This is the story of Runt, Baby, Sampson, and Sydney and their $5,000 animal care bill. It's a story of what it takes to care for animals that are surrendered to us. It's a story of trials and tribulations, and hopefully happy endings. It's also a plea for help. Read on and please help if you can...
Runt, Baby, Sampson, and Sydney came to us in November 2020 because their owner passed away. All arrived at the SPCA Hancock County with upper respiratory infections. They were all immediately given antibiotics and humidifiers to help their raspy breathing. As sick as they were, they still showed their wonderfully different personalities. Runt was outgoing, wanted treats and attention, loved catnip, and loved being petted. Baby was a little nervous, but even she accepted a little petting. And Sampson, who was tortured by some mean neighborhood kids when he was younger (this caused his eye discoloration), was skittish but would come out of hiding from time to time.
Sydney was terribly matted and extremely malnourished. Once shaved, we realized she had jaundice. She was rushed to the vet where she spent the day receiving IV fluids, medication, and special food. Sydney was back with us that evening on special medication. Her outlook was good. And then it wasn't. Sydney "crashed" early the next morning. She was cold, unresponsive, and her breathing was distressed. Again, she was rushed to the vet!
Poor Sydney had developed refeeding syndrome. She was so underweight that she desperately needed extra calories. But the extra calories compromised her liver. And her body's electrolyte balance was now off which caused heart problems. We were advised that living with this kind of heart and liver function was virtually impossible. Sydney's organs were working against each other. The most humane thing for this critically ill girl was to euthanize her. Sadly, Sydney passed away that day gently wrapped in blankets in the lap of our Cat Care Manager.
Without Sydney, Runt, Baby, and Sampson suffered extreme depression. Each began withdrawing. Runt didn't want human attention, Sampson hid and would flinch if we tried to pet him, and Baby started hissing and swatting. But we still needed to focus on their individual health issues. Happily, once the trio finished their antibiotics they were feeling better.
But Baby’s breathing still sounded terrible, so she received a steroid injection on the assumption of asthma. It didn't help much. Back to the vet she went. Turns out she has permanent lung damage. Although Baby can’t be cured, we were assured the damage isn’t fatal. She will live a happy, normal life...with some sniffles.
The next leg of the trio's medical journey was the dentist! All three had severe dental issues. Sampson had a cracked canine and several other teeth extracted. Baby a loose incisor that was practically falling out, and she had several other teeth extracted. And Runt had a whopping eight teeth removed!
Finally, about six weeks after Sydney's death, and feeling physically better, they began to come around again. Runt was more social and Sampson was hiding less. Poor Baby remained the same.
With all veterinary care, vaccines, treatments, preventative care, and grooming complete our trio was ready for adoption! Due to the trauma these special ones experienced, we wanted them to stay together. Runt takes care of Sampson, comforting him and snuggling with him, and she hides with Baby when Baby feels scared. Clearly they take care of and need each other.
The day finally came when a wonderful couple wanted to adopt our trio. They were former cat owners but currently pet-free. Our couple bought new beds, food, and toys. The adoption was approved and Runt, Sampson, and Baby went home forever! But it wasn't forever. Our couple developed severe cat allergies since owning their last cats. Only two days after their adoption Runt, Baby, and Sampson were returned to us.
So this is where Runt, Baby, and Sampson are now. Back in the shelter, in their private room together, still looking for their forever home. We were told that during those two short days in a loving home, Runt was the life of the party, Baby loved exploring, and even Sampson became talkative and wanted attention. Our trio quickly came out of their shells in that home environment. We know they will do the same in their next and FINAL home!
Here's the part of the story where we ask for your help. Runt, Baby, Sampson, and Sydney accumulated a $5,000 animal care bill. We need to pay that bill, and we need your help to do it.
The SPCA Hancock County is a no kill shelter. That means we go to every length possible to save cats and dogs that come to us, even those with expensive medical needs. Your donation towards Runt, Baby, and Sampson's medical bills and the Feel Better Fund will help us pay their outstanding medical bills and will ensure that we can continue to provide the same loving support to other animals in our care. We couldn’t save Sydney, but we can save many more with your help.