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FosterGiving Animals a Fighting Chance

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My name is Samantha and I am a licensed Veterinary Technologist and I work at the Detroit Lakes Animal Hospital. I have worked closely with the Humane Society of the Lakes for around a year now. I helped get a routine set up between the Humane Society and our animal hospital to examine and vaccinate all the animals that come into the building. Through this work the staff has come to learn I a have a very large soft spot for cats, especially ones needing more intense medical attention. At work one day I received a call from the ladies at HSL and it went something like this;

“Hi Sam, we have a huge favor to ask! We received a call about a mother cat who gave birth yesterday and the kittens did not make it and she is not doing well. We really want to give this girl a chance but we are over capacity. Would you be able to foster her if we can get her in?”

When she came in she was not in a good place. Frankly we did not have high hopes for her making it. She was extremely malnourished, frail, and had an obvious mass in her abdomen that we had hoped was a lodge kitten. We tested her for possible infectious diseases which all came back negative and proceeded to take radiographs. On these radiographs it was obvious she had a mass and needed surgery immediately. With all of our results we discussed with the HSL staff our options moving forward. This was not going to be a cheap expedition and she was going to require a lengthy hospital stay. Through the help of the community we were able to raise the funds needed for her supportive care and we went into surgery.

When we went into surgery and opened Evie up we did not find a kitten as we were expecting; we found that her intestines had twisted upon themselves. Things got a little hairier at this point. After an hour in surgery we had removed approximately 7 inches of her intestines and she was in recovery. Now it was a waiting game.

The day after surgery Evelyn was doing amazing. She was eating and drinking on her own and moving around like a mad woman. She was deemed medically ‘okay’ to come home with me to continue her care over the weekend. Taking a medical foster home is always nerve wracking but I am thankful to have the knowledge and resources to do so. Mrs. Evelyn was just the sweetest most appreciative little girl when we got home. For the first week she was not strong enough to jump or climb and so she would come up to you and meow until you picked her up and let her snuggle. She would also give us scares by laying down in the middle of the floor and not moving but we soon learned that was just her favorite way to relax.

Evelyn came with me to work every day and I would weigh her every morning. It was a beautiful sight to see the scale go up. Even if it was just 0.2lbs, that was worth a celebration! As I write this up she has gained over 2 lbs. and acts like she runs the house. She has a fiendish appetite and is a big fan of a fuzzy blanket.

We do not know exactly what caused her intestines to become twisted in the first place and may have to face the big cancer fight eventually. We as a community have given her more time to enjoy the pampered life she deserves.

I am thankful for my ability to foster and help animals like Evelyn have a fighting chance.

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