Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Petco Foundation Grant--Smokey

Smokey--Two Hours to Live

“Smokey goes to the shelter in two hours! You have until 10 am to save him!” This was the gist of the email Diabetic Cats in Need (DCIN) received in August from Smokey’s family.

What does "shelter" mean?
This ultimatum would have frightened most, but DCIN and its friends put on their capes and got to work! Instead of being dead, this morning Smokey woke up in a cozy bed surrounded by love and affection.

Smokey is a beautiful 8 year old smoke gray cat. He was found as a stray kitten and immediately staked claim to his human family. But in March 2013, Smokey’s health started declining—he was losing weight, extremely hungry, and feeling lousy. The family knew Smokey should see a veterinarian, but could not afford the visit. A local rescue paid for the visit. The diagnosis was diabetes, which is manageable but Smokey’s family could not afford the cost. And the family (except the two kids who dearly loved Smokey) had little interest in treating him. The local rescue did not know how to help with diabetes and turned to DCIN.

DCIN brought Smokey into its financial assistance program, paying for vetting, insulin, and diabetic testing supplies, and providing education. DCIN directed Smokey’s family to an Internet forum that provides support and advice for treating diabetic cats. But Smokey’s family did not commit to the effort needed to treat him. His health continued to decline and four months after being diagnosed, Smokey’s family announced it would to take him to a high-kill shelter where he likely would be destroyed upon intake.

But that turned out to be Smokey’s lucky day!

Working with a local woman who had been Smokey’s insulin dosing advisor on the Internet forum, DCIN immediately looked for a better solution for Smokey than death in a gas chamber.

I love you too, Mom!
DCIN has a large social networking group with contacts throughout the US. DCIN received many offers of donations for Smokey's care and thousands of “shares.” This was one of the most overwhelming shows of concern that DCIN has seen on its Facebook page. Within two days, Smokey had a potential adoptive family—one familiar with treating diabetic cats and willing to give Smokey the love and care he needed. There were other offers to shelter Smokey, but a family would be best for him!

DCIN raised a “trust fund” for Smokey and continues to help with his care. He will now live a full life, one without the complications resulting from under-treated diabetes. Smokey is now a member of two families: His adoptive family and the DCIN family.

DCIN helps diabetic cats whose owners are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary care—or who have abandoned them altogether—by finding them loving homes. We are proud of our many success stories, including Smokey's!

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