In 2017, Five Acres Animal Shelter in Missouri opened their doors to a group of special cats. But uncommonly, they had been rescued from a hoarding/breeding situation. During the operation, a total of 90 cats were removed from the deplorable conditions. There was something different about these cats though. Because most of them were a rare breed of feline called the Havana Brown.
There are only about 1,000 of them estimated on earth! And these Havana Brown cats never experienced life outside of their small and filthy cages.
The stunning brown cats are hybrids of the Siamese. But Havana Browns are named for their coat color, which resemble Cuban cigars. Reading through breed characteristics of the Havana Brown, my heart broke even more for these cats.
“Havanas must have human interaction if they are to live happy, healthy lives.”
“They crave attention from their human companions. And are not content unless they can be by your side, helping you with your household tasks. Havanas love to reach out and touch their favorite humans. They often nudge their human friends with an out-stretched paw as if asking for attention.”
But that’s exactly what these poor neglected felines were kept from for years.
When they arrived at Five Acres, no one knew quite what to expect from the cats.
And as expected, they were met with absolute heartbreak.
“We quickly learned that many of them suffered from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). They paced in their cages, foamed at the mouth and were extremely scared.”
They were all spayed/neutered right away if medically possible. Extensive lab work was completed and many required several rounds of antibiotics. Because their overall health was so neglected, most also had to undergo dental extractions for rotted teeth.
But that was only the physical aspects however.
With the trauma they endured, it took hundreds of human hours of gentle and patient interaction to help with their mental adjustment. Happily, by early December, some were ready for adoption. The shelter would be taking extra precautions with them though.
Adoptions were by appointment only and ONLY after pre-approval. They wanted to make sure the deserving cats were place within quiet homes. Above all, then needed to be with families that had a lot of time to spend loving them.
One of the Havana Brown felines was physically suffering from the devastating reality of the caged situation.
The cat they named Acorn, had PTSD and was unable to walk standing up straight.
After living what was likely his entire life, crouched down in a small cage, both his kneecaps were dislocated. He would need surgery on both his knees if he were ever to be able to walk without pain.
“His emotional and physical pain was unbearable. And we knew we had to do something drastic to improve his quality of life.”
So the staff at the shelter took Acorn for medical consultations regularly.
“He is in daily pain, and walks crouched down. Both legs need surgery and there is no guarantee it will work but to give him any chance at a better quality of life, we have to try.”
After months of searching for a solution, they found a doctor who’d perform a risky surgery on the Havana Brown.
Dr. Arndt and the Humane Society of Missouri were instrumental in saving Acorn’s life. They began fundraising efforts to cover the cost of the procedure and after care.
With the support of their followers and donors, they raised thousands for Acorn’s surgery. Not only would the surgery be paid for. But funds for 6 weeks of physical therapy and laser treatments had been covered!
So his surgery was scheduled for July 2018, going off without a hitch.
Afterwards he stayed at the vet for unique physical therapy every week; only returning to his foster home on the weekends.
“Acorn is very shy so this will be a tough process. Please keep Acorn in your thoughts today.”
Most importantly, in the fall of 2018, Acorn made an amazing turn around.
Acorn is not just a 1-in-a-million Havana Brown cat. Because he is the first cat to utilize the underwater treadmill during his rehabilitation!
Acorn even loved hanging out with the families children. Surprisingly, even their dog! It was quite a difference from the scared and damaged soul he once was.
“He also benefits from Laser treatment to go along with his underwater treadmill exercise. He wears little kitty goggles to keep his eyes from getting damaged. And we must admit, he is just too cute with these on!”
In the end of October 2018, Five Acres began fundraising again to continue his successful underwater therapy sessions.
And with that, they had great news to share with their followers.
Way to go Acorn!!!
Thank you to everyone that helped in the hoarding situation. But not to forget the endless hours helping the animals in your areas and the support provided for them all!
Meanwhile, sweet Acorn even made it on the local news! <3
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!
Related Video: (Warning graphic content) 60+ Cats/Kittens Rescued from Farm Hoarding Situation