Pet Angel Cat Adoption & Rescue is true to its name. Under the leadership of mother-daughter team Nancy and Abby Engel, the shelter and its volunteers are truly angels for the homeless cats of Frankenmuth.
Assisted by full-time office cat Arthur (pictured with Abby Engel), the two ladies work at the shelter every weekday, along with more than 30 dedicated angel volunteers who help feed, socialize and clean up after the cats and kittens in their care.
“Arthur is the real boss, but doesn’t have thumbs, so he can’t sign checks,” Abby said. “Mom does the office thumb-signing work.”
Pet Angel got its start in 2004 when Nancy and husband Jim Engel found two mama cats with 11 kittens in their backyard. The kittens were born on May 17, 2004, the day Nancy’s mother passed away.
“My mom taught me to love animals, so I took this as some kind of sign,” Nancy said. A neighbor who was involved with animal rescue also encouraged her to get involved.
After providing TNR for the cat colony and finding the kittens loving homes, word got out. Soon, the family was helping others who needed cats rehomed by caring for the felines in their own home and from their own pocketbooks.
The following year, the small rescue moved to their current location, a seven-room facility, most of which is free-roaming. As a 501(c)3 no-kill shelter, Pet Angel has found loving, forever homes for some 2,000 cats and kittens since their inception.
Nancy now serves as the organization’s president and Jim as treasurer. He is also the chief operating officer of the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Lodge, so the family is deeply involved in the Frankenmuth community.
Daughter Abby started helping at Pet Angel when she was just 9 years old. In 2018, she was crowned as the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival Princess and graduated from college during her yearlong reign. To be able to fulfill her duties as princess, she needed a job that provided flexibility. That turned out to be Pet Angel, where she found her true calling.
Now, at age 26 with a degree in communications and a minor in professional and technical writing, Abby is Pet Angel’s executive director. Her degrees have served her well with publicizing the rescue.
Prior to Abby coming on board as an employee, Pet Angel used a few social media platforms and sites, such as Petfinder and Adopt-A-Pet, but she has taken these sites and others to a new level. Her writing skills are evident in posts on the adoption sites and Facebook. Her video skills are seen daily on Instagram Stories and in Facebook Live.
Abby’s biggest social media accomplishment was accidental. During the 2020 pandemic quarantine, Abby started a TikTok. A video she made at Pet Angel went viral and she changed her TikTok from general to all about cat rescue. Since then, she has become a micro-influencer with more than 180,000 followers.
Thanks to these social media platforms, Abby and Pet Angel are able to educate the public on important issues like declawing and pet health, along with featuring cats available for adoption.
Abby would love to have you along for the ride on Pet Angel’s social media pages. You can find her on Instagram and TikTok under @aceengel and you can also find Pet Angel on Facebook by searching “Pet Angel Cat Adoption and Rescue” or just @PetAngelAdopt.
“My goal in life is to help people and make a difference in this world,” Abby said. “I feel like I am making a difference, not just for animals, but for the people who adopt them.”
Pet Angel Cat Adoption & Rescue is located at 380 List St. in Frankenmuth.