OKLAHOMA CITY - Internet sensation and Animal Planet's "America's Next Cat Star" Finalist Sauerkraut is touring the Southwest United States to raise awareness around issues of animal welfare and special needs pet adoptions.
Sauerkraut, who hails from Oklahoma, will be traveling across the Southwest in June, visiting Roswell, Flagstaff, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Denver.
Amy and Patrick Bender, Sauerkraut's "humom" and "pops" originally fostered Sauerkraut for their local humane society. When they realized she had some health issues that might make her difficult to adopt, they created an online presence for the kitten to attract a Forever Family.
Sauerkraut suffers from Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome, which causes her to bite and scratch herself to the point of injury. Bender says they keep Sauerkraut in clothes to calm her. The clothes, along with her permanent scowl and sharp sense of humor, are her charm.
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After a feature by Jackson Galaxy of Animal Planet's "My Cat From Hell" and on BuzzFeed.com, Sauerkraut's internet fame took off.
Ultimately, they decided they couldn't live without Sauerkraut in their lives. "I'm glad she has become so popular, because it gives us a platform to educate on animal welfare issues," says Amy Bender. The 6-pound feline has been featured on CNN, people.com, time.com, and various media outlets including seven different countries.
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The goal of Sauerkraut's visits to these cities, which run June 2 through 11, is to work with local shelters and animal welfare groups, raising funds and educating the public.
Sauerkraut's current scheduled stops include: Uncaged Paws at the Roswell Petco (June 2), Coconino Humane Association in Flagstaff (June 4), a meet-and-greet in Los Angeles (date TBD), SPCA of Northern Nevada in Reno (June 9), and other stops along the way. Check Sauerkraut's website for updates on times and locations.
You can also check out her Facebook page to see pictures of Sauerkraut Kitty and her friends.
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"We hope to make this an annual event, touring different parts of the country to give a voice to animals who are so often overlooked or misunderstood," says Bender. "We can do a lot to improve their condition, reduce animal overpopulation, and help people understand that even a special needs cat or dog can make a wonderful, life-long companion."