revealed before Christmas.”