Wil runs for Santito

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By Karen Harrison Binette

Santito in a current photo
Santito in a current photo


Volunteers with Los Angeles based Kitten Rescue are gearing up to run in the Asics LA Marathon to raise awareness and funds for their organization and its work helping animals in need. Several Team Kitten Rescue members are seeking sponsorship for their runs in the event, which will be held on March 9, 2014.

Wil Mendoza is one of the participants, and she is running for Santito, a special needs kitty saved, helped to walk, and given a home by Kitten Rescue.

We’ve done a couple of stories in the past on Santito and his miraculous recovery: Santito: Injured Kitten Gets Physical Therapy to Walk Again, from November 22, 2012, and Santito, an Injured Kitten’s Healing Journey Continues, from March 3, 2013.


Here’s a recap of Santito’s story, as it is told on his Facebook page:

Santito was found with his back legs all but destroyed. He was so covered in dirt, blood and fleas that his rescuers thought he was a black kitten. It was only after three baths that it became clear this was a white and gray kitten. He was suffering severe dehydration, malnutrition, and worst of all, nerve damage and paralysis of his hind area. Nevertheless, he was purring and playful and literally the sweetest little thing we ever met. Right from the start, he wanted to kiss our noses – he seemed to know how lucky he was and to be instantly grateful. At first, things were touch and go with Santito – he couldn’t move his back legs at all and just dragged them behind him (something which had caused even more problems for his already damaged legs), was completely incontinent, and bounced between severe diarrhea severe constipation. Three different vets told us to “just euthanize him” within the first week of his rescue. But this little guy was so full of life – wide-eyed, playful, cuddly, loving, and we couldn’t imagine ending his life when he had fought so hard already to keep it.

We took him to a specialist who tested him and discovered that, although he had nerve damage, he still had deep sensory perception and mobility, and could potentially recover – at least partially if not totally. So Kitten Rescue decided to give this little guy a fighting chance. We started him in therapy at California Animal Rehabilitation and began various experiments with vitamins, food combinations, medications, etc., to normalize his system and give him the nutrition he had been lacking.

We are happy to say that Santito now has the mobility of his back legs – though he walks funny, the fact is he can walk – with all four legs …and climb, and pummel, and run, and…well, he can’t QUITE jump…yet. He is still incontinent (you’ll see pics of him in his little Fancy Pants diapers on this page), but he gains a little more control every day, no longer has to be “expressed” and no longer has any problems with diarrhea or constipation!


Santito’s inspiring story is shown in this new video:


You can follow Kitten Rescue at Facebook and Santito at Facebook.

Note: I personally follow Santito at Facebook, and am always happy to see posts from the page in my news feed. Even simple posts like photo updates on which ‘fancy pants’ diapers Santito is wearing that day have an upbeat and inspiring feel.


Wil Mendoza is running the 2014 LA Marathon for Santito. Those who want to contribute in Santito’s name can donate here to support Wil in her run for Santito and other homeless animals. Kitten Rescue is an official charity of the Asics LA Marathon.

Kitten Rescue says: For every $20.00 that you donate to Team Kitten Rescue between now and December 24th, you will be entered into a drawing to win an awesome gift package of personalized items from the Cat Daddy himself, My Cat From Hell’s Jackson Galaxy. The package will include a signed copy of his book Cat Daddy, along with Jackson Galaxy swag and toys from his personal line. To be entered into the contest and help Kitten Rescue save homeless animals, donate at the Team Kitten Crowdrise fundraiser page.


Photos via Facebook


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