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Beartooth Humane Alliance: Emergency Medical Grant Report

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

To offset the expenses related to abdominal surgery provided to Oscar, a young cat who was abandoned and left to starve, and ate whatever he could find in an attempt to survive. His surgery was successful and he now lives with a loving family.

This grant offset the expenses for Oscar, which in turn will allow us to help the next animal that is in need.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

Everyone knows Oscar the Grouch from TV’s Sesame Street, successfully living in a garbage can, but this sweet little feline dumpster-diver didn’t have such good luck.

When a concerned citizen in Joliet, MT, called to tell us that she had found a cat on her property who appeared ill, Cara Kisthard, Beartooth Humane Alliance’s Animal Care Coordinator, drove the 30 miles to make sure the cat was okay.

Upon arrival, Cara picked up the friendly cat and could immediately feel a large hernia on his abdomen. Initially, Cara named him Jack, since he is an orange tabby, the color of a pumpkin. She brought him to Dr. Rebecca Brown, one of our veterinarian partners at Grizzly Peak Animal Hospital, for veterinary care.

Jack was prepped for surgery and, once his belly was shaved, an enormous hernia was clearly visible (bottom photo). During surgery, Dr. Brown discovered that it was not internal organs protruding from the hernia, but actually a large blockage in Jack’s stomach. Upon resection of the stomach, Dr. Brown was surprised to find a mass which included nothing a cat should ever ingest: shoelaces, baling twine, and string (fourth photo). The blockage would not have passed normally and therefore would have caused this poor cat to suffer a very painful death.

Jack’s surgery was a success and he left the operating room on a stiff dose of antibiotics. The costs of his surgery, medication, and hospitalization totaled $602.54.

We realized that Jack was the orange tabby who was one of a couple of cats that a resident of Joliet had abandoned and left to fend for themselves after they moved out of state. He was used to the easy life of a pet cat, with a regular diet of cat food, but that suddenly stopped and he had been living on the streets for weeks with nothing to eat. He had never hunted for mice or birds and had never needed to dig in the garbage for food. He was simply eating anything he could find to extinguish the pangs of hunger that had been all too regular since he was abandoned.

Now that Jack was on the mend, finding a home for him was our next priority. The concerned citizen who had initially found sweet Jack was very concerned for his welfare and had checked on him numerous times during his stay in the hospital. She and her family were willing to give him a forever home. They came to visit him in the hospital and renamed him Oscar. He bonded with them immediately, and especially with their young son.

They were able to take him home straight from the animal hospital for his recovery. He now has a forever home with a family that loves him and can depend on a bowl that is regularly filled with cat food.

Thanks to a concerned citizen, the Beartooth Humane Alliance, quality veterinary care, and a loving family willing to adopt him, this Oscar will no longer live in a garbage can and will never again need to be a dumpster diver.

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