Every year, the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County sees hundreds of kittens come through its doors in need of care. In 2021, the shelter cared for over 2,000 fragile, young, homeless, and at-risk kittens in the community. Shelter staff, fosters, and volunteers undertake lifesaving work for kittens and cats from all walks of life – from newborns in need of around-the-clock care to kittens that have had a rough start to their young lives.
Here are the top 10 lifesaving kitten stories from the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County over the years:
The Three-Legged Avenger
Bucky is a true hero after being picked up by an eagle and dropped from the sky. He suffered significant wounds with a hernia and injured leg. Since the injuries were so severe, the shelter’s veterinary team performed a leg amputation for him to live a pain-free life. After recovering in a foster home, Bucky is now thriving in his forever home and carries on the Winter Soldier legacy.
CatTales: Three Mighty Kittens
Huey, Dewey, and Louie came to the shelter in critical condition. They were sick, weak, and severely malnourished. The malnutrition caused them to lose large amounts of fur, and one of the kittens had suffered a broken leg that required amputation. After three weeks of round-the-clock treatment with extensive care and tube feeding, the three boys started to thrive. Huey went to his forever home first, but Dewey and Louie had formed a special bond. They were adopted as a pair. Now, all three have wonderful forever homes, and Louie has adjusted well to life on three legs.
Tiny but Mighty
Winston is the tiniest kitten the shelter’s foster team has ever seen survive! This premature kitten arrived with an abscess that needed antibiotics and consistent cleaning. Thankfully, one of the shelter’s expert kitten fosters stepped in to provide around-the-clock care, including bottle feedings, medication, and regular washing of the infection with a warm compress. After his recovery, Winston was quickly adopted into a loving home where he is now living the life he deserves.
Aptly named McFlurry, this helpless kitten was found wandering the streets with a plastic McFlurry lid stuck around her torso. The lid had started to cut into her side and needed to be removed immediately. The shelter’s veterinary team was able to remove the lid safely and helped McFlurry fully heal. She is now living a comfortable life with her new family.
We Choose You Pikachu!
With her strong will and lightning bolt-shaped tail, Pikachu captured the hearts of many! She arrived sick, weak, severely malnourished, and weighed only 6 ounces at 10 days old. Her hair had fallen out in clumps and she was almost completely bald. The shelter’s veterinary team and fosters helped with around-the-clock observation, feedings every 2 hours, and she was kept in an incubator to keep her warm. Eventually, she opened her eyes and discovered the world around her, she played enthusiastically with her toys and cuddled with her foster family. Pikachu was quickly adopted and is getting her second chance at a good life.
Maple the Wonder Kitty
Maple was brought in with another kitten after being found in rough shape. With the other kitten covered in motor oil, Maple was terribly sick and her eyes completely crusted over. Thanks to the shelter’s veterinary team and fosters, Maple received lifesaving eye removal surgery and fully recovered – beating all odds! Now, Maple lives a happy life with her forever family and new feline siblings.
Named after Futurama’s one-eyed and fearless captain, Leela was brought to the shelter with a terribly infected eye, which had to be removed. But first, little Leela had to get bigger and stronger before she could have surgery. She had to have medications administered three times a day to help contain the infection and ease the discomfort it caused her. Finally, when Leela was eight weeks old, she had surgery to remove the eye. She recovered very quickly and was adopted by her foster mom. Leela now acts as a sister to other foster kittens, teaching them how to play and care for themselves.
All Wrapped Up
Wookie was brought to the shelter after a good human found him with twine tightly wrapped around his leg and chest. He was underweight, experiencing nerve damage, and had significant injuries to his leg. The shelter’s veterinary team quickly helped free Wookie and performed leg amputation surgery due to the severe injuries. After recovering in a foster home, Wookie was adopted and is now living the good life.
One of the shelter’s foster parents was fostering Moon, a pregnant cat who was due to give birth anytime. After a local fire forced the family to evacuate with Moon, they settled into a room at a local La Quinta hotel. Within the hour, Moon started to go into labor. Within a few hours, Moon had given birth to five healthy babies and one stillborn. In honor of the unexpected hotel birth, the foster aptly named them Quinta, Indigo, Tru, California, and Tivoli.
Foxtrot and Echo both arrived at the shelter missing their back-left paw, with one missing a part of its tail. They weighed less than a pound and were in horrific pain. The shelter veterinary team immediately started them on medication to fight infection and cleaned and wrapped their wounds. With the community’s support and generosity, both kittens received leg amputation surgery and had a smooth recovery after being cared for by one of the shelter’s fosters. Now, the kittens are in their forever home after being adopted by the animal control officer who brought them to the shelter for care.
Every Day. Every Animal. You Make it Possible.
Interested in becoming a volunteer or foster to help save lives? Apply today!