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Where do you look for a cat that’s not technically
yours but you love it and are worried
about its whereabouts when it stops showing up? The TLC Animal Service
Center of course and that’s where Patty Roberts found “GJ” the gold-colored
neighborhood-roaming cat that had stopped visiting days earlier. Rachel,
Patty’s 12-year-old daughter, also loved the friendly feline and looked
for him everyday when she stayed with her grandmother after school.
Though cat-loving folks in the apartment complex recognized the sweet
cat who would beg for food, to be petted and would dart in the door
if given the chance, since the young cat wore no tags no one knew who
he belonged to, if anyone.
When Patty entered the Animal Service
Center, meowing loud in the first row of cages was “GJ” formerly known
to Patty and daughter as “Freddie” short for “Freddie-the-free-loader.”
It was a happy reunion for both and a terrific surprise for Rachel when
her mother picked her up from her grandmother’s that afternoon and had
“Freddie” in the car. Once home and now an official member of the family,
“Freddie” was named “GJ” short for Goldie Jr. after the family’s 18-pound
Maine Coon cat.
But the happy story took a dramatic downturn
the next day when the newly adopted cat got very sick. “He began coughing,
sneezing, salivating . . . he couldn’t breathe,” Patty said. So she
took him to an emergency vet who announced “GJ” had the worst case of
an upper respiratory infection in a cat she had ever seen. How he got
it no one knew.
Patty chose to get whatever treatments
were necessary to try and save “GJ’s” life. The intravenous drips with
fluids, antibiotics, tests to rule out other possible problems and a
week-long stay at the veterinarian worked. “GJ” pulled through, made
it home and began a long slow healing process with plenty of love from
And then the bill came. “I didn’t know
what to do,” said Patty. “I’m a single mom and I wasn’t prepared to
deal with it. I called the Animal Service Center and learned there is
a financial aid program (TREATS) where you can apply for help with medical
bills for your pet. I went online and learned about it, then filled
out an application I picked up from the Center.
“They got back with me and were
able to help with some funds. I am so grateful. Everybody was paid and
now “GJ” is completely happy and healthy. My daughter calls him by even
another name sometimes--“Fruit Loops” because he runs around crazily
with so much energy.
Maggie is a spayed beagle mix with an unknown past, but it is believed that she is between 2 and 4 years old. She is being fostered
and is currently living with three dogs, a cat, and two children.
At some time in her young life, Maggie suffered a trauma to her right front leg, an injury that went untreated by a previous owner.
The broken bone was not corrected and has since healed facing in the wrong direction. Her non-broken leg has also suffered damage from overcompensating
for her hurt leg. In order to correct these problems, Maggie would need extensive surgery.
TREATS, through it's vet medical assistance program, helped pay for some of the cost of Maggie's care. In addition, we have received
contributions from several people to help Maggie, after her story ran in the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper.
If you would like to make a donation to help pay for some of the costs of treating Maggie, or the many
other animals like her that TREATS helps every year, please
send a check, payable to TREATS, to P.O. Box 14806, Tallahassee, FL 32317-4806. You may also use the Paypal link on our site to make a donation.
Update - October 30, 2007
Steps to correct Maggie’s damaged front legs are currently underway. The University of Florida veterinary school in Gainesville has
outlined plans for fixing her legs. The first surgery took place in early October 2007. This surgery was on her left front leg, the non-broken leg that
has been left weak and misshapen from the extra load it has had to bear since her initial injury to the right leg. The left leg now contains a large metal brace with pins that
were inserted to straighten and strengthen her leg ahead of the major surgery on her badly damaged right leg. Healing of the left leg has gone
very well, and she will have the brace and pins removed at the end of November. To Maggie’s credit, the pain of the operation and burden of the pins and
brace have not diminished her playfulness or enthusiasm; she lives to run and play with the dogs in her foster family.
She apparently is getting to be quite the star at the vet school. The chief orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lewis, specializes in angular deformities (crooked
limbs!) and he said that Maggie's other leg is so bad that he will see a case like her's only once every ten years. She has been a great learning case
for the students at the school, so both sides seem to be benefitting from her going there.
Yesterday, Maggie's owner saw the model that they had made of her right leg - they've actually made several models so that they can practice the operating
procedure that will take place sometime in December. Dr. Lewis is trying to convince a manufacturer of some of the surgery equipment to pay for some of
Update - November 14, 2007
Maggie’s second and more complicated surgery will take place in late November or early December.
This operation will require her damaged right paw to be turned back to the forward position. The difficulty of this surgery is evident in the fact that the chief surgeon had to take a detailed series of x-rays in order to
create rubber models on which to perform “practice” surgeries prior to the real thing. Recovery from this surgery will likely be longer and more
difficult for Maggie. However, given her reaction to the first surgery, we are confident that her personality will allow her to pull through this latest
challenge in her life.
Update - November 28, 2007
Maggie visited Gainesville today. We learned she will have the pins from the first surgery (left leg) on for 3 more
weeks. Tomorrow she will have the second surgery.
Update - November 29, 2007
Maggie underwent her second surgery today, this one on the badly developed right leg.
After seven hours on the operating table, the doctor declared the operation a success and Maggie was placed in the Intensive care unit to begin her long,
but hopefully successful recovery. Apparently her blood pressure had dropped pretty low at some point during the surgery, but she got through it and her
vitals returned to normal after she came out of the anesthesia ....she's a tough little dog! Maggie now has a second brace to match her first one. The new brace is expected to be on for about 12 weeks, after
which her leg will be re-evaluated before the brace can be removed. Maggie should be able to return to Tallahassee sometime next week.
Update - December 10, 2007
Maggie arrived home in Tallahassee early this evening. Her foster parents said she
was starting to go stir crazy in Gainesville and was very happy to be home. They treated her very well at the vet school.
Maggie was located in a ward that was under 24-hour care....a student intern had to spend the night there every night. Apparently they let her out of her
cage to sleep in the bed with them at night....she got the extra care that we were hoping for.
Her right leg is no longer turned backwards. It's not perfectly straight, but the new brace is lengthening her leg (it is a little shorter than the left
one) and will turn it a little more forward over time. The new device will be on for about 12 weeks and will require Maggie's foster parents to tighten the
screws about every 8 hours.
Update - January 9, 2008
Maggie returned briefly to Gainesville over Christmas to have her original brace removed and her new one
refitted. The new brace successfully stretched her problem leg 4 centimeters to match her other front leg, as well as gradually turning the paw to get it
lined up straight. Maggie will return to Gainesville again tomorrow to have her leg evaluated to see if it is to the point where it is as straight as the doctor
wants. If that is the case, it will be set and remain in the brace for at least another few months while it strengthens and sets in a straight position.
Maggie's foster parents said they think they are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!
Update - January 21, 2008
Maggie returned to Gainesville about a week and a half ago and things are looking good. Her leg
has straightened to the point that the doctor was satisfied so he set it in place for the remaining 6 weeks or so. Maggie's foster parents will take her back
to Gainesville for a follow-up visit in mid-February. After that, she should only have one more visit to go before the brace is removed for good.
One night last November Joleen Williams,
of Jefferson County, was traveling to work on Thomasville road when
she saw a black dog thrashing in the middle of the road. She had never
seen the dog before but she knew she had to help. In the dark with heavy
traffic Joleen pulled over on the side of the road, jumped out of her
truck, bolted across a lane of traffic and scooped the helpless dog
up in her arms. The lab weighted around 60 pounds and although it was
a struggle, Joleen ran back across traffic and gently laid the dog in
the back of her truck. Frantic, Joleen drove to the nearest animal emergency
room and had the dog immediately treated.
Identified by her collar, the dog's name was Maxi.
She is a 14 year old black lab that was hit by a car after escaping
from her owners. Fortunately, Maxi was able to go home the next afternoon
but she was very sore. Her left eye was damaged by the impact of the
accident, but the veterinarians prognosis was that she would be fine.
According to her family, Maxie is a survivor. Maxi's family loves her
dearly. To honor Joleen for her heroism Maxi's family made a donation
to TREATS in her name.
TREATS thanks Joleen for her heroism and Maxi's family
for the wonderful donation. Joleen really made a difference in Maxi's
life that morning and the donation made in her name will make a difference
in another pet's life.
The below stories are just two of the many animals
helped by Cash for Critters funding.
Many cats and dogs have been spayed, neutered and received medical assistance
thanks to your participation.
Pachino is a sweet pit bull mix refugee of Hurricane Katrina. Pachino
earned his name because of his scrapes and cuts, evidence of his dark
past as a bait dog for pit bull fighting. He ended up at the shelter
in Hattiesburg Mississippi where a shelter volunteer fell in love with
him and brought him back to Tallahassee for fostering and a new future.
Pachino was very ill from the storm
water, heartworms, and his multiple cuts and scrapes. After arriving
in Tallahassee he was neutered, heartwormed treated, medicated, loved
and fed round-the-clock! Pachino has since found the perfect home with
a Tallahassee couple and his "sister", another rescue dog.
Pachino plays with his new sister in the yard and enjoys his new life
with a loving family.
Addiline, "Addie" for short, is a beautiful
8 year young german short-hair pointer who was brought into the Tallahassee
Animal Services Center as a stray and never claimed. Thankfully, "Mojo's
Backyard" doggie daycare owner took Addie in as a foster at her
daycare facility. An examination revealed that Addie had two growths
needing removal that her new foster parents could not afford. The Cash
for Critters fund was able to assist with a large part of surgery costs
making it possible for Addie to lead a normal life.
Addie is now in her forever home enjoying life. She
lives with two loving parents and her little Daschund brother. They
play all day long in the yard and enjoy being with their parents on
the sofa watching TV together.
Your used ink cartridge donations are continue
to be a tremendous help to local homeless animals . Please continue to
donate and encourage others to donate too.