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    • Rescue Stories
    • 03 Oct, 2019

    Dumped on our doorstep and rushed into surgery

    As every animal rescue shelter will be able to testify, the infamous image of a cat or dog dumped on the doorstep is often – and tragically – all too real.

    Tiny Ilene, a 9 month-old black kitten, was recently left outside Mayhew after we’d closed for the night, but due to a stroke of luck was noticed by one of our Animal Care Assistants who was working late.

    As well as suffering the trauma of being abandoned, Ilene’s front right leg was severely injured in two different places – her paw was twisted right round, and she had an open wound on her elbow joint where fractured bone fragments were poking through. The horrific elbow injury looked to be at least a week old, and was weeping large amounts of pus.

    Luckily, our Animal Welfare Officer Georgina was close by, so was able to quickly rush over to Mayhew and collect Ilene, before taking the injured cat straight to the RSPCA in Putney for an emergency consultation.

    Sadly, due to the severity of the bone breakage and the state of the wound, there was no saving Ilene’s leg, and the out of hours vets at the RSPCA immediately took her into theatre to perform an amputation.

    Luckily, Ilene’s surgery went well, and she was soon on her way back to Mayhew to rest and recover. Georgina settled her down into a cabin in our hospital ward to get some sleep, and wait for her amputation wound to heal.


    Thankfully, Ilene’s recovery period progressed smoothly, and she was soon able to begin a programme of rehabilitation to get her used to moving, climbing and walking with just three legs.

    “I encourage Ilene to walk around using biscuits – I throw one biscuit at a time slightly away from her, so she has to go and get it, and I also hold biscuits slightly out of her reach above her head, so that she has to stand on her hind legs for them.”

    Animal Care team member

    One of our team members said “She seems to enjoy this game a lot, and she’s so sweet and affectionate – she quickly became very comfortable around me.”

    We are glad to say that Ilene’s confidence and ability are growing every day, and she is recovering from her ordeal extremely well despite her missing limb.

    Her prognosis for the future is good, and we do not expect that she will suffer any further inconvenience once she gets used to navigating on three legs. She currently struggles a little with stairs, but with proper care and guidance her mobility should continue to improve.

    We hope that Ilene will be ready for rehoming very soon, so keep an eye out if you think you can give Ilene her very own happy forever home.


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