Skip to content

St. Mary's Animal Welfare League: Emergency Medical Grant Report

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

Sampson had several teeth that were impacted that needed to be removed. Sampson was difficult to anesthetize because he suffered from a thoracic hernia when he was first brought into SMAWL. The estimate for Sampson's dental surgery and treatment plan was between $1,231-1,354. The actual cost of the surgery was $1,164. The grant money provided to SMAWL was incredibly helpful and covered almost 100% of that bill.

SMAWL budgets yearly for emergency procedures such as Sampson's. Paying the full bill for Sampson's surgery would have taken a large chunk from that budget and taken away from other cats that we could help in this year. However, because of the grant provided, SMAWL will be able to maintain our intake goals and help as many -- or more -- cats than we had budgeted for.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

My name is Sampson and I have super powers. I came from a hoarding situation with dozens of other cats until Animal Control rounded all of us up and took us away. The nice people from SMAWL chose me and some of my friends to go live at the Cat Castle. I was very skinny and I was hungry all the time but I didn’t gain weight. I went to live with a foster mom who tried to fatten me up but she noticed that I breathed really hard and after eating I often threw up. When I went to the vet for a check-up, she couldn’t hear my heart on one side. Everyone was pretty scared about that and took me to another vet for x-rays. The x-rays showed that most of my organs were in the chest cavity. My heart and lungs were on one side and my liver, spleen, stomach and some other stuff were on the other side. I was probably born with a thoracic hernia and when I was really little, my organs moved up into my chest. They stayed there and didn’t have enough room to grow normally. I was hungry all the time because there was not enough room for my stomach to get full. I couldn’t breathe right because my lungs didn’t have enough room to expand. I needed expensive surgery to fix the hernia and put everything back where it belonged.

While SMAWL looked for a way to pay for this, I started to feel much worse. I was at the hospital for evaluation when one of my lungs collapsed and I went into emergency surgery. The surgeon worked very hard to fix me. I had some tough times, but with my new foster mom, I gained weight – almost 5 lbs. – and got stronger. I had lots of tests and most of my troubles resolved over time and with medication. They tell me my liver enzymes are high, but nothing slows me down.

I’m happy, playful, loving and feeling fine. I love to play and sleep in the sun and I really love my food, but mom and my doctor say I need to be on maintenance now that I am at a healthy weight. I like to play chase and I especially love squeaky toys. I have a foster brother and we play chase every day. I take three medications every day – one pill and two liquids. I’m not really happy about that, but I mostly take my medicine well. I need to have bloodwork every six months.

I would really love a forever family. My medicine costs about $70 per month. I eat dry food and two small cans of food every day. Sometimes I eat some treats. I like tomatoes and buttered toast as special treats when mom isn’t looking.

Sampson has been with SMAWL for just over two years now. His foster mom loves him very much, but would love to see him in his own home. Meet Sampson:

Further Reading