Friday, September 10, 2010

For The Love Of Gary

Words cannot express the gratitude and respect that I have for the close to 100 people who have entered my life in the past 18 hours as a result of one abandoned, scared and homeless cat named Gary. These are the stories I read about from rescue groups in LA or watching “Best Friends Animal Rescue” on National Geographic, however, this time the story took place in my own backyard!

Last night I was taking to Kim, a veterinary technician at a local high-kill animal shelter, who spends countless hours everyday trying to help and save the many cats and kittens that come into who work everyday. I came across an all-white adult cat on her website names “Gary” whom was marked as “urgent” with a heart which indicates that the animal has a special need. Not knowing what was wrong with “Gary” I inquired about the little man who I knew would be killed any day. Kim informed me that he was the sweetest cat she had met in ages and would do anything to see him saved and that his special need was a limping leg. When Kim left for the night his cage had already been marked for euthanasia, therefore, he would be put down when the vet arrived the following day. Currently I have 4 fosters myself and did not have the room or funds to take in another foster so I thought I might as well send out an email to friends, family and those involved in animal rescue. I went to bed hoping and praying that someone would come forward and offer to rescue and foster little Gary for a few weeks until he could find his forever home. Well my prayers were officially answered! When I woke up I had over 15 emails from people and rescue groups willing to come forward and save a cat that would be killed within 4 hours. I even got texts from people as far away as North York to transport him out of Hamilton and my wonderful co-worker Anna even offered to foster him as she would not allow him to die. Little did I know, Kim had been talking with Debbie from Abandoned Cats who graciously agreed to rescue the little guy! Phew, what a huge weight lifted off of all our shoulders and the tears were burning my eyes as I was trying to help my grade 9 students with their science homework. So many selflessly wanted to help and not see “Gary” die.

Unfortunately with a huge lack of communication Gary WAS prepped for euthanasia this morning as the shelter staff did not check their email first thing when they arrived for work therefore they did NOT know Kim was urgently requesting them to take Gary off the euth list. Gary was administered a heavy dose of anesthetic prior to his imminent death so that he would not feel the lethal injection. Slowly the news got out that a cat whom so many wanted to save might be dead regardless of the fact that he had not been euthanized – he may not recover from the anesthetic now.

Countless e-mails were flying around all rescue groups and sounded similar to these:

- “Alex my boyfriend just called Hamilton Animal Control and was advised that this cat was sedated to be prepped for euth. this morning. He has still not come out of sedation.”

- “I just spoke with Kim at the Shelter and she told me that Gary was heavily sedated and there's a good

chance he may not pull out of it. I also spoke with Judith and she confirmed that Debbie from Abandon Cats Rescue agreed to take Gary last night. Debbie was also going to take him straight to an orthopedic surgeon to fix his limp.”

- “I am beyond devastated. There are no words right now and I can barely see my computer screen through my tears. Thank you all for what you tried to do for this little fella. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am praying that he wakes up. Syd is en route. If he does not wake up and it is too late for Gary, perhaps Sydney can pull another cat that is in danger of being euthed so that at least some good comes out of our collective efforts. Perhaps that kitty could take Gary's spot if little Gary does not pull through. I am praying that he will, so hard that he will.”


“I'm here and Gary has come out of sedation. He's groggy, his poor tail is all deformed and he is a sweetie. He's getting some advantage because he has fleas then we're blowing this pop stand.

He's going to recover!!!!!!”

After all the stress, drama and tears Gary is officially en route to a wonderful vet in Caledon who is going to put him on an i/v immediately to flush out any remaining anesthetic that is in his bloodstream. I cannot thank you all enough for support regarding Gary. He has faced and avoided death twice within ONE day!! I am not one to toot my horn but I am so proud of myself for sending out the initial email last night and got the ball rolling – not just because of Gary but it finally made me realize that there are good people out there in this world that do care and will help when the need arises!

Like I said in my above posting, in animal rescue you sometimes feel hopeless and all along but today gave me the confidence of the world to continue what we do best and NEVER EVER give up!!! You are all angels thank you

Update: Gary has a low temp and slow heart rate which is to be expected given the amount of horse sedative he received.The vet will give him a sedative antidote which would have been a lot more effective had he received it this morning after the error had been discovered. Gary will also get IV fluids to help flush out the sedative and to rehydrate him because he's really dehydrated.At any rate, he's in rough shape and we all have to pray that he gets through tonight. If he makes it to tomorrow it looks really good for him to recover so we all have to pull hard for this little guy - he has a strong will to live. He has a lame front leg, his tail is messed up, he's had some bad things happen to him he needs a break and he deserves happily ever after.

Final Update: Unfortunately Gary could not overcome the overdose of anesthetic he received. After so much care, love and medical tests Gary passed away this morning from fluid build-up in his lungs. In all my time and experience in animal rescue work this has got to be one of the saddest stories I have ever been apart of. The only consolation for me is that I know Gary died knowing love and affection - he was not alone. For donations to help with Gary's vet bill which is now at $1000 CDN please visit Forgotten Ones Rescue. It would be much appreciated.

With a heavy heart,


1 comment:

  1. Yay Nicole! As you say, I know you are not one to toot your own horn, but Gary will be around to toot it for you. This is so cool! Wonderful that there are so many caring people....I hope we can spread that feeling around the world. karen