Our poll has now closed and Huntly was the name you choose for little kitten :)
Last week he went home from the hospital with one of his rescuers so that he can recover. He has gained good bladder function and is starting to use his legs but it will still be a slow path to recovery.
for An update from Huntly's rescuer turner carer:
Considering his predicament, he's affectionate and responsive. He loves mealtime & lying on his hottie. When kitten gets a bit of exercise out of the cage he zooms around the room dragging his legs. It's amazing how fast he can move. Sometimes he moves his back legs like he's trying to use them to walk, but it's very early days yet. He still needs weeks of cage rest.
It's great that he has bladder and bowel function. I didn't fancy having to catheterize him. I'm not sure what kitten makes of the resident German Shepherd that keeps going into his room and staring at him!
The 1st of September means spring time, long nights, flowers and the return of warmth but for the bottle nosed dolphins who inhabit the waters of Taiji it Japan it means the beginning of the annual hunting season.
The plight of these dolphins has been famously highlighted by the award winning documentary The Cove. While the film was very popular around the world little appears to have changed for these dolphins. An article I read today stated that no dolphins had been caught yet and that Sea Sheppard Conservation Society are ‘monitoring’ the situation.
The article quoted Michael Dalton of Sea Shepherd who made a statement from Taiji. ``The dolphins need defenders at the cove today and tomorrow. If you came to Japan to save dolphins, the place to be is Taiji and the time to be here is now.''
I hope with all my heart that Sea Sheppard take action against this hunt before any dolphin blood is spilt.
My thoughts then turned to New Zealand when I read a statement from the Japanese government arguing that killing the dolphins (and whales) is no different from raising cows or pigs for slaughter. And I have to say I whole heartedly agree.
But rather than this being a justification for the slaughter I see it as a challenge to those in the west who find the slaughter of dolphins and whales abhorrent but are happy to chow down on a cow, fish, chicken or pig without a second thought as if their life is some how less valuable than that of a whale or dolphin.
Whether they are the dolphins in Taiji or the new spring lambs filling the paddocks in Aotearoa, animals are not ours to torture and kill for the sake of taste or profit. Please choose a plant based diet and show your support to those working to save our animal friends.
Some of us (from AFA) are in Christchurch this weekend working on our dairy investigation; well were supposed to be until the now infamous 4.35am struck this morning. Fast asleep in our hostel we were woken by massive thunderous noises and extreme shaking. We used our skills we learnt in primary school and secured ourselves in the doorways. When the shaking had finished we made our way outside into the bitter cold. From the outside our hostel seemed fine, with the exception of a few tiles that had fallen off the roof and then we heard water gushing. Apparently a 500 kilo chimney had fallen on to the roof of the hostel crushing water pipes; causing water to come pouring out of the roof. Eventually it was declared save and we went back inside.
Then throughout the morning news filtered in and we realised the real magnitude of the earthquake, loss of power, exploding sewer mains, no water, buildings that have been destroyed and roads that opened up with gaping holes but remarkably noloss of life. This I thought was good news.
Then at about 9am the vets in Auckland called to let me know that kitten was doing well; it was then that it dawned on me the lives they referred to on the radio were not taking into account all life but rather human life. For the rest of the day we listened intently to the radio and at no point did even one story mention the thousands of companion animals who will have been displaced in this earthquake. With all the talk of welfare centres, things we all need to do and State’s of Emergency not one mention of support for the local SPCA, what to do with stray animals if you find one or what to do if that much loved furry member of your family is missing.
Earlier in the year my partner and I went to see a documentary called Mine about animals lost and found in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I have not been able to stop thinking about this all day. During Katrina people were threatened with guns by State Troops if they wanted to take their dogs or cats on busses to shelters for displaced people, others chose to leave their animals, many tried to return and find them. Everything about it was a disaster. There was no appreciation or support by the State for the lives of these animals or the place they played in the lives of their families. All of the rescue work and care was left up to volunteer organisations. And in reality there was very little chance of families and their furry friends ever being re-united even if they all survived.
So then I think about Christchurch; who is going to look after the many displaced animals, who is going to rescue them, who will manage a database of lost and found animals and what about those whose lives have been lost, how could that have been avoided?
We have been trying to get in touch with the Canterbury SPCA all day to see what they needed and how we could help but have not been able to get through. The work that this agency will do during this tough time will be invaluable but undoubtedly it will not be enough, they are under resourced, under staffed and likely unprepared for this sort of event. And without being dramatic hundreds, if not thousands, animals will die as a result of this earthquake.
Driving around today we have seen how hard emergency services are working and there is alot to do but at some point soon we need to recognise that the cats, dogs, cows, pigs, fish and birds that we share our lives with every day, who we love, pat, cuddle and feed are just as important as our own, they are members of our community and Civil Defence, the Government or whomever have plan for their rescue, care and return in times like this, just like they would our children, our parents and our friends.
Likewise we, as parents and guardians, of these precious animals MUST have an evacuation plan for ALL family members, be they your children, your cat or your budgie. We MUST have a few days supply of the foods that they ALL need and water for everyone. Please do this today; make a plan and get supplies.
We do not have the answers but we all need to start asking the questions. Someone needs to start talking about it, sooner rather than later.
We will have some images of what we saw in Christchurch today as soon as we have better internet.
For anyone looking for animals or those who have found animals and are caring for them please check:
Today we got some fantastic news - KITTEN CAN FEEL HIS TOES. For the last couple of days we have been waiting for the news which finally came today that kitten can feel pain in his toes and that he has some voluntary control over his bladder and they it finally came today. This is fantastic and the vet is fair sure that he will make a good recovery.
We have been visiting kitten every day and he seems to love the attention. He is such a lovely well natured cat who purrs everytime he gets strokes.
Yesterday the vet nurse was tell us how kitten just loves his sponge bathes - CUTE!!
Thank you once again to every one who has donated us money for his care. So far we have raised nearly $1000. We have not had a second bill yet but we will let you all know when we do.
While kitten is recovering we need to find him a name but just can not decide so we thought that we would leave that up to you. We have set up a poll which will close next week. Click here to have your vote.
Sorry this is just a quick update but we have been very busy planning action for the rest of year and it is late. To end here is a cute pic of kitten from today. For more images from today click here.
We went to visit kitten today and talk to a vet from the surgical team. Kitten is only doing okish. Despite him moving his legs on Sunday morning the vets think that he has no pain sensation in his back legs as he does not respond to his respond to them putting pressure on this toes and legs. He is also not able to urinate himself and the vets are expressing him (basically emptying his bladder for him).
There is some good news though; according to the vet his tail has definitely got pain sensation and he turns around to glare at them when they pull at his tail :) there does not appear to be any internal organ damage and his bowels are working ok.
There is a crack in his spine near the rib cage which the vet said is fairly stable due to the location and that surgery was unlikely at this point in time.
That said kitten still needs to stay in the specialist animal hospital for at least a week where they will administer him pain relief, monitor him, express his bladder and put him in an oxygen tank. At the moment he is not using his back legs at all and when he moves himself around he is pulling him self by his front legs. Though while we were visiting he did not do too much as he is on morphine and was quite dopey.
So far the vet bill has been $1004.25, we have paid this bill today but only with money on loan that we have to pay back. By the end of this week that will raise to $3000 because of the intensive care that he needs in the hospital. We desperately need your help.
We are a self funded group primarily and try very hard to keep our costs low and our effectiveness high. We know that we have been appealing for money a bit lately first for our investigation and then to help replace our camera light which was broken by an angry battery hen farmer earlier this month BUT we really really need help to get this little guy on his feet, quite literally.
If you can help please put donations into here. Name: Animal Freedom Aotearoa Bank: KiwiBank Account #: 38-9009-0870126-00
There are new images that we took today. If you want to have a look click here. By the way the blue thing on his leg is a bandage to keep the IV line in place.
And here is a link to the invoice from the vets so you can see the costs so far.
Thank you for your on going support and we will update again soon.
Last night three members of AFA were out working on the dairy investigation near Huntly. As they were driving along State Highway One they spotted a little white and ginger kitten on the side of the road shivering up against the concrete barrier.
“We pulled over and one of us got out, and walked towards him and he meowed out as if asking for our help. His back legs were limp, and he was wet and shivering from the rain and cold. One of us picked him up in a blanket and carried him carefully to the car. He meowed as he was placed in the car but settled down when he was comforted and held. As he started to warm up he even began to purr.
As soon as we had made him comfortable we headed to Auckland to take him to the after hour’s emergency vet on Carrington Road. We feared that the vet would recommend that he be euthanaised as his rear end did not seem responsive.
Thankfully however while we were in the vet clinic the kitten moved his back legs which was great news. The vets weighed him at a mere 2.16 kgs, and found he had previously received bites on his back and was covered in fleas. We left him at the vets so that he could be x-rayed.
This morning we got a call to say that he had a broken back but it could be fixed with surgery or rest. This however needs to be investigated further by the surgical team on Monday morning. He is also not eating well and has been placed on an IV drip.
We are hopeful that once he is better we will be able to place him in the loving home which he deserves where he will get all the cuddles he wants, all the food and water he needs and he no longer has to live on the street. But first we need help with his vet bill. So far the vet bill stands at $1100 but that is without the surgery or ongoing care. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.
Also if anyone can provide him with the home he needs after he’s better, please get in contact with us. It will be a while yet till he’s better but it will be great to know he will have a loving place to go to.”
One of our members had this to say of the experience "It just seemed so fortuitous that we were driving past at that particular time & so wonderful that we turn the car around & check to see what the huddled shape against the barrier was. It's always a moving experience helping a creature that is in such desperate need of help. The thought of his loud purring once he'd been given that help makes me feel quite emotional. I really hope he makes a good recovery. He must have felt so frightened & alone out there on the road."
Over the last couple of weeks members of our investigation team have been looking into the treatment of animals on dairy farms as well as getting to know individual cows. Two weeks ago some of us were in Nelson and found injured calves, dead calves and a dairy cow with udders so large that she could hardly walk. But last weekend we got to see something awesome; well actually four awesome someone's; Cassidy, Spice, Sugar and her calve Cinnamon.
They are four cows who live with a dairy-free vegetarian lady out in east Auckland. Their mum Christine answered our call out for stories about calves who are still living with their mums and even let us go out and meet them. Christine told us heaps of stories about her babies but the cutest thing was about the bond between Sugar and her 11 month old calve Cinnamon.
Christine said that Cinnamon had reached the time to be weaned during the drought last summer and thought it was best for Sugar so that she did not have the added pressure of having to produce milk for Cinnamon. Christine separated the two by putting them in different paddocks but they continued to moo to each other; obviously sad to be separated and desperate to be back together. As would happen with dairy cows, if they were not milked, Sugars milk dried up. However sooner or later Cinnamon found her own way back into her mums paddock and began suckling. Much to Christine's surprise Sugar began lactating again and has been feeding a very chubby Cinnamon ever since despite the fact that she also eats grass, vegies and meal :)
This was such a contrast to the life of the calves we saw in Nelson who had been taken from their mothers and left in sheds on their own, were dead or in a truck on the way to the slaughterhouse.
The AFA blog will be an informal space where we will talk to our supporters about what we have been up too, add our voice to animal related discussions being held in the main stream media, things that have been added to the website and that sort of thing :)
If you want to read news from AFA then please check our News Page.