As Dodge sits relaxed and comfortable on Santa’s knee, no one would suspect that 11 years ago, his life was in desperate peril.
In the spring of 2005, the friendly two year old tabby cat was found wandering in a farmer’s field in Deroche with an apparent hole in his neck.
Brought to the Fraser Valley Humane Society by a Good Samaritan, the cat was taken to Cedar Grove Animal Hospital for an examination.
The hole was initially thought to be the result of an abscess, but x-rays revealed something more sinister had happened to Dodge.
Shattered teeth and shards or metal and bone embedded in his flesh made it clear that he had been shot in the face.
The FVHS paid for his initial surgery but his injuries resulted in a drug-resistant infection that left him with a painfully inflamed face and his future in jeopardy.
Dodge’s story attracted the attention of certified feline dental specialist, Dr. Loic Legendre of Canada West Veterinary Specialists and Critical Care Hospital, who offered to donate his time and services but there were still many more costs involved in Dodge’s continued care.
The Humane Society was extremely low on funds and did not have the money to pay for his hospitalization and treatment. The FVHS decided that they would need to appeal to the public for help.
A press release was sent out and picked up by a number of media outlets and within days a huge response came in from animal lovers around the world.
More than enough money was raised to pay for Dodge’s extended hospitalization. There were letters, calls and emails from people who wanted to help Dodge with donations and many who wanted to adopt him.
Dodge now lives a comfortable life with his adopted family in Mission. He returns most years to have his picture taken with Santa to help raise funds for other shelter cats in need.
For more information on the work of the FVHS, visit fraservalleyhumanesociety.com.