Hunter Michael Shepard was battling drug addiction ever since he was 12 years old. After years of treatment facilities, Shepard was able to get the help he needed and has been clean for 846 days. Even though his parents were there to support him in his recovery, Shepard thanks his orange cat, Pete, for what he accomplished.

What was Hunter Michael Shepard’s Struggle with Drugs Like?

Shepard started smoking weed when he was 12 and became addicted. By the time he was 16, his many misdemeanors and felonies landed him in a mandatory rehab program for minors who had committed felonies. Due to his rule-breaking behavior, Shepard spent eleven months in this five-month facility. Shepard’s relationship with his girlfriend was over, she relapsed, and his relationship with his parents was strained.

Shepard’s new appearance included meth sores all over his face and a 45-pound weight loss. Shepard was motivated to achieve sobriety after entering a drug-induced psychosis after doing Flakka, a synthetic stimulant. His fear brought him to check into a treatment center in California to better care for his daughter.

How Did Shepard’s Cat Help in His Sobriety?

Pete, an orange cat, showed up at Shepard’s front door and refused to leave. After the cat hung around his house for two days, Shepard’s daughter wanted to keep the cat, and he became a member of the family. Little did Shepard know that Pete would play a significant role in his recovery. Connection is an essential part of recovery and felt like it was fate meeting Pete.

Shepard believed that recovering addicts needed to take care of themselves first. He thought that people should be sober for a few years before adopting a pet. Even though Shepard was always surrounded by people, his depression still made him feel alone. Pete was always there for Shepard to help make him feel less lonely.

How is Hunter Michael Shepard Today?

Today, Shepard uses social media to inspire other recovering addicts to journey on through their sobriety. You can follow Shepard on his Facebook page called “Hunter Vs. Addiction”, where he creates inspiring posts on addiction recovery and celebrates the achievements of others who have been in his shoes. Shepard’s relationship with Pete can teach those in recovery how connections and support can make a massive impact on successful sobriety.

If you are struggling with substance abuse disorder and depression like Hunter Shepard was, Alta Loma is here to help you. Alta Loma is a dual diagnosis treatment facility located in Texas. This program can support your needs through CBT, MI, DBT, the 12 Steps, medication management, nutritional resources, and more. For more information, please call us at (866) 457-3843.


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You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.