Story by Lourice Angie
Every day that local police officers and first responders report to work, they make dedicated sacrifices by risking their own lives to ensure the safety and well-being of the community. Oftentimes, these men and women go above and beyond the call of duty despite the challenges, demonstrating heroism, caring and kindness.
An adorable kitten was spotted wandering about the Mobil gas station in the Village of Chester on Thurs., Apr. 23. A call was made to the Town of Chester Police Department and minutes later officers arrived on the scene. Thanks to the efforts of community members and Chester Police Officers Rob Bird and Tommy Maslanka, the kitten was safely rescued.
These Officers were able to focus on something adorable and innocent momentarily, instead of the stresses they face while working during the COVID-19 pandemic. The kitten was brought to the Warwick Valley Humane Society where it was determined that the cuddly feline was a male and weighed in at a whopping 1.25 lbs. He was appropriately named ‘Byrd’ after the officer who helped save and transport him to the animal shelter. Byrd is currently being cared for by the volunteer staff at the Humane Society where he will remain until he is adopted into a ‘fur’-ever home.
An Act of Kindness Amid A Crisis
Officer Rob Bird spoke about the increase in the stress of a first responder in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Even while focusing on the keeping the community healthy and safe, helping to “flatten the curve” as well as keeping themselves and their own families healthy.
“I happened to be close by when the cat call came in and arrived on the scene in time to assist Officer Maslanka remove the kitten from a situation that sure would have been heartbreaking. We were able to focus on the adorable, innocent kitten and the stresses of the pandemic seemed to disappear for that moment,” stated Office Bird.
Officer Bird commented on the outstanding relationship with the Warwick Valley Humane Society and commended the shelter for the work they do.
Having the kitten named after him was an honor Officer Bird did not expect. He is confident that the team of volunteers will take good care of his namesake while he is at the Humane Society. Officer Maslanka agreed.
“I am very happy that we were able to help that kitten and get him to a safe place. I actually put an application in to Warwick Humane Society to adopt him,” Maslanka said.
Officer Bird urged people to reach out to the Warwick Valley Humane Society even if Byrd is adopted quickly.
“The shelter has many cats that are in need of a good and loving home.” stated Officer Bird.
The entire staff at the Warwick Valley Humane Society would like to thank Officers Rob Bird and Tommy Maslanka in addition to the Town of Chester Police Department for their kindness and caring hearts, for saving Byrd and transporting him to the shelter.
Help Support the Humane Society
The Warwick Valley Humane Society is currently in dire need of monetary donations and supplies. Although the shelter remains closed due to COVID-19 safety regulations and social distancing orders, their dedicated volunteer staff continues to provide essential care for the shelter pets. To make a donation visit www.wvhumane.org. Supplies can also be dropped at the shelter door. Needed supplies included: paper towels, toilet paper and canned cat food pate.