Nobody wanted to get near Valentino the cat. His coat was filthy, his eyes were gummed up and he had a serious skin infection.
But was there was only thing that could help him — love and warmth from humans.
Fortunately, an animal lover happened to see Valentino, and she wasn’t put off by the way he looked on the outside, but only saw what he needed in his heart.
Soon pictures of Elaine Seaman hugging the homeless cat went viral.
When Valentino was rescued from the street, he was in a terrible state. He was skinny and had a serious case of mange. His eyes were so swollen that he could barely open them.
Because Valentino looked so scary, nobody wanted to take him. He sat alone in his cage and didn’t have any human contact… Until Elaine Seamans walked through the shelter’s doors.
When Elaine passed Valentine’s cage at Baldwin Park Animal Shelter, she stopped. She heard the cat’s cries for help and couldn’t help but open the cage and pick him up.
“He reached out with his little paw and made the tiniest meow. It was like he was screaming without verbalizing it: ‘Please help me,'” Elaine told The Dodo.
Elaine said she had no choice but to stay and help Valentino. She lifted him up and hugged him without gloves or any other protective equipment. Valentino immediately put his little head on her shoulder.
“That was it. I had to get him out,” Elaine said.
Elaine kept holding Valentino in her arms while she picked up the phone and called her friend Toby Wisneski, founder of the organization Leave No Paws Behind. Toby could hear meowing in the background and agreed to take care of him.
Toby picked up Valentino over the weekend and took him directly to an animal hospital.
Even though Valentino looked awful, his future looked bright. He got stronger every day and the vets soon realized he’d live a long, happy life once he recovered.
“His heart is good,” Toby said. “He’s so loving. You can tell he is very grateful. He will purr for them and try to rub up against the veterinary staff. He knows he is safe.”
Then one day, Valentino finally got his forever home. Tania Menjivar saw a picture of him and instantly fell in love and decided to adopt him.
Now it’s been a year since Valentino was rescued. Here’s how he looks today:
What an incredible transformation!
I get so touched when I see pictures of Valentino and Elaine’s hug. Everybody needs love, and Valentino needed it more than ever that day. And how beautiful he is today!
Please share this article if you were also moved by these pictures.