Happy Tails – Bernice and Her Amazing Will to Live

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Oshkosh Area Humane Society brings us Bernice! She’s back and she’s looking beautiful, and she’s the subject of a 26 minute television segment video that recaps her story and shows how well she is doing now.

Bernice and her guardian Dyan join Joni Geiger and Cheryl Rosenthal from OAHS for the Happy Tail report.

Bernice was found on the street in Oshkosh, WI in July of 2011 with severe burns over much of her body. While many cats in her condition would have been put down, Bernice’s sweet personality and desire to live affected the medical staffers who saw her, and the decision was made to give her a chance to recover.

Hospital staff were extremely cautious about the young cat’s chances for survival but she more than fulfilled everyone’s hopes for her recovery.

A gradual recovery from her burns, and a series of skin graft surgeries helped deal with scarred areas and save her from having serious mobility issues due to shrinking scar tissue that might have tightened her movements.

After a long stay at the hospital, where she held court, and basked in her sunny window, Bernice went to live in her two homes, with her caregivers, Dr. Becky and vet tech Dyan.

During her recovery, Bernice received the love and support – along with monetary donations and gifts – of thousands of friends and supporters worldwide, who turned to the Animal Hospital of Oshkosh Facebook page for updates and news.

When Bernice left the hospital and began her life as a happy house cat Dr. Becky wrote: “It is true that fairy tale endings are hard to come by, and are in most cases nothing more than a daydream. I think in Bernice’s case, she has gotten her happily ever after. Again, I thank you all for your care, concern, and support over the last year.”

OAHS wrote at Facebook in their introduction to the special edition Happy Tails show:

“Bernice came to OAHS in 2011 with severe burns covering much of her body. The staff at OAHS rushed her to the Animal Hospital of Oshkosh where she received excellent care from Dr. Becky, Dr. Diane, Dr. Heidi, Dr. Katie and the entire staff of AHO.

“We want to thank everyone involved in the care and recovery of Bernice, including the AHO staff and the many specialists that treated her. And thanks to every one of YOU who offered healing wishes, prayers and support and those who rallied around this special girl and donated to the OAHS  Cuddles Fund, which was used for Bernice’s care expenses. The Cuddles Fund continues today to help animals who need specialized medical care.

“Today Bernice is loving life, as you can see, and her amazing spirit is an inspiration to all of us!”

OAHS wrote at their website: “OAHS thanks Dr. Becky and Dyan for giving Bernice a wonderful home and for sharing her with all of us one more time. … The dedication and devotion of all the doctors and staff at Animal Hospital of Oshkosh made her miraculous recovery possible. ”

You can see our twenty-one earlier posts on Bernice HERE. They are listed in reverse order. (Note: The top two, from 2013, are not about Bernice, but reference her in the stories.)


There is a short break in the story, from 18:45 to 19:45, then it resumes.

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