On October 29th, Martun Davoyan was on his way to work when he noticed a kitten near the side of the road. The poor kitten looked nervous trying to approach the road and that’s when Martun realized it looked like it was dragging it’s back legs. As soon as he got to work, he told them he needed to go back and help the kitten. Taking to the internet, he posted on the Nextdoor App for community help in capturing her.
Martun had no clue just how much help the kitten with the damaged back legs truly needed.
So he and his wife spent the next 2 hours on a dedicated rescue mission, never giving up. They were finally able to locate the sad soul, hiding underneath a slab of concrete. Carefully coaxing it out and gently grabbing the young kitten. They then rushed to the vet with their find, which turned out to be a little girl.
They weren’t sure if she had a genetic condition causing the issues. But at her exam, they seemed to be consistent with being hit by a car or after a bad fall. But she was only about 2 months old, the poor thing. And after examining her x-rays at the veterinarian, they were given very devastating news.
She would have to have an FHO, or femoral head ostectomy. And the initial cost was estimated at $4,000-$6,000 USD!
FHO is a surgical procedure that aims to restore pain-free mobility to a diseased or damaged hip, by removing the head and neck of the femur (the long leg bone or thighbone).
An FHO restores mobility to the hip by removing the head of the femur. This removes the ball of the ball-and-socket joint, leaving just an empty socket. The muscles of the leg will initially hold the femur in place and, over time, scar tissue will form between the acetabulum and the femur to provide cushioning that is referred to as a ‘false joint’. Although this joint is anatomically very different from a normal hip joint, it provides pain-free mobility in most patients.
When those that had joined the initial search online heard of the surgery required for the kittens legs, they jumped into action.
A GoFundMe was started for the little girl that they named Dino. But then that evening, they could not get the sweet girl to eat. No one knows how long she was alone and away from her mother, possibly missing out on nursing. At 2 months, she should have been onto solid foods but being sick, appetites usually suffer. Dino also began bleeding a little bit from her rectum.
As much as Martun and his wife wanted to care for her, they didn’t know how. Luckily though, another of Dino’s growing fan-base and supporters did.
She reached out privately since she fosters kittens too. And then she drove over to their home at 11:00 pm with supplies like food/heating blankets/bowls/etc! She taught them the basics of kitten care – scruffing, etc. and got her to eat from her fingers. Dino was alert and running around slightly scared. But she confirmed Dino was socialized, and not a feral/stray at all. Thankfully, the rectum bleed looked maybe to be a tiny tear, probably from the thermometer at the vet.
But it wasn’t just her legs that had been causing Dino pain.
The next day in the morning they noticed her crying and unable to pee. So they quickly rushed her back to vet.
Bloodwork indicated bladder surgery would be required that day! Took to surgery specialist for ultrasound and it indicated a probable abdominal wall hernia. Which could be causing bladder issues, but would require exploratory surgery. Only then, could they determine the extent of the internal injuries and bladder damage. Sadly, they also noticed her pelvis was out of position, so potentially more fractures.
The total cost of care is going to be at least $12,000.
As much as the neighbors wanted to welcome Dino into their home and cover all her expenses, they simply could not. Severe allergies would not allow it no matter how attached the family had become to her.
Again, the Good Samaritan helped by reaching out to as many rescue partners she could. But with the year-round kitten season near Los Angeles, no one could take her in.
So the extremely difficult and heartbreaking decision was made to euthanize Dino so she wouldn’t be in pain.
It took hours for them to accept this decision and were devastated that they couldn’t help her.
When we decided to euthanize Dino, we wanted to see her first to give her love and say goodbye. It had not even been 24 hours and we were all in love with her. All the humans were bonded, even though we just met via the Nextdoor App the night before.
While they became more and more upset with the forced decision and the delay, the tears began to turn into frustration and anger. But then the nurse came in their room and explained just why they had put the sad humans through it.
Then the nurse comes in and says “Okay the reason it’s taking so long is one of our technicians just learned about Dino. And she wants to adopt her if you will surrender her to the hospital”.
We all went from somber tears to cries and tears of joy! We said yes definitely and would love to still see Dino to say bye and if possible meet her savior.
The technician giving Dino a “legs” up in life, is a wonderful woman named Danielle Sekeroglu.
It was truly a roller-coaster 24 hours of emotions. Little Dino has a long road ahead to repair the damage. But she’s already had the first surgery to repair the abdominal wall and in a few weeks will have the legs fixed.
The gofundme now is administered by the neighbor who rescued her and her new mom who adopted her knowing the medical expense road ahead – yes gets employee discount but still going to be costly in money but also time to get her well.
Thank you so much to Alisa Lara for sharing this beautiful story with Cole and Marmalade. And she hit the nail on the head with what she told me.
In 24 hours a group of strangers who happen to be “neighbors” have raised over $1200 for this sweet girl. Warms my heart. As you know the rescue world can break your heart. So when we have heart lifting human stories that help sick/injured animals, it’s a great day in the rescue world.
Even though Dino was now safe and loved, all wasn’t purrfect just yet.
Just before the new year, the successful GoFundMe was updated. While still positive news, Dino’s journey had taken a little detour.
Just visited VCA and passed along the donations. Dino has a new owner and her new name is Lizzy. The original owner’s pets were not really happy with Dino so another employee adopted her. She is doing really well. If we get another picture I will share here. For now this is it. Thank you very much for all the support!
What is important to note, is that healing Dino’s legs was the first priority. But to do so, she needed to be happy and calm enough to focus on that. And her rescuer knew her best opportunity would be elsewhere.
It’s not easy for us to sometimes make that decision, but we’re so grateful Lizzy has a TEAM of people looking out for her.