Braveheart

An elderly lady started feeding cats that were wondering on to her country property, they apparently had no home or had been dumped. She loved cats and did not have the heart to turn them away. This situation was not too difficult for her to manage at first but as time went by and kittens were born it soon got out of hand, before she knew it, she had approximately 30 plus mouths to feed.

This caring woman became very ill and passed away, leaving all these cats to suddenly fend for themselves. We all know that cats hunt so it is easy to think that there is no need to feed them, this could not be further from the truth. Yes they do hunt if they can, but when out fending for themselves an injury may happen and if not cared for, infection sets in, they cannot hunt or find food. Often it is something like a broken tooth or bad teeth which may prevent them from being able to eat, which starts the decline of good health, making it hard for them to feed themselves. A domino effect begins starting with bad health due to infection or injury and ending in death.

We were called to see if we could trap these cats, get them to a spay/neuter clinic and hopefully re-home them. Many were very social but very scared, some were feral and terrified.

breaveheartI know this is hard to look at, but this is Braveheart.. so named because it is obvious that he has endured monumental pain for a very long time due to a wound that was either from a cat fight; encounter with a dog or coyote or some other critter. We were able to trap him the day of the Stevens County Cat Clinic, so he was looked at immediately by a veterinarian, his wound cleaned and stitched closed, and treated with heavy doses of antibiotics. He was also neutered, just so he would not have to go under anaesthesia again. This is how infection can set in if not treated, from the littlest bite or scratch.

braveheart1Braveheart is now at the shelter being cared for and believe me this is not easy when dealing with a feral cat. Feral cats are really a product of human beings, pet owners who do not get their cats spayed/neutered and many litters of kittens are produced. It becomes impossible to find homes for them all and they are left to roam where the inevitable happens, more kittens.

These kittens do not get a chance to get socialization or may never be touched, petted or fed by a human. When there is no contact they are afraid of us. They live in colonies where they form bonds with each other as that is how they survive – in numbers. Every once in a while some kind soul may put some food out but that does little to eliminate the fear of humans, they are wild and must learn to fend for themselves.

When the sanctuary takes in feral cats we do our best to help teach them that they can trust us, and this is no easy accomplishment, often taking many, many months if at all. Often we find that they want the human contact, but then there are those that will never ever want anything to do with us. Our mission then is to find them a safe barn where they can be re-homed with people who will provide food, water and a safe shelter for them to go to. All of this misery can be stopped by the simple act of taking your cat to be spayed or neutered. These feral cats will provide years of rodent extermination when well cared for, will not multiply in numbers and will keep other cats from moving in.

braveheart2This is Braveheart a few days ago. I know he looks mean and cranky and he is. He is definitely feral and untrusting of all of us. He has a huge wound and infection to overcome and he is doing that. He is treated everyday by Becca our cat coordinator, who talks to him, and tells him how beautiful he is and how he will be up and moving around before long. In the days and weeks to come he may start to trust us, but who knows. Never the less he will eventually, when better, be moved into the area called The Sunroom, where our feral cats reside. It provides as much of the outdoor life for them that we can give them while still be enclosed and safe from predators.

One day all his fur will have grown back and he will be beautiful once again.

P.S. You may wonder how we give him his antibiotics, it is mixed in a bowl of Gerber’s Baby food, preferably chicken or lamb, they love it.

Pat Lowe

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Update on Henry

henryupdate2Henry was taken to the Spokane Veterinary Surgical Specialist Group on February 25th. He saw Dr. Howard Lawrence who did an ultrasound and found that Henry had one of the largest External Liver Shunts that he had ever seen. He took Henry immediately into surgery and  2  1/2 hours later, Henry finally had blood flowing properly through his liver for the first time in his life.

Henry spent the night at the hospital for observation. He then went home with his foster mom Lanette and her husband who spent the next week nearly glued to Henry’s side. His recover was rough, he cried all the time and nobody got much sleep at all. The Dr. said this was normal as Henry’s body and liver were not use to functioning properly and so it was kind of a shock for his system.

henry5Finally, about a week after the surgery, Lanette got up in the wee hours of the morning and went to check on him and discovered Henry sleeping peacefully for the very fist time since the surgery. He had hit a turning point and ever since that time, he has continued to recover and grow stronger every day.

Henry with his foster dad. When Henry gets tired he pops him in his coat and carries him around the yard as his siblings play.

Henry with his foster dad. When Henry gets tired he pops him in his coat and carries him around the yard as his siblings play.

He still can’t keep up with his siblings and he tires quickly but he is recovering and has a beautiful light in his eyes that wasn’t there when he came to us. Henry goes back today to get his sutures removed and later this week will see Dr. Jess and have his liver values re-tested. We will keep you posted.

We want to than everyone who donated to make Henry’s surgery possible. Henry and his siblings will be available for adoption soon so please call if you are interested.

henry4

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Prayers and Good Thoughts for Henry

henry2During the week of Feb 14th while our volunteers were out rescuing the dogs from the Stevens county neglect/hoarding case, 3 little puppies, 7 – 9 weeks old were brought to the shelter. This had originally been a litter of 5, but the young man who found them on the porch of an empty house was able to find homes for two of them. He noticed that one little pup was not doing well and did not know how to help him or have the money to give him veterinary care.

One of our volunteers took them home to assess their condition, and yes Henry (his new name) was in trouble. Even though Henry was eating and drinking, he was very lethargic and when he got up, would walk aimlessly ending up in corners. He seemed a bit worse the following morning so he was taken to a veterinarian. It was found that his temperature was low so 50cc of warm fluids were given. Blood work revealed high liver enzymes. Henry was sent back to the sanctuary awaiting the results of a more complete bloodwork panel including further liver function tests.

The test results showed very high liver enzymes and increased bile acid values indicating that he most likely has a liver shunt, an abnormality he was born with. A liver shunt causes the blood to bypass the liver and so the blood is not filtered normally. The silver-lining is that this can be corrected. Henry will be seeing a specialist this Wednesday in Spokane. He will have an ultrasound and if indicated, he will go immediately into surgery for repair. He will not be alone, our shelter manager and his new foster parent will be there with him and will stay until surgery is over. Henry will certainly die if this abnormality is not corrected.

Henry is a sweet little guy and deserves to grow to have a loving forever home. You can see in his eyes that he wants nothing more than to play with his brother and sister, Hattie and Howie, but he can’t because he feels too bad. This surgery can give him a normal life.

Please everyone, keep positive thoughts for Henry on this Wednesday.

We will probably need to do a fundraiser for Henry, but we will not postpone his treatment waiting for funds. The surgery and medical care is likely to cost $1500 – $2000. We will let you know.

henry

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A Very Happy Ending!

josieOn December 29th 2013,  Josie fell out of her family’s camper while they were travelling.   They left Republic, Wa. and took hwy. 20, stopped at a gas station, and were on hwy 395 South when they discovered she was gone. Somewhere along the line, Josie had fallen out. The family was devastated and began searching immediately and posting on FB, putting up flyers etc.

Nearly a month went by and no one had seen Josie.  Lorraine, one of our volunteers, and a few other people in the area began noticing a stray dog who was hanging around near the hwy in Chewelah.  They tried to catch her and to make friends with her, but she was shy and scared and kept running away.  Then they saw the post about a missing dog named Josie and hoping this was the same dog, they called the owner.

Thankfully the owners were able to come the next morning.  Josie was found quite a ways down below Hwy. 395 in a haybarn.  The owners called her for about 3 hours and were about to give up when Josie heard them calling.

It was a VERY HAPPY reunion….to say the least!  Alot of people were on the lookout for this little girl due to all the networking that the owners did and all the sharing that people on FB did.

And so, 33 days after Josie went missing, she was reunited with her family.   Never ever give up on a lost animal, there is always hope!

Acting quickly, network through sites like FaceBook and Twitter, posting flyers, contacting local shelters, vet clinics and police, and searching over and over again can make all the difference.

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