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Humane Society of Valdosta: Emergency Medical Grant Report

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

The Emergency Medical Grant was used to help cover the surgical costs for Birdie, a loving calico who required emergent specialty surgical repair for a diaphragmatic hernia.

Birdie was diagnosed with a large diaphragmatic hernia. She was having extreme difficulty breathing, as her intestines were taking up space in her chest cavity where her lungs should be. Birdie was referred to a specialty surgeon an hour and a half away who was willing to provide the procedure necessary to save her life.

We were afraid because of the expense involved that we would not be able to save her and had considered humane euthanasia, but we wanted to give sweet Birdie every chance. We made the decision to move forward with surgery, and posted her story on Facebook and Instagram in hopes of fundraising enough to cover the cost of the procedure. We were only able to fundraise $800 of her total medical bill of $1800 (including the rescue discount).

The Petfinder Foundation Emergency Medical Grant generously covered the remaining cost of Birdie’s surgery, helping our organization tremendously by allowing us to pay for the services provided by the specialty surgeon.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

Birdie is a young adult female calico kitty whom we rescued from the local municipal shelter. She loves giving head bumps, rolls for chin scratches, and loves to cuddle in your lap. When she was calm, she seemed to be a normal, healthy cat; but when we did her medical evaluation and gave her vaccines and dewormer, she started panting and her gums seemed dusky instead of pink, so we rushed her to our local vet to find out what was going on.

After some x-rays and a barium swallow test, we got the official diagnosis of a large diaphragmatic hernia. She had multiple loops of small intestines in her chest cavity taking up space and preventing her lungs from expanding, making it very difficult for her to breathe.

As mentioned previously, we were dismayed at the cost of surgery, but decided we needed to give her every possible chance — and we are so glad we did! Sweet Birdie had a phenomenal recovery, and rebounded faster than any of her doctors ever expected. She went to a foster home to finish healing, and her foster gave her all the attention and chin scratches she could ever want.

After she was healed up and living her new life, we had a family reach out to us about adopting her; we arranged a meet-and-greet and it was love at first sight! Her adopter tells us, “Birdie owns us for sure, not the other way around!” She is now living life to the fullest with her loving family. We are thrilled for Birdie and so thankful for the generosity of the Petfinder Foundation for making this “happily ever after” possible!

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