////Will You Help Rudy Heal from Severe Trauma?
Will You Help Rudy Heal from Severe Trauma?2019-01-15T12:15:12-04:00

Kitten Rushed to Animal League America After Suffering Severe Trauma

The young tabby, who received a new lease on life thanks to your support of our one-of-a-kind Help Me Heal Program, has found the perfect responsible, loving home to call his own! After suffering such a horrific tragedy to begin his life, Rudy is now safe and sound in the care of a human family who simply adores him. He and his two feline siblings, Gus and Luigi, have the run of the house – chasing the laser pointer, playing with their toys, and racing up and down the stairs with reckless abandon. The three of them have slowly, but surely, built the type of solid bond that their parents hoped they would when they introduced them to one another.

“We brought them home and slowly introduced the cats to one another. Rudy, who we re-named Toga, and Gus immediately became friends. He seems to have regained the lost months of his kitten-hood because he’s always racing around our house with 8-month-old Gus,” said their mom, Joanne. “Toga has also bonded with Luigi, our three-year-old cat. They also race around the house, chasing each other. Sometimes they’ll fall asleep within inches of each other. It’s so adorable.”

After months of recovering from intensive surgery in our Pet Health Centers, Toga’s physical scars have healed wonderfully, but some of the mental scars still remain. Joanne said he’s still learning to trust humans, but she sees steady improvement as each day passes.

“Of course, Toga did undergo severe trauma at a young age, and scars remain. His snaggle-toothed mouth is rather endearing. His emotional scars will take longer to heal. When someone walks past him, he will frequently dash away,” she said. “We are sure that in time, Toga will relax and realize that he is completely safe here, and very well loved. He has found his forever home!”

Rudy has rebounded very quickly since undergoing major reconstructive surgery on his face and jaw in mid-April. The lacerations on his face have completely disappeared and the broken bones in his jaw are almost fully healed, giving this adorable 9-month-old Tabby a brand new lease on life. He’s already eating soft foods and ready to continue his recovery in his new Foster Care home.

Rudy was recently placed in the care of Animal League America Foster Care Parent, Nadine Bernstein. She has fostered more than 100 kittens since becoming a volunteer four years ago, including Zane and Alex, two cats who needed the care and compassion of our Help Me Heal Program to recover from their traumatic injuries. Both animals were provided with everything they needed to make a full recovery and were eventually placed in responsible, loving homes. Alex has done so well during his time with Nadine that he is now ready for adoption, Zane has been adopted, but he didn’t have to look very hard to find his perfect match. He was adopted by Nadine, who said she just couldn’t let him go when her time with him was up.

Nadine said Rudy will have all the resources he needs to fully blossom into the fun-loving, curious cat we all know he can be. He is still a little shy, but that is no surprise considering the trauma he experienced at such a young age. He will learn to socialize with other cats, roam freely around the house, and live the type of comfortable, carefree life we hope all of our residents one day get to enjoy.

“Rudy chose me,” said Nadine when asked why she chose to open her heart and her home to the ailing cat. “He’s going to grow up really fast in my home. I have three cats, so he’ll certainly learn socialization skills and how to adjust to life in a home environment. The more the merrier I say!”

Warning: Some images may be graphic.

No living creature should have to suffer the pain and uncertainty that Rudy must have felt as he lay helplessly on the side of the road after being violently struck by a car or truck. His face and head badly bloodied and battered, the kitten no more than 8 months of age, was on the brink of death when he was picked up and brought to Animal Care Centers of New York City.

From there he was rushed to Animal League America’s Pet Health Centers where he underwent emergency lifesaving surgery to repair a severely fractured right lower jaw and shattered bones on the right side of his face. The skin on his jaw was also torn off due to the kinetic impact with the asphalt, leaving the bones of his mandible almost completely exposed.

“We are going to take Rudy in for surgery immediately. He presented to us with significant facial trauma, with much of the skin on his lower jaw sheered almost completely off,” said Dr. Marina Tejada, who was the first veterinarian on the scene when Rudy arrived in our Emergency Care Unit. “He’s also open-mouth breathing, which means he likely has some injury to his nasal passages. We’ll be able to evaluate that further when he’s under sedationand additional repairs may be needed. We would likely insert a feeding tube so he can get the nutrients he needs.”

Doctor Tejada said to even further compound Rudy’s dire situation, the tiny tabby was also dealing with intestinal parasites and had litter caked to his body when he arrived. This is obviously a case of a neglected kitten with nobody to watch out for him or provide him with the love and guidance he needed. This time of the year especially, when kitten season begins to ramp up in the Northeast, cases of stray cats and kittens become more prevalent and unfortunate situations such as these more likely.

Luckily for Rudy, Animal League America’s one-of-a-kind Help Me Heal Program was there to rescue him and provide him with the urgent care he needed when disaster struck. He was placed in the hands of Senior Vice President and Chief of Veterinary Staff, Dr. Mark Verdino, who was tasked with performing the delicate surgery. The significance of his injuries combined with his weakened state would make for a difficult undertaking, but it would be Rudy’s only chance at survival.

“His injuries were more extensive than we thought. His right mandible (lower jaw) was fractured as were the bones on the right side of his face/maxilla. He must have gotten hit pretty hard by whatever type of vehicle hit him,” said Dr. Verdino. “While these fractures should heal okay, it will certainly delay his recovery. We placed a feeding tube and will be bypassing his mouth for all feeding for the next 4-6 weeks.”

Your generous support of our Help Me Heal Program makes it possible to provide animals like Rudy with the absolute best care and compassion available, and help keep it available for the next animal in need. Your donation today helps to support our no-kill work and gives a chance at life to so many in need.