The Twelfth Save of Christmas

During the month of December, we’re sharing 12 stories about animals saved by the CASPCA this year. These stories exemplify our commitment to maintaining the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA as a No Kill community, and they have a happy ending because of the tireless efforts of our staff and the generosity of supporters like you. 

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12. Captain Lovin

When the temperature drops, homeless animals have to find creative ways to stay warm. Sometimes these animals, desperate for shelter, place themselves in even greater danger. Poor Captain Lovin, for instance, didn’t know a parked car’s engine was the last place he wanted to hide. When the car’s owner, unaware the kitten was hiding beneath the hood, turned on their vehicle the day before Thanksgiving, this poor boy darted from beneath the car severely injured, with part of his front leg torn off.

The kitten was rushed to Greenbrier Emergency Clinic and then transferred to our clinic, where he was promptly scheduled for surgery. Even while being prepped for the operation to amputate his injured leg, our clinic staff marveled at how happy the kitten was to be with people – despite such a traumatic injury, Captain Lovin loved being in someone’s lap and would purr when lilcapngiven attention.

Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Kristen Scheller and Dr. Anna Sims amputated the rest of the kitten’s leg without issue, and he began his recovery in the home of Jennifer Kilby, a veterinary assistant who wanted to closely monitor this kitten as it learned to navigate the world minus one leg.

To our staff’s delight, Captain Lovin has rebounded quickly. Jennifer reports that though he might be lacking a limb, this tiny kitten isn’t lacking in personality; he’s very playful, loves mouse toys and bouncy balls, and will even groom his people from time to time. Captain Lovin is a talkative cat who purrs and meows when he wants food or attention. He even can tolerate (some) dogs, as long as they are gentle and being supervised.

“He has learned how to use a small scratching post and can even climb it already,” Jennifer says. “He’s getting better at jumping up onto things every day. He’s especially good at it when chasing toys.”

Stay tuned for more about this precocious survivor, who will be available for adoption soon!

This holiday season, please think of the thousands of animals we have saved and the thousands more we have yet to save.heart donate now

 

The Tenth Save of Christmas

During the month of December, we’re sharing 12 stories about animals saved by the CASPCA this year. These stories exemplify our commitment to maintaining the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA as a No Kill community, and they have a happy ending because of the tireless efforts of our staff and the generosity of supporters like you. 

sabien10. Sabian

Tuna might be one of Sabian’s favorite foods, but as our staff discovered, this orange tabby once had a taste for something a little more exotic – and indigestible. When Sabian was brought to us this past July, our team noticed his stomach was distended. During a physical exam, our veterinary staff felt a mass in his abdomen and ordered radiographs, which confirmed an object was lodged in his stomach, keeping him from digesting food properly. But what could Sabian have eaten? Only surgery would reveal what this cat had consumed and save his life.

Sabian was pre-medicated and placed under anesthesia. His hardened stomach was shaved and prepared for surgery. Led by Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Kristen Scheller, the team made an incision, strategically placing the cut so that it would avoid blood vessels. Once inside his abdomen, they discovered what had so troubled Sabian: in addition to a large amount of digested food, this cat had multiple strands of an elastic cord in his stomach!

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They removed the strands carefully, clearing the way for his digestive track to function again, and then closed the incision. A hardy cat, Sabian recovered from anesthesia without any complications. He was housed in our Critical Care clinic for his recovery, during which time his appetite came back with a vengeance, and he quickly returned to his bright and alert self.

An affectionate tabby who loves attention, Sabian was cleared for adoption.

This playful boy has since found his forever home! Congrats, Sabian!

This holiday season, please think of the thousands of animals we have saved and the thousands more we have yet to save.

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The Eleventh Save of Christmas

During the month of December, we’re sharing 12 stories about animals saved by the CASPCA this year. These stories exemplify our commitment to maintaining the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA as a No Kill community, and they have a happy ending because of the tireless efforts of our staff and the generosity of supporters like you. 

scruffy511. Scruffy

When this handsome Cairn Terrier was struck by a car in October, a concerned witness, Mike, sprang into action to get Scruffy the care he so desperately needed. With the help of eight others, Mike removed the terrified dog from beneath the car with a sheet and brought him to our friends at Georgetown Veterinary Hospital. Scruffy then was transferred to our clinic for further testing and examination, and Mike, now invested in the fate of this injured dog, asked to be kept in the loop about Scruffy’s recovery.

Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Kristen Scheller performed a thorough exam, discovering multiple abrasions on Scruffy’s hind limbs, bruises and a severe flea infestation. She ordered radiographs to see Scruffy’s internal injuries, and those images revealed a fractured pelvis that was no doubt painful for the little dog.

Scruffy was prescribed medication and housed in the clinic for close monitoring. Anxious and fearful, Scruffy was slow to open up to the staff. During his recovery, he needed a stable home where he could learn to trust people.

Who would be a better candidate for Scruffy to bond with than Mike, the man who had rescued him and stayed in touch about his progress? Scruffy was placed in foster care with the devoted man and was on the road to recovery.

Today, though Scruffy’s hip bone always will be slightly displaced, he no longer is in pain. His fostering went so well, Scruffy was adopted by Mike and his family this past month. At a recent visit to his friends at the shelter, Scruffy’s development into a happy and healthy pet was evident. Before this little terrier was terrified of anyone, but now Scruffy wags his tail and seems at ease, having found a friend for life in the man who saved his life, Mike.scruffy4

Mike reports: “Scruffy is living the dream. He spends his days wrestling with his brothers and chasing squirrels. At night, he sits by me to watch television, and he seems so happy and confident since we brought him home a few weeks ago. I think he realizes how lucky he is that we have taken him in.”


This holiday season, please think of the thousands of animals we have saved and the thousands more we have yet to save.

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The Ninth Save of Christmas

During the month of December, we’re sharing 12 stories about animals saved by the CASPCA this year. These stories exemplify our commitment to maintaining the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA as a No Kill community, and they have a happy ending because of the tireless efforts of our staff and the generosity of supporters like you. 

Miawithpups9. Hope

As many mothers can tell you, it’s not easy being pregnant. Add being homeless and carrying eight babies to the mix, and you’ll better understand Hope’s plight when she was brought to our shelter this past March as a stray. Waddling with the weight of her advanced pregnancy, this Beagle-lab mix was so close to giving birth that our staff decided it would be in her best interest to deliver the babies in our clinic.

Our veterinary team took Hope’s temperature periodically to monitor how close she was to going into labor, and when it dropped at 4 p.m. one afternoon, they knew they had a long night ahead of them. With the help of a veterinary assistant, Dr. Anna Sims was kept up to date about Hope’s progress throughout the evening.

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One of Hope’s puppies!

The small dog’s labor intensified at around 9 p.m. — as Dr. Sims comforted a calm Hope, the first healthy puppy was quickly born. Her maternal impulses kicking in, Hope responded attentively, licking and nursing her baby.

The next puppy wasn’t going to be as smoothly delivered – it was lodged in her birth canal, and Hope struggled to push, panting and straining, before finally giving up. Dr. Sims knew Hope would need extra help to overcome this hurdle, so she manually assisted her, expertly pulling the puppy to safety through the canal. Not only was it born without issue, but Hope regained her strength, rebounding to deliver the remaining six pups in 20-minute to one-hour intervals.

It wasn’t until the last healthy puppy was born at 3:05 a.m. that Hope’s (and Dr. Sims’) long night was finally at an end. The litter consisted of three boys and five girls, and all were black and white, except one, who was brown. Once cleared for good health, the family was fostered as a unit, giving the new mother a peaceful environment to raise her young litter.

Today, the puppies are happy and healthy, and the entire pack, sweet Hope included, have found loving forever homes.

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This holiday season, please think of the thousands of animals we have saved and the thousands more we have yet to save.

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The Eighth Save of Christmas

During the month of December, we’re sharing 12 stories about animals saved by the CASPCA this year. These stories exemplify our commitment to maintaining the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA as a No Kill community, and they have a happy ending because of the tireless efforts of our staff and the generosity of supporters like you. 

emilio28. Emilio

When Emilio was brought to the shelter as a stray, two vet assistants made a shocking discovery: the one-pound kitten was missing most of his tongue. Though playful, he drooled uncontrollably and was unable to groom himself, a major obstacle for a cat, whose urge to lick to stay clean is instinctive. Though there have been some reports of cats doing very well without a full tongue, Emilio was a severe case, leading our staff to wonder if he would be able to live a rich life without this very important muscle.

How could such a young cat have barely any tongue? Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Kristen Scheller suspects Emilio suffered an injury, but she also can’t rule out its absence is the result of a congenital deformity.

The CASPCA is proud of our thorough intake process, which ensures that every animal we see is carefully examined on arrival. We also are proud of our status as a No Kill shelter — in another vet or shelter’s care, Emilio’s lack of tongue might have been considered justification for euthanasia.

Emilio was housed in our clinic for observation. Some of the veterinary team’s concerns were put to rest when they saw the tiny kitten eat canned food, as well as drink water. Better yet, the staff determined his lack of tongue was causing him little pain and that Emilio was learning to cope with his disability.

Nonetheless, this little man needed a patient and loving guardian to thrive, someone who would groom him, tailor his diet, keep a watchful eye on his mouth health — and not mind a messy eater. As a special case, Emilio was an excellent candidate for fostering. Fortunately, the CASPCA has a terrific foster network and a supportive community that embraces animals with special needs. Our shelter found the ideal home for this little cat to continue to learn how to navigate the world, sans tongue.

Since his successful fostering, Emilio has found his forever home, and his new family reports he is doing well, messy eating and all. Congratulations, Emilio!

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This holiday season, please think of the thousands of animals we have saved and the thousands more we have yet to save.

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