As the holidays approach, we shelter volunteers want to share with you a few of our stories. Over the past year we have provided a safe haven for many cats and kittens. Some have spent a short time at the shelter before finding their forever homes and some will make the shelter home. Each cat/kitten is special in his/her own way, all receive medical care, a warm bed, food to nourish them and lots of love. As an all-volunteer, nonprofit, no kill facility our struggle to survive in the current economy continues to be difficult. We depend upon you, our loyal supporters, to keep our doors open. Heartfelt thanks and many purrs for caringÖ
Bear, a tiny kitten that melted the hearts of many
Bear arrived at the shelter one adoption day having been found in a cemetery — alone — and wrapped up in twine. The woman who found him knew he would be in serious trouble if he did not get help quickly. His leg was injured with the paw infected. Weighing in at only 9 ounces, and not quite knowing how to eat on his own, a shelter volunteer fed him kitten formula.
Bear spent the following few days in the care of a veterinarian. At times he perked up and it seemed as though the little guy would grow to be the beautiful cat he was meant to be. The paw had to be amputated to rid his body of infection if he was to have any chance of survival. After surgery, Bear seemed to be doing ok so he was transferred to a foster home.
In just a few days he started having trouble breathing. Back to the vet for an exam and it was determined that he had fluid in his lungs. The little guy did not have the strength to continue his fight. Bearís life was short, but he managed to leave footprints on the hearts of all who knew him.
You are greatly missed, little Bear.
Hiliary cried for days looking for help
For two days and nights Hilary tried to find a way into the strangersí home. She cried, scratching at the door look for food. Maybe she could have a dish of water? Nothing! Everything she tried failed. Her plea was in vain. On the third day the family called the shelter to complain about the "stray" that was hanging around. They wanted her to be removed.
Responding to the call, the volunteer thought it would be a routine rescue. What she found was a cat lying in wet mulch. She had delivered four premature kittens that were scattered around her. They were all dead. For the first time since her ordeal started, the cat — later named Hiliary — heard a gentle voice speaking quietly to her. She lifted her head looking weak and totally exhausted.
Suddenly, she struggled to stand, walking to each kitten as if to give them a final good bye. As she was about to be placed in the cat carrier she cried, laid down and delivered another kitten.
Weak and barely responding she and her kitten were taken to Tufts Veterinary Hospital. Her last kitten died in route as Hiliary bathed and protected the kitten believing it would survive. After being examined, we were told she was dehydrated, infested with fleas and dealing with a severe infection. Her prognosis was poor. For two days she fought and at times it seemed she might not survive.
Why was Hiliary a stray? Why didn't she get any "human" response when she was desperate? Milford Humane is proud of being able to save Hiliary and regrets not being there to save her kittens. It would only have taken a phone call. There will be other cats like Hiliary and, with your help, we will be there again and again. Someday cats will not be a disposable commodity to be abandoned at will, but for now we continue to be there saving as many as possible.
Crystal had far more medical issues than were first known
Crystal was surrendered with her three two-week old kittens. At one year of age, Crystal had proven to be a survivor. At three months she had been brutally attacked by a dog sustaining severe bites to her face. Her veterinarian at the time saved her life. Unfortunately Crystal was never brought back for follow-up care.
When Milford Humane brought her to be spayed, it was discovered the roof of her mouth had never healed. For the past nine months, whenever she ate, food had filled the hole causing pressure in her nose and eye resulting in pain and infections requiring treatment.
Crystal's case required a specialist surgeon to correct the deformity. The bone had to be cut and connected to close the opening which is making her recuperation extremely painful and difficult. Milford Humane has given Crystal the opportunity to be well again. Throughout all her pain, and inability to eat — her favorite past time — Crystalís patience, loving personality and endurance is evident. She is a miracle feline!
As with many of the cats/kittens that arrive at the shelter Crystal's case has been a strain financially. Her surgery was not routine and her recovery will be slow. Please consider contributing so we can continue to provide care for Crystal during her recuperation.
Leo loves to play fetch
When Amber and her kittens came to Milford Humane, it was apparent that little Leo was different from the rest of the family. While he and his siblings all played and got stronger, Leo's skull and eyes appeared misshaped. He didn't seem uncomfortable but an exam by a specialist seemed to be in order.
While Leo is in no immediate danger, the vets can't be sure whether his head size is simply a genetic attribute or something that could later cause him neurological problems. Because of the unknown variables, Leo went home with a volunteer who will watch for signs of change in his condition. For now, Leo is having a great time and requires only eye drops. He enjoys impersonating a dog — his favorite game is fetch and he loves to drop his mouse into a hand to have it thrown so he came bring it back.
2012 has been a busy year for Milford Humane. In October we celebrated our tenth year at the shelter on West Street. During those years we have rescued thousands of cats/kittens, found loving homes for many of them and sheltered the others. We have laughed at the kitten antics and cried at the loss of some of our old friends. We have also struggled with the bad economy trying to make do with less like many of you.
Our commitment to the animals is strong and the need in the local area remains great. No matter how many we spay or neuter, there are more that need help. Those who feel the economy is better should stop by the shelter and hear the stories of people surrendering their pets.
Just last week two adult males were abandoned in a carrier outside the shelter. One of the cats is blind from scar tissue cause by herpes virus. While we stretch our funds to cover vet care, food and litter, this cat will be seeing an eye specialist to determine is anything can be done for him. In the meantime, he is safe and warm. How sad so many animals are disposable.
Our shelter operates at full capacity all the time. There is never a quiet time. Yes, we want to save them all, but your help is needed to continue the struggle. MHS, unlike many shelters, does not assess a catís adoptability as the main criteria for making the commitment to rescue. Many of our rescued cats have never known human touch and their trust has to be earned. At MHS we feel all life is precious and no animal is expendable. It is a difficult path we have chosen to follow both emotionally and financially. The joy and heartache of operating a no kill facility are many. In some cases, like Bear, we do not succeed but certainly not for lack of trying and Bear knew warmth and love in the short time we were lucky enough to be blessed with his presence.
Our stories are about real rescues in the local area and mention only a few of the many cats/kittens that have benefit from your generosity. We thank you, our loyal supporters. You make it happen.
When you are planning your holiday festivities, please include MHS. Every donation, large or small, is greatly appreciated. As a volunteer organization, all monies raised directly benefits the animals.
May your holidays be merry and the warmth of sharing the gift of unconditional love be yours throughout the New Year.
Milford Humane Society Volunteers
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