Rescued from near-certain death, then infection, special cat loving life at RAPS Cat Sanctuary
Six-year-old Pops was born with both back legs badly disabled. He was a victim of an unethical breeding situation by an individual who was attempting to create a new breed of cat from which she could make a profit. The breeding facility was also a hoarding situation. Pops was kept in a very small cage and only taken out for breeding.
Pops and his two sons were rescued by animal control officers in their area and taken to an animal shelter with a high kill rate. Because of his disability, as well as having FIV, and because both the sons were also disabled, they would have been quickly considered unadoptable and almost certainly euthanized.
They were pulled from the shelter by a volunteer and initially transferred to a rescue organization in the Lower Mainland, from which they were moved to another shelter in the Shuswap and then put in foster care. The foster family adopted one of the sons and the rescue knew they had to find a forever home for Pops and his other son, Jack Sparrow. Father and son are tightly bonded and the rescue organization, to their great credit, knew they had to find a place for both, where they would remain together and receive the lifetime care and everything else they would need forever.
They reached out to the RAPS Cat Sanctuary and we enthusiastically said we would accept them. Cases like these are exactly why we exist: to save the lives of animals who might otherwise face euthanasia.
Shortly after their arrival, Pops managed to cut or scrape one of his back legs and, because of his suppressed immune system, the infection got out of control extremely quickly. The difficult choice was made to amputate his leg before the infection spread any further and potentially to his internal organs. Like many animals, who are so resilient, Pops adjusted very well to losing his leg. We created a special area at the Sanctuary for him and his son so that they wouldn’t have to drag themselves across concrete.
Recently, though, Pops got another infection that again was not healing due to his compromised immune system – this time it was on his nose. We tested for all the things it could be – and everything came back negative. No meds were working on his nose and the condition was spreading.
We decided to try him in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy facility at the RAPS Animal Hospital. Used in conjunction with other preventative and treatment regimes, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can deliver anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and tissue-healing benefits, accelerating healing dramatically, especially in conditions involving an oxygen deficit. It seems to be working for Pops, even though we didn’t have a clear diagnosis of what was causing his condition.
Pops’ story is one of hundreds in which RAPS’ mission of saving and improving the lives of animals is supported by our unique range of services that will ensure a lifetime of care for all the animals in our facilities. RAPS Animal Hospital has Canada’s only veterinary hyperbaric oxygen therapy facility. Thanks to the generosity of all the people who have supported RAPS over the past 25 years, we are able, first, to save animals like Pops and Jack Sparrow from almost certain death but also, as crucially, to provide them with the best medical treatment available. Father and son are together again at the RAPS Cat Sanctuary – our “Kitty Club Med”! – and living their best lives.