Warning: Some images may be heartbreaking.
The unwavering commitment of North Shore Animal League America to save every life knows no bounds. This was never more true than for Quartz, who at just weeks old needed all of our resources to survive.
Quartz’s battered body was found in Brooklyn by a Good Samaritan. It appeared he had most likely been hiding under the hood of a car, and his hind legs were caught up in the fan belt when the engine started. The trauma caused to his limbs was heart-wrenching, yet our Pet Health Centers team leapt into action, determined to mend Quartz’s shattered world.
Dr. Mark Verdino, Animal League America Chief of Veterinary Staff, explained, “Quartz’s right hind leg was unfortunately without any viable soft tissue, so we had no choice but to amputate that limb. The left hind foot was also very traumatized with exposed tendon and bone on the top surface, but we are employing aggressive wound care to get the tissue to heal and hoping we end up with a functional foot at the end of the day.” The team’s innovative approach included the application of stem cell ointment and a matrix of collagen that aimed to accelerate tissue regrowth.
The challenges were formidable – with Quartz’s feral nature, he tended to protest each bandage change and subsequent treatment. And since he was a fairly active kitten, the bandages needed to be changed more often as they would become soiled. The staff remained ever vigilant to prevent infection. Doctors took Quartz’s kitten-like playfulness as a good sign that he did have feeling in the paw. Cats can function well with three legs; however, the loss of both hind legs would create significant challenges for Quartz.
Thankfully, after a few weeks, it was clear the treatment was working and the tissue on the damaged paw was healing, and Quartz was getting stronger every day. Another great outcome is that Quartz learned to trust his human caretakers, and discovered the true joy of chin rubs, back scratches, and chasing a wiggly teaser tail. Soon, Quartz was ready to say goodbye to his friends at our Pet Health Centers and make new friends at our Adoption Center while he waited to find his purr-fect home. Happily, he didn’t have to wait very long.
We are thrilled to announce Quartz found a mom who truly understands and appreciates what makes him so special. Four years ago, Kelly adopted a kitten who had also been found on the roadside and required surgery to remove a paw and part of her tail. Once Kelly met Quartz, she felt it was meant to be: “When I saw Quartz, I didn’t realize he had his back leg amputated, but when I did see that I just knew I had to have him. He is a perfect fit here.” Renamed Simon, he’s busy taking in all the luxuries in his new home. “Simon is settling in very well,” Kelly said. “He has plenty of toys, loves the tunnel and cat tree and comfy bed. He seems to be getting stronger in walking with his one hind leg and I have no doubt he will be running around in no time!”