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Christmas Eve cat up for adoption

RANCHO SANTA FE — In the early morning hours, Helen Woodward Animal Center staff stumbled upon a tiny, unexpected Christmas Eve guest.

Heading into the adoptions building, they noticed a small crate placed alongside the equine stables. Inside a male, 7-year-old, domestic short-haired cat had been abandoned with only a note. Unable to care for him any longer, the former owner expressed an apology and a reassurance that the feline was up-to-date on his shots as of last year. Center staff has renamed the affectionate cat George Bailey after the lead character in the holiday film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The search began immediately for new home for George.

“It is always emotional for us when we see an adult family pet that is given up without any real explanation,” said Helen Woodward Animal Services Manager Ed Farrelly. “You can see the sorrow and confusion on George’s face. It really hit us all so close to Christmas.”

Center Veterinarian Dr. Stephanie Oba provided George Bailey every health check and procedure required to be deemed adoption-ready. He received a full dental, and a normal two-week vaccination wait period was imposed on Dec. 25, before he could start his quest for a home.

For more information on George, or to adopt George, contact the Adoptions Department at (858) 756-4117, ext. 1, visit or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.