Little injured hurricane survivor kitten Irene owes her life to a good Samaritan who picked her up in the storm and pounded on the door at Waccamaw Regional Veterinary Center on Saturday morning, and to the staff at the center, who were so touched by her sweet purring self that they could not bear to have her euthanized.
We were contacted with Irene’s story yesterday by Waccamaw Regional Veterinary Center of Conway SC, located just inland from Myrtle Beach. The vet center was well within the danger zone for any damage that might have occurred as Hurricane Irene hit the South Carolina coast last weekend. Thenkfully, the storm was not as forceful or damaging as predicted, but it hit hard nonetheless.
We spoke with office manager and LWC reader Donna Cole today about the kitten that came to the vet center last Saturday morning during the storm. As is usual practice, the clinic door was locked as staff took care of kennel duty for boarded animals first thing in the morning. They were brought to the door as a woman pounded frantically to get their attention; she had brought a soaking wet and seriously injured 8 week old kitten she had found in the road.
Vet center staff brought the kitten inside and, upon examination, found that she had a badly broken leg. She was scanned for a chip and had none, so a search was done by checking lost kitten reports, but no one had reported a missing kitten. Since no family was found the decision on the kitten’s fate lay with the center staff. Donna tells us that given the severity of the injury and the lack of known family the kitten might likely have ben euthanized, but that the little girl purred and purred and was so sweet and friendly that the staff could not bear to put her down, so they decided to go ahead and do whatever needed to be done to save her.
First came a name, Irene, a nod to how the kitten came to the center and possibly to how she had been injured. It is still unknown whether Irene was hit by a car or had a mishap falling from a tree or other high perch, or had some other storm related mishap. All that is known is that she came to the center’s door alone, injured and in pain during the hurricane, and so, Irene it is.
Vet center staffers made the decision to treat Irene’s injury and to keep and care for her until she is healed and ready for adoption, at which time she will be made available. Meanwhile, if Irene has a family they have the option to contact the clinic to reclaim her. For her first few days at the center, Irene was given pain medication, nourished and given love, and made comfortable.
Dr. Randy Werkhoven performed surgery on Irene yesterday to repair her seriously broken leg with the insertion of three metal pins. When we asked office manager Donna about Irene’s prognosis today, we were told that the doctor says that once she is healed and recovered from her surgery she should live a normal life.
Though the doctor donated his services, the surgery and related expenses are still costly. The clinic has exhausted its Good Samaritan Fund and is accepting donations to the fund to pay the outstanding $1,300 balance for Irene’s care. A reporter from the local Horry Independent newspaper is scheduled to come to the clinic and meet Irene to tell her story, so, hopefully, the local community will help with the vet center’s appeal. If any of our readers wish to donate they can call the clinic at 843-248-2752. If a ChipIn or donate button is set up we will update this story with a link.
Here is Irene’s story as told by the vet center:
Not everything about Hurricane Irene is bad news. If it wasn’t for the hurricane we would have never met Kitten Irene. Kitten Irene (that’s the name our staff gave her) is our newest stray kitten found in the road washed out in the aftermath of the hurricane. A good Samaritan delivered this hurricane drenched kitten to our front door. Though casualties were not reported in Horry county, Kitten Irene came through the storm with a horrible broken right rear leg. Her thigh bone was snapped just above the knee. We are not sure how this happened, possibly hit by a car or even tossed out of a tree. The possibilities are endless when you think about the wind and rain we had here.
Despite her intense pain, Kitten Irene has been a source of love and affection to the staff here from the moment we met her.
Hurricane Irene gave us another opportunity to serve the Lord’s creations. and give back, for we have been blessed. Waccamaw Regional Veterinary Center is very fortunate to have a wonderful doctor here. Dr. Randy Werkhoven performed the two hour surgery on Kitten Irene’s leg and introduced 3 stainless steel pins in her femur and he was able to reattach her knee.
Kitten Irene is recovering from surgery. She is grateful and now able to walk on all four legs. She will be able to live a long and healthy life. If you would like to help in any way, please call us at 843-248-2752.
Donna tells us that she will post updates on Irene at the vet center’s Waccamaw Veterinary Center Facebook page.