UTAH – A cat found dragging himself by his own two front legs into a Starbucks drive-thru is getting a new chance at life thanks to the diligence of a network of nonprofit animal rescues.
The silver-furred tabby who has bright blue eyes, named Bruno, was fortunate to drag himself into the Starbucks drive-thru in St. George late one night back in March where he was spotted by a volunteer from the animal rescue group P.A.W.S. (short for Providing Animals With Support).
P.A.W.S event coordinator Sabrina Todd scooped him up that night and brought him to the organization’s headquarters for initial treatment.
“Most likely his back end got clipped by a car,” Todd stated of the injury.
Having determined that the cat was indeed a stray, Todd then consulted Kris Neal of the nonprofit cat rescue One More Chance. Neal, who is quite experienced in dealing with injured stray and feral cats, referred Bruno to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab.
Best Friends is a nonprofit animal sanctuary that has an extensive facility equipped to house and treat just about any kind of animal.
Another volunteer from P.A.W.S. ended up driving Bruno to the sanctuary the next day to diagnose the injury.
An X-ray showed extreme damage to both back legs, including a broken haunch on one hind leg and also a broken ankle on the other.
“The easiest and most cost-effective decision is to amputate because cats only need one leg back there to survive,” Todd explained. “Usually, when an animal loses a leg, they adjust just fine.”
However, even further examination showed that the cat had been in that condition for some time.
“The leg with the broken haunch had gone untreated for too long, as well as the other leg,” Todd stated, “so the leg with the broken ankle wasn’t strong enough to be the only leg back there.”
The fix was determined to be an extremely expensive surgery that could only be done by a specialist based in Las Vegas.
“The surgery was the only choice,” Todd stated. “It was either that or he had to be put down, and there’s really no reason for that.”
Best Friends ended up arranging for the surgery, which repaired the broken haunch and ankle, allowing Bruno to save both legs.
“After the surgery, it’s no quick fix,” Todd added, “He has weeks and weeks of extensive rehab.”
The cat was then returned to Best Friends, which is well-equipped with veterinarians and staff to conduct the rehabilitation.
“He’s receiving around-the-clock care from people who have a lot of knowledge in that area,” Todd stated.
Though he struggled a bit at first, Bruno is now working with staff to complete his rehabilitation. Once he’s fully healed from his injuries, he will return to P.A.W.S. and become available for adoption.
“We want to find him a really good home just like we do for all of them,” Todd stated. “He is lucky because he does have looks going for him. He’s really handsome, he has bright blue eyes and he’s a really pretty cat.”
Bruno is very lucky to have been surrounded by so many active and willing resources.
“Everybody has been working together for this cat,” Todd stated.
P.A.W.S. works with a strictly volunteer staff and specializes in retrieving cats and dogs from shelters which might have otherwise euthanized the animals.
“Once we get the animals, we get them fixed, we get them vaccinated and microchipped and then we place them in quality homes.”
P.A.W.S. does screen all potential adopters before allowing any animal to be adopted.
“We don’t just give them to anybody because most of the animals we get have been through a lot,” Todd stated, “and we want to make sure they’re going to their final home.”
The rescue also offers a great low-cost spay and neuter program to reduce the population of unwanted animals.
Similarly, Neal’s One More Chance works to reduce feral cat populations through a trap, neuter, and release program on feral colonies, a humane solution to reducing the feral population.
Best Friends is part of a larger organization called Best Friends Animal Society which works to both place animals in homes and also comfortably house animals unsuitable for adoption for their entire lives.
The cost of Bruno’s expensive surgery is still outstanding, and a GoFundMe fundraiser has been put in place to help pay for the pricey but life-saving operation.