Most of the pets at P.A.W.S. are full of vim and vitality, but just like humans, animals occasionally get sick. Often we deal with minor ailments that are easily resolved, like kitty colds or urinary tract infections, requiring nothing more than a round of antibiotics or other medication. But unfortunately, some pets do suffer from more serious, sometimes chronic, diseases.

Barry is one of those pets that will not go to his new home with a perfectly clean bill of health. Still, while he’s not 100 percent healthy, he is 100 percent adoptable. Barry was diagnosed with feline immunodeficiency virus (FiV) when he arrived at the shelter. Previously, he’d had only one home and one owner, and she didn’t even know he had FIV — which just goes to show that cats who have FIV often show no signs of illness. Unlike its human counterpart, HIV, FiV is nothing to be alarmed about. It does not transfer to humans, dogs, or other animals with the exception of cats — and even among cats, it typically spreads only as a result of a deep bite wound, such as might occur in a cat fight. It will not spread between cats living peacefully together in the same household, even if the two kitties share bedding, toys, and food and water bowls. The one caveat for the cat with FIV is that he/she must never be allowed outdoors, as that brings with it the risk of getting involved in a fight.

So, as you can see, Barry would have been perfectly adoptable — if his only problem were FIV. The trouble is, he also has diabetes. He requires insulin twice a day (takes it like a champ, we must say!) and needs to eat a special food that's better for diabetic pets. Most of the time he’s fine, but sometimes he crashes. So far, we’ve always been there when it’s happened, and with corn syrup and fluids, we’ve been able to get him back on track in no time. But we worry that one day, he’ll take a nose dive when the shelter is closed, and we won't be there to help.

We understand that many people will have second thoughts about adopting a special-needs cat like Barry. That’s why, in an effort to find him the loving home he so richly deserves, we’re even OK with finding him a foster home: you’ll give Barry love and care, we’ll supply his insulin, food and even the veterinary care his condition requires. Please call us, at 236-8702, if you have room in your heart for this super-sweet boy. We are desperate to give him a real and proper home.

Would you like to meet Barry or any of the other fine, furry friends that can’t wait to bring a whole new level of love to your life? Consider yourself invited! Simply drop by our location at 123 John St. in Camden, or visit our website,