Hope's Page

Although no one really knows where she came from back in December, 2004, the couple that found the tiny kitten just before Christmas, knew she was in a bad way. The kitten had been hit by a car, inflicting serious injuries to her hind quarters. She managed to hobble out of the street and took refuge under a shed. After a couple of days, the couple was able to coax the frightened kitten out of her hiding place and bring her into their home. Knowing that she needed immediate veterinary care, they cleaned her up and took her to their vet. That is when they found out just how serious her injuries were: she had a fractured pelvis, her hip was completely broken and her femur was fractured in two places. The estimated cost to repair the breaks and fractures was over $2,000. Although the couple wanted to help her, they could not afford to pay for her care, especially just before Christmas. Not knowing what else to do, the couple reluctantly started contacting animal shelters and rescues, hoping to find someone to help the kitten. The couple soon learned that most traditional shelters were either unwilling or unable to take on an animal with severe injuries. Eventually the couple called Rude Ranch and asked if we could make a place for the injured kittens. While were a little worried about taking in a kitten requiring major surgery three days before Christmas, our surgical vet, Dr. Robert Harrison said he could fit her in the following day if we could get the kitten to him. The kitten was rushed to the shelter and prepped for surgery.

As soon as she arrived at Rude Ranch, we could tell that this sweet, cute kitten had a feisty determination to survive. Given the holiday season and the kitten's spirit, she was named Hope. The following day Dr Harrison performed the delicate surgery to repair the fractures and broken bones. His job was even more difficult because by now Hope's injuries were at least 10 days old and the bones had started to fuse together incorrectly. Hope came through her surgeries with flying colors and was sent back to the shelter to recover and start physical therapy. Over the next few weeks Hope seemed to do well. She was walking and using her repaired hip correctly and even took her own sutures out. However, her hair was not growing back on where Dr Harrison made the incision for her hip. The hair around her spay incision was also not growing back. Lack of hair growth in most other kittens is not a cause for concern. However in Hope's case we started to worry... did she have other injuries from her accident that we hadn't discovered?

A few days later Hope became very ill with a high fever and sever vomiting. It was apparent that Hope had a severe intestinal virus and she needed specialized intravenous fluids and nutrition if she was going to get better. Unfortunately, the shelter is not equipped with the specialized equipment that Hope needed to pump the antibiotics, fluids and medicines into her tiny body, and even though she was very sick, we could tell she had plans to survive. Hope was taken to the Annapolis Vet Referral Center where she was hooked up to special monitors and IV pumps. Although she was down and out for a few days, Hope slowly started to get better. The doctors started noticing that each day her eyes were a little brighter and she held her head a little higher. The night she pulled her IV catheter out, the vets knew she was ready to leave. Within two hours, Hope was transferred back to Rude Ranch's critical care area.

Hope did recover from her ordeal, and promptly got ringworm while she was going through her physical therapy. (She was also nice enough to share it with several others) She was recently spotted giving Caesar (the shelter border collie and resident kitten groomer) her opinion of being groomed by a dog. Since her recovery, Hope has taken a position of responsibility here at the shelter as our office manager. She takes her job very seriously, often even sleeping in the office to make sure she is available to supervise any and all shelter business.