Hi, I’m Yesenia Perez, and I am the co-founder / VP of Bella’s Promise Pet Rescue and the coordinator for Darbster Kitty here in S. Florida.
I got my start in rescue all because this stunning boy, Shadow, pictured here, chose us. About 2 years ago I started feeding 2 black cats that showed up at our house, very hungry. A few months later my neighbors moved and took the other cat with them, leaving Shadow. I had gotten concerned because he had not come around for a while, and then one day, he was back, only this time he had 3 kittens with him… EEEK!! I of course fed them all, and then quickly realized mom was there too! Now at this time I did not know much about rescue, but knew I had to get them all fixed to stop the cycle of reproduction. So I started reaching out for help, and the local shelter suggested I join a local cat advocate group on Facebook. In the midst of learning about and doing TNVR (trap, neuter, vaccinate, return), we found more kittens. . .YIKES!! I could pick them up and without really thinking, took them in. “Now what,” we said?! We have a family of 5 cats outside and more kittens inside. . . What just happened?!? (LOL)
A local cat rescue saw our plea and offered help. Unfortunately mom and the 3 kittens were feral and I did not even know what socializing was at this point, but Shadow was friendly and we had a bond, so we kept him as our “pet”! This was my start in rescue as I became a volunteer, foster, bottle feeder, socializer, then a rescue coordinator, and eventually got connected with Darbster Kitty, and the rest as they say, is history!
This journey with Shadow and his little family started me on a path of learning about and caring for animals in a way I never thought possible. It allowed me to see deeper what a supportive and dedicated husband I have in this important endeavor of saving lives. And working with a great team who together, has literally saved 1,000’s of cats and kittens from the street and brought many back from the brink of death. Shadow helped show me all of this, and is the inspiration for what I, and my wonderful husband, do today. Shadow, who is FIV +, is now in his purrrfect furever home and that brings us such peace and joy, and reminds us of why we do this thing called “rescue,” and inspires us to keep up the good fight!
Hi, I’m Robert Perez, and I am the co-founder of Bella’s Promise Pet Rescue. I was never much of an animal lover growing up, but knew my grandmother, Bella, had a big heart for animals and spent a lot of her time feeding many of the homeless ones she encountered in Venezuela, and that always stuck with me. If you read my wife, Yesenia’s story, you will see how I got pulled into this thing called “rescue” by default. . . all because a cat we named, Shadow, showed up and I wanted to help my wife with him and his little family. One thing led to another and as Yesenia started volunteering, fostering, learning how to properly care for and socialize cats, getting more and more involved, I got pulled in deeper and deeper as I helped her with all aspects of rescuing these cats as well. The more I helped and learned, the more I realized how much I enjoyed doing it and how good it made me feel to be able to help save these innocent lives. This journey that started with Shadow, has strengthened my relationship with my wife, as this is a major team effort, and deepened my understanding and connection with my grandmother, Bella, and her heart for all creatures.
That’s why we felt it so appropriate to name our pet rescue after my grandmother as she is the inspiration that has helped me be who I am today, and with our rescue team, able to save 1,000’s of cats and kittens from the street, many in bad shape who most likely would not have survived.
Seeing these animals come back to life, being able to be adopted into great homes, makes me very happy and helps to keep us moving forward. I know my grandmother, Bella, is so proud!