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Adoptable Bonded Cat and Dog Pair Named After 'Homeward Bound' Pets Will 'Melt Your Heart'

Dog and Cat best Friends
Dog and Cat best Friends

Team members at Jackson County Animal Shelter

Like the pets of Homeward Bound, these animal best friends have been on an impressive journey.

According to Lydia Sattler, the animal services director of Jackson County, a man found the cat and dog pair abandoned with another canine in a Jackson County, Michigan, field.

"He knows they were out there at least the day before and all night but doesn't know how much longer they had been there. They were all underweight," Sattler told PEOPLE of the condition the animals were found in.

The three pets together — two dogs and one cat — reminded their rescuers of the animals in Homeward Bound, a 1993 movie about three pets who get separated from their family and must go on an epic adventure to reach home. As a nod to the family film, the Jackson County Animal Shelter named two of the pets after characters in the movie.

The cat, a 1-year-old male, was given the name Shadow — the name of Homeward Bound's golden retriever — and one of the dogs, a 6-year-old female, was named Sassy, which is the name of the feline in the movie.

The other dog found with Sassy and Shadow in the field was taken in by the man who first discovered the pets. Animal control officers transported Sassy and Shadow to the Jackson County Animal Shelter.

Before rescuers moved the pets, they couldn't help but notice the strong bond between Sassy and Shadow.

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Dog and Cat best Friends
Dog and Cat best Friends

Team members at Jackson County Animal Shelter

"Sassy and Shadow were snuggled together. The dog let the cat eat out of a bowl, sitting right next to her," Sattler said of how animal control officers found the duo.

"Usually, when cats get dumped out somewhere, they take off and hide. So the fact that he stayed right there with the dogs and went into the truck and laid on the dog ... that's really incredible," she added.

Shadow and Sassy's behavior has only got more precious from there. After arriving at the shelter, the pair moved into a room together, where neither made a peep because they were too busy cuddling together.

"The only time I saw them even remotely distressed is when they had their turns getting spayed and neutered. When the cat left, the dog sat at the door and cried. And then the same was true when the dog went; the cat stood at the door and cried. So even for that little time of being separated, they were so sad. They did not want to be away from each other," Sattler said of Sassy and Shadow's brief time apart.

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The strong and snuggly friendship between the two pets has quickly made them favorites at the Jackson County Animal Shelter.

"They're just adorable together. I've never seen a dog and a cat that close," Sattler shared.

Now that the pets have had time to rest, see a vet, and get their spay/neuter surgeries, they are ready to find a home together.

The Jackson County Animal Shelter is ideally looking for an adopter who lives in a home without other pets so that this pair can be "the center of attention."

"I can't think of anything bad to say about either one. They're both amazing animals. And once you meet them, I promise you, they will steal your heart. Melt your heart," Sattler said.

Dog and Cat best Friends
Dog and Cat best Friends

Team members at Jackson County Animal Shelter

Based on the pets' bond and good manners, Sattler is confident that Shadow and Sassy once had a home together.

"Somebody loved these pets at one time. Whatever circumstances led them to have to leave them, we don't know. But we just want to make sure that they get a chance to live in another home and be loved again," she said.

The animal services director added that she had seen an increase recently in the number of pet owners struggling to care for their furry friends.

"If it's a matter of finances and you need pet food, we offer free food to people who are struggling to feed their pets," Sattler shared.

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For those forced to make the difficult decision to rehome their pets, Sattler recommends rescueme.org, a website that helps arrange home-to-home adoptions so pets don't have to spend time in the shelter and owners get a chance to meet who's going to adopt their animal.

Those interested in adopting Shadow and Sassy — whose adoption fees have been covered by a kind shelter volunteer — must be willing to take in both pets. The Jackson Country Animal Shelter is open to out-of-state adoptions and has experience adopting pets out to animal lovers in Canada. If you think your home is right for these best friends, visit the pets at the shelter or fill out an adoption application and email it to animalshelter@mijackson.org.