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Dogs & Cats Forever: A Shot at Life Vaccination Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The product was used to vaccinate the more than 60 kittens which we had taken into the shelter during the spring and summer of 2013, as well as to update older cats with their FV RCP vaccinations.

This grant made it possible for us to vaccinate the animals before they went to their permanent homes as well as to be able to show them at PetSmart which requires that they be up to date with vaccinations.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

rnSpartacus is a kitten which was born with birth defects. He and his brother and mother were three of the cats which received the shots which were part of the grant . The mother, Zoey, came in as a pregnant stray with no entry donation. We are able to accept animals like her because the grant helps with medical costs. When the kittens were eight weeks old, they were given shots as was Zoey with the vaccine provided by the grant. Here is a story which was actually run in the local newspaper about one of her kittens-Spartacus, who was born with birth defects. He had a chance at treatment because we were able to accept his mother. rn FORT PIERCE — How do you measure success? For Spartacus, success means simply being able to walk across a room.rnrnFrom the beginning, Spartacus was a fighter. His mother, who was surrendered to Dogs & Cats Forever, delivered six kittens shortly after arriving, but sadly, only Spartacus and his brother survived. Additionally, both of Spartacus’ front legs were bent inward. In order to move around, Spartacus had to “walk” on his elbows.rnrnSpartacus was seen by Dr. Sara Mathews, of Dr. Dan’s Animal Hospital, in Vero Beach. Dr. Mathews was especially sympathetic to his condition, as her son had needed many months of corrective castings on his legs to straighten them. “I knew serial casting would work on a human, but I never tried it on anything that small,” explained Dr. Mathews, adding that therapy would require an extraordinary amount of time and patience.rnrnThankfully, volunteer Martina Engdahl had both. Engdahl had begun researching Spartacus’ condition, which was caused by contracted tendons, after seeing him at the shelter. She agreed to foster him, saying, “I just wanted to make a difference in his life.”rnrnUsing a heating pad and massage, Engdahl slowly straightened the kitten’s legs, and made cardboard splints, which he wore for several hours a day. “Wrapping the legs gave him the freedom to move around normally,” said Engdahl, “and it didn’t take long before he was running around playing.” Engdahl also used aqua therapy to strengthen his muscles.rnrnAfter only a month, Engdahl reports that Spartacus’ left leg is fully rehabilitated, adding, “He is making great progress with the other leg.” She has stated a Facebook page for him, which she hopes will help others like him avoid unnecessary euthanasia or amputation. She added that the cost of the at-home therapy is minimal, having only spent $26 so far on supplies.rnrnEngdahl said that she expects Spartacus’ right leg to be rehabilitated in a few more weeks. “He is not a special needs kitten,” says Engdahl, saying that even now, he can run, jump, climb and walk like any other kitten. She added, “I would love for him to find a great home where he will continue to grow and thrive.”rnrnTo follow Spartacus’ on Facebook, go to story is contributed by a member of the Treasure Coast community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with

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