Every day we see some amazing animals and hear some incredible stories of rescue, and the unbreakable bond between animals and their humans. This year we had one case in particular that we will not soon forget.
In May, a Good Samaritan found a four-week old kitten who had no use of his back legs. Having previously brought animals to PAL for spay/neuter surgery, she hoped we might be able to help him. Coco, (his name at the time), was barely over a pound and still had his baby blue eyes. Upon examination, Dr. Asbury noted that in addition to his paralysis, he had some trauma to the tail and concluded that may be the reason for Coco’s condition. Although it was unlikely he would regain movement in his back legs, we thought it would be in Coco’s best interest to stay at PAL.
It was not hard to fall head over heels in love with this little guy! The entire staff did their part in an attempt to rehabilitate him. We “exercised” his back legs, and made sure he got plenty of stimulation, however, after a few weeks it was apparent that he just wasn’t making any progress. Later, an x-ray confirmed Dr. Asbury’s concerns that the trauma to his tail was the most likely cause for his paralysis. Sadly, his tail was so damaged from this trauma that it had to be amputated.
Coco was and is a fighter though and he recovered quite quickly from his tail surgery. We then focused on helping him with some serious digestive issues he was having. After weeks of experimenting with different fiber supplements, Coco was put on a special prescription diet food and within a few days his digestive system was back on track!
Now came the really hard part: finding a special needs cat a home. According to a study done by the ASPCA, there are approximately 70 million homeless cats in the United States. With so many homeless healthy cats in dire need of homes, we knew it would be exceptionally difficult to find the right person for Coco.
Coco spent several months at PAL and quickly became very fast on his two front feet. Our linoleum floor allowed him to pull himself around without us having to worry about him damaging his fragile back legs. It was during this time that Coco got his very own customized wheelchair! Several years ago, a thoughtful client donated an old wheelchair that their small dog had once used. Thankfully, we still had the wheelchair and our Assistant Manager/Master Craftswoman was able to reconstruct it to fit Coco’s growing body!
By the time September rolled around Coco was considered a part of the PAL family. We were adamant about finding the right family to be his “furever” home and did not want to rush things. Little did we know Coco was about to hit the jackpot!
Sarah is a mature Beagle lady whose parents were frantic when they noticed several lumps on her belly. Sarah’s parents brought her into PAL so Dr. Asbury could assess her condition and see if we could do anything for her. They were in luck! We scheduled an appointment for her to have the lumps removed and tested to make sure they weren’t cancerous. To her parent’s relief, the lumps were benign! Sarah recovered from the surgery beautifully and is now back to living a life of luxury, getting her nails done and being pampered like the princess she is. Because of donations like yours we were able to provide these services at a cost her parents could afford and they are forever grateful!
Rowdy, a beautiful shorthaired torbie, came to PAL from a feral cat colony where her caretaker noticed that she wasn’t putting any weight on one of her legs. Dr Asbury took a look at the leg and saw right away that her leg would need to be amputated. This brought up a tricky situation. If she was truly feral, she could not possibly be released back outside to survive with only 3 legs. After a discussion with her caretaker, it was decided that she would be fostered, socialized and rehomed once she was completely rehabilitated. Dr Asbury removed Rowdy’s injured leg and she made an excellent recovery. Thanks to your donations, Rowdy’s surgery was done at no cost. This enables her caretaker and the other amazing people who care for feral colonies to continue their life saving work. Rowdy is slowly but surely coming around and has found a loving home!
Here are just a few stories of the animals PAL has helped through the years through your generous donations to our Special Surgeries Fund. This fund provides animal caretakers an option for care when they cannot afford surgery elsewhere. If you would like to contribute to our Special Surgeries Fund to directly help an animal like the ones featured below, please click the button below and specify you would like your donation to go to the fund.
In late March of 2016, PAL received a distraught phone call from the caretaker of a stray cat that had been hit by a car. His back legs were immobile and his caretaker could not afford to take him to the vet for further care or humane euthanasia. After hearing the seriousness of the situation, it was decided that the most humane thing to do would be to euthanize him to put an end to his suffering. When she got to PAL with the cat, Sabbat (at that time named “Wadya”), Dr Asbury did an exam and soon found out that the situation was not nearly as bad as it seemed and at his caretaker’s delight, we agreed to keep him at PAL and develop a plan to get him better! Dr. Asbury took Sabbat to a local full service vet where they did x-rays and confirmed some bad news. Sabbat had two fractured femurs which required serious and complicated surgery. Sabbat’s amazing personality and will to live quickly enamored all the staff at PAL and after a full day of surgeries, Dr. Asbury did the three hour procedure to repair his fractured femurs. After a successful recovery and lots of post operative care, Sabbat’s legs are now fixed and he has a wonderful new home with one of the staff members at PAL. He is now affectionately known as Sabbat and spends his days indoors with his other cat and dog friends. His incredible surgery was made possible by your generous donations to our Special Surgeries Fund.
Earlier this year, PAL was lucky enough to have a young veterinarian come in to shadow Dr. Asbury and see in person how a successful spay/neuter clinic works. Dr. Karlsson came into PAL at least once a week to observe surgeries and assist Dr. Asbury as needed. Well, no one that comes into PAL leaves without taking an animal home and after 5 months at PAL, Coco finally went home!
Today, Coco has a new life as well as a very appropriate new name. Named after the powerful Nordic god of wisdom, Odin now spends his time with his new cat and dog friends, hiking and loving life! He can frequently be seen with his human and animal family rolling along the hiking trail, and safely enjoying the outdoors with his rescuers by his side. Odin’s adoptive parents are pictured above. We could not be anymore happy for him and we are honored to have been a part of his rehabilitation and rehoming.
Stories like Odin’s remind us that miracles are not only possible, but that they happen every day. Every animal that walks through our doors has a story of their own. Odin is just one of millions of animals that are saved every day by the kindness of strangers and their love for our four legged friends.
Saving Lives, One Spay/Neuter At a Time!
Pumpkin, a 95 pound Bulldog mix, is not an easy dog to miss, so when she was found running loose, some good Samaritans stopped to pick her up. After bringing her into their home, they couldn’t help but fall in love with her charming and friendly personality and they decided to foster her until they could find her a forever home. Unfortunately, they soon noticed some symptoms of a possible illness. Besides being extremely overweight, she was vomiting and eating excessive amounts of food. They quickly took her to a full service vet where she was diagnosed with pyometra, an infection of the uterus which requires immediate spay surgery. They did some bloodwork and were prescribed some antibiotics, but were unable to afford the cost of the spay surgery. Luckily, they had heard of PAL and called us to see if we could help. We were able to squeeze this big gal in for surgery and Dr. Asbury successfully performed her spay. Now she is feeling much better and can go back to looking for that perfect person or family to give her the love she deserves. Her emergency surgery was made possible by your generous donations. It’s important to note that had she been spayed at a younger age she would never have gotten this terrible infection. Pyometra is entirely preventable simply by spaying your dog or cat.
After originally meeting Mini in 2013, her future caretaker instantly fell in love with her. She had been living with a friend and after a few years, she was in need of a new forever home, so her new mom immediately volunteered to adopt her. Mini had never been to a vet before and after only having her for 2 weeks, her new caretakers knew how important it was to get her spayed and vaccinated. While setting up her spay appointment, they made sure to tell us that she had what they thought were some sort of knots on her lower abdomen. When she was brought in for her spay surgery, Dr. Asbury found that Mini had a bilateral (or double) inguinal hernia. This condition causes the abdominal contents to protrude through the inguinal ring and is a much more involved and complicated surgery. After calling Mini’s new mom to let her know what kind of procedure needed to be done, she became very worried as she was on a limited budget and could not afford the full cost of the surgery. With your donations to our Special Surgeries Fund, we were able to help her mom cover the cost of the surgery at a price she could afford. Mini’s new mom is so grateful for the donations that helped make the surgery possible. Mini is now spending her time lovingly following her new mom around and burying herself under the covers!