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CASPCA Copes with Serious Animal Injuries, Trend Possible - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

CASPCA Copes with Serious Animal Injuries, Trend Possible

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Bee the Bunny Bee the Bunny
Sniffles the Kitten Sniffles the Kitten
Sandy the "Senior Kitty" Sandy the "Senior Kitty"

The Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA has had several animals with serious injuries lately, and that could follow a trend from last year when there were more hurt animals during the last few months of the year.

The SPCA works year round to rehabilitate animals with both minor and serious injuries. Their goal is to then find them a home or re-unite them with the family that may have lost them.

Bee the Bunny

Bee the bunny is recovering from an amputated leg. She had warbles, which is a bug that burrows in the skin, and the veterinarians had to pull out. Bee was also limping, and the vets discovered that she had a bad fracture.

"A lot of people don't think bunnies can live with a broken leg," said Emily Beichel, the director of veterinary services at the SPCA. Beichel decided amputation was necessary.

"She (Bee) is healing really well. All her wounds have healed from infections from bugs, and she'll be ready for adoption soon," Beichel said. Bee can even hop again, and she'll be able to live a happy life as an indoor bunny.

Sniffles the Kitten

Sniffles the kitten is about 3 months old. He had a degloving injury, where his skin was torn away from his lower jaw, and the jaw was fractured. The vets stabilized him, put his bottom jaw back together, stitched the skin of his jaw, and put sutures in his mouth to hold the tissue together.

Beichel said she didn't know if he was dragged, hit by a car, hurt by another animal or something else altogether. "But it was obviously something traumatic since his jaw is broken," she said.

Now Sniffles is eating, gaining weight, and learning that people can help him. In two or three weeks, he'll be put up for adoption.

Sandy the "Senior Kitty"

Sandy is a "senior kitty" that came to the SPCA in bad shape. She was dehydrated and had a large open wound on her back. It was clear that her injuries were old.

Beichel said Sandy had likely walked around with the open wound on her back for a week or two before someone found her and took her to a vet. "The person who found her has been calling and asking how she's doing," Beichel said.

The veterinarians stitched Sandy up, but surgery was not easy. "She's underweight so there wasn't extra tissue to work with," Beichel said.

Sandy has gained a half a pound since she's been at the SPCA, and they're hoping she'll also be up for adoption soon.

The vets don't know definitively what happened to any of the three animals. Each one came in to the SPCA with the injuries and were treated immediately. Bee, Sniffles and Sandy are just a few of the animals being rehabilitated at the shelter.

Lisa Lane, the director of marketing and development at the SPCA, said that for whatever reason they've seen quite a few seriously hurt animals lately. "Last year there was an increase of medical cases right at the last few months of the year. I'm not sure if we'll see that this year, but there have been a lot of pets that need a lot of care," Lane said. "I'm not sure if that's a pattern."

What You Should Know

Lane and Beichel both said that if you see a hurt or abandoned animal you should turn it into the SPCA, and if you lose your animal, it's the first place you should look.

"We've had people find animals many months after they've lost them," Beichel said. You can walk around the kennels to look for your lost pet, and you can fill out a lost animal report. It's also important to remember to call local animal emergency rooms if your pet is missing.

"A lot of people in the community are really, really good-hearted and when they find an animal that's ill or sick or injured, they do take it to local emergency rooms for care," Beichel said.

 Beichel also said there's a 60 - 70% redemption rate on dogs, meaning that most make it back home to their owners. The rate is lower for cats, she said, because of the way society views them. People tend to think if their cat is lost, it will either be found, or it will be fine on its own. "But dogs have a really good chance if they're found of being returned to their home," she said.

The other good news is that a lot of people tend to adopt more during the holidays, and more people tend to donate as well. The SPCA currently needs non-fish wet cat and dog food donations.

"This is a great community. Everyone really cares about the animals and we care about saving our pets," Lane said. "We're going on our 6th year as a no kill community here and that's because of everybody in Charlottesville and Albemarle working together to save as many pets as possible."

Lane said maintaining a no-kill community takes the effort of everybody: hundreds of volunteers to do things like walk dogs and socialize pets, people in the community to donate supplies, and donors who provide the funds to keep things running.

The SPCA is  having a big push to get pets a home for the holidays. You can adopt a cat or a dog for just $25 until November 17th, and cats and kittens are two for one.

The SPCA is also hosting the annual Holiday Crafts for Critters Fair next Saturday, November 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m . The event is free and will be held at the Holiday Inn on Emmet St. in Charlottesville. Venders will be selling art and crafts with proceeds benefiting the SPCA.

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