By Katie McHenry

The SPCA of Northern Virginia helps rehabilitate and find loving homes for many animals in need of medical care. One of our most recent cases was Luna the cat, who is on her way to recovery after undergoing surgery for a severely injured leg, and will soon be up for adoption.

About a year-and-a-half ago, Springfield resident Bruce discovered a young kitten, Luna, among the colony of feral cats living in his neighborhood. Although she lived with a feral colony, the dilute calico was friendly from a young age. Unfortunately, he couldn’t adopt her, and because rescue organizations have limited capacity, with priority given to sick and injured animals, Luna continued living outside and was spayed when she was old enough.

But when Luna showed up recently with a severe limp, Bruce asked his friend Tom to see if a rescue group could help Luna. Tom reached out to the SPCA and, after getting some additional information, we arranged for Tom to bring Luna to Columbia Pike Animal Hospital in Annandale for evaluation. X-rays revealed that Luna had sustained a serious leg fracture – in fact, the rear leg was broken in two places with some shattered pieces. The injury was most likely sustained from a run-in with an automobile so you can imagine the severity. The veterinarian said that Luna was an otherwise healthy cat, and that the most successful treatment for her injury would be amputation. Due to the nature of the break, she felt that an orthopedic repair would be very expensive with no guarantee of success. The vet must have seen how distressed Tom was by this diagnosis, so she tried to reassure him that cats adjust very well to amputation of a rear leg, and that Luna would actually be in less pain than she was now.

The surgery took place in Richmond on October 22, and Luna was entrusted to Bruce’s care during her convalescence. With the help of pain medication and Bruce’s tender ministrations, Luna has recovered well, is eating normally and has begun exploring her surroundings. Now on three legs, some adjustment to litter box access was called for, but Luna figured it out. She seemed more bothered by the “cone of shame” e-collar than by the missing appendage. After suture removal, the e-collar was taken off and Luna went to work giving herself a good washing. With her signature head-tilt, this seven-pound sprite is in good spirits, taking it all in – and despite her recent surgery, doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Luna was undisturbed by a visiting dachshund, so she might be fine in a household with a small dog that would not take advantage of her compromised balance, and she enjoys the company of other cats. She is ready for adoption into a safe indoor home.

Luna’s story is just one of many that the SPCA encounters every year, with thousands of homeless cats and dogs in desperate need of help here in the Commonwealth of Virginia; this situation is compounded by the ability of animals to reproduce at an exponential rate when they are not spayed or neutered.

However, thanks to the SPCA’s loyal supporters, the organization is able to fund low-cost spay/neuter services via the SPCA’s own Spay Inc, in addition to providing foster homes and veterinary care animals who would otherwise remain on the street or end up in a high-kill shelter.

How You Can Help

Luna needs Guardian Angels to help defray the costs of her surgery and recovery – please help by becoming a Guardian Angel. Or, please consider helping other cats (and dogs) like Luna by: