Davenport resident Terry Tauffer was at the end of his rope in January. He had lost his job, was suffering from depression, and found himself homeless due to medical bills. Tauffer decided he'd commit suicide, yet Bridgette, a cat he promised his Mom that he'd take care of, stopped him. Tauffer told our content partner Local 4 News "I was laying in bed trying to do it and she hopped up on the bed and looked at me... and I was just like go away, go away, and eventually I just called my brother and said I need help,"

While seeking help for himself he asked Kings Harvest Pet Rescue in Davenport to look after Bridgette during his recovery. His efforts to get back on his feet were hampered by a lung infection that laid him out for another six weeks. Through it all he kept in touch with the pet rescue group keeping tabs on Bridgette, and when healthy enough he started visiting her at the shelter twice a day.

Shelter Director Rochelle Dougall told Local 4 News "You know he called, he came in, he made an effort," said Dougall. "And you could tell regardless of his plan...then he became ill and we stuck with him through that and he called still every week he would call, and we could tell that this was a man, who was down on his luck and needed some help and loved his cat."

(King's Harvest Pet Rescue Group's Facebook Post on Terry Tauffer and Bridgette.)

The impression Tauffer made on the shelter has led them to help him come up with the cash necessary to get himself and Bridgette into an apartment. Yesterday afternoon they had raised $3,200 to help Tauffer with his first two rent payments.

If there's two things I want you to take from this story it's the following: If you have suicidal thoughts reach out to a family member, a friend, a co-worker, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Get yourself some help. Second, if you're going through a tough time you don't have to give up your pet. Many rescue groups have an interest keeping pets with their owners and can help you do that if you ask.

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