On December 7, two kittens named Echo and Foxtrot arrived in “horrific pain” at the nonprofit Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County. An animal control officer found the kittens with severe injuries, maimed and wobbling on their feet. As you can see below, Foxtrot has tabby stripes, while Echo has black fur, and both have beautiful blue kitten eyes.
Echo and Foxtrot Both Had Amputated Legs
Sadly, each tiny one-pound furball had an amputated rear left leg, and one had a third of its tail missing. Worse, the wounds were raw and infected. As Echo and Foxtrot walked, they would continue to open up the wounds.
“Our staff knew they needed urgent attention to help ease their pain,” the shelter posted to Facebook. “So we immediately started them on medication to fight infection and relieve some of their discomforts as our expert vet team cleaned and wrapped their wounds.”
First, the kittens would need time to recover in foster care. Then, they would require surgery to allow them to walk normally.
“After a thorough exam and observing the kittens, our vets were concerned with how much the babies use their stumps to move around. They were further irritating their sores and causing them to open up and bleed with every step. Our vet team determined that performing amputations further up their legs is essential if the kittens are ever going to lead a normal life, free from infection and pain,” they stated.
A Rise in Animal Cruelty
Today, it’s not clear what caused the injuries, and it may have been an animal attack or an act of animal cruelty. However, the surrounding Puget Sound region saw a shocking rise in animal cruelty cases in 2020 and 2021. For example, in 2021, the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County cared for over 2,000 kittens. With all those kittens, many require round-the-clock care.
Alarmingly, while there were 9 cruel incidents in 2019, the number rose to 25 cases cited by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in 2020. Possibly, that was related to the pandemic’s start, but the trend continued in 2021, at 21 animal cruelty cases. As a result, shelter workers were flooded with critical medical cases. (see video below)
Fortunately, these kittens made it to the kind rescuers’ and veterinarians’ hands. However, surgeries would cost thousands to save their lives, reliant on generous donations from the community. Thus, a Humane Society representative reached out for help to ensure that Echo and Foxtrot would make it, appearing on the local KING 5 news.
Video by KING 5:
Echo and Foxtrot Receive Life-Saving Surgeries
Now, flash forward to March 16, and the shelter made a wonderful announcement – the community donations allowed Echo and Foxtrot to get the care they needed. And, the story has a happy ending for these kitty cuties.
“Animal lovers from Pierce County and beyond reached out to contribute to the kittens’ care and send love and encouragement for their recovery,” they posted in February.
Wonderfully, the kittens can run and play and nothing holds them back.
“The shelter’s veterinarians did an amazing job. After their amputations, they could walk, run, and jump with ease. They no longer winced from pain,” said their foster parent Amy Coy, who helped the kittens recover after surgery with “love and cuddles.”
According to their foster care provider, the kittens were “cuddly, social, and gentle.”
A Forever Home with A Familiar Face
Amazingly, the animal control officer who delivered the kittens to the Human Society in December decided to adopt Echo and Foxtrot.
According to King 5, “Coy said it was ‘love at first sight’ for the kittens and the officer, adding, ‘They will now live forever pain-free in a loving home. They deserve nothing less.'”
Video by KING 5:
Preparing for Spring Kitten Season
Each spring, shelters nationwide brace for ‘kitten season,’ when hundreds of kittens arrive at their doors.
Likewise, the Tacoma Humane Society is getting ready, offering a third annual Virtual Kitten Shower event.
“Spring showers don’t just rain cats and dogs – it also rains kittens! Lots of kittens,” states their website. March marks the start of kitten season. As the warmer months approach, unaltered female cats go into heat, and the mating season begins.”
Images via The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, Facebook.