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40 Mile Compassion Award

Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic created the 40 Mile Compassion Award in 2015 to annually honor an individual for "going the distance" with an act of compassion that made a difference in the life of one or more companion animals in Northern Colorado. The award is presented at our Whiskers 'n Wags Jubilee fundraising gala each year.

If you know a Good Samaritan who provided help to a companion animal in Northern Colorado during its time of need, and who is deserving of recognition for his or her heroic efforts, please submit a nomination form for our 40 Mile Compassion Award. The deadline to submit nominations is Feb. 28, 2017. Anyone who has not previously won the award is eligible for consideration (Staff and Volunteers of FCCRSNC are ineligible for nomination).

History of the Award

This is a tale of a Good Samaritan helping two cats dumped on the side of a road, and it became the impetus for the 40 Mile Compassion Award.

On Valentine's Day 2015, Fort Collins resident Mike Weber was out for a 40-mile mountain bike ride. In the early afternoon and 32 miles into his ride, Mike saw a car parked in a "No Parking" area near the entrance to the Satanka swim beach at Horsetooth Reservoir.

Initially Mike thought the occupants of the vehicle had tossed some trash from the car, and from where he was, it looked like the litter was blowing alongside the road. As the car drove past him Mike glanced at it, and as he rode up to the area where the vehicle had been parked, he realized it was not trash that had been tossed out - it was two cats.

Mike immediately stopped to help the cats. He was able to take a picture of each of them and pick one of them up, but the other one unfortunately ran off. Mike called Animal Protection and Control. As he waited for them to respond he held the one cat but lost sight of the other. For the next hour, Mike sat on the side of the road holding and comforting the terrified cat.

When the Animal Protection and Control officer arrived, he took custody of the cat, and Mike was able to provide a description of the vehicle. Mike and the officer searched for the other cat without success. Fliers were distributed and social media was engaged using the photo Mike had taken, but nearly two weeks passed with no sign of the missing cat.

The cat that Mike was able to pick up was eventually named Buttercup and was adopted from Larimer Humane Society a couple of days after she was made available for adoption.

Miraculously, the same day Buttercup went to a new home, the other abandoned cat walked up to another Good Samaritan near Horsetooth Reservoir. Starving and on his own for a full two weeks, this cat wanted love more than he wanted food. The stranger took him to Larimer Humane Society, who later transferred him to Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic, where he was named "Bubbie." Bubbie was adopted on April 8, 2015, by one of FCCRSNC's board members!

Mike Weber's compassion is what inspired FCCRSNC to create the 40 Mile Compassion Award, and he was the award's first recipient on March 28, 2015. FCCRSNC now invites community members to nominate individuals they feel are deserving of the honor. Each year we will then select one compassionate person to receive the award at our Whiskers 'n Wags Jubilee.

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