Meet our Meow Mail sponsored kitten of the month, Halo!
The truth behind this special needs kitten’s mystery was later revealed.
Not only Halo had been dumped with a traumatic brain injury, but she was moments away from being euthanized in a kill shelter.
Keep reading to find out how Halo is living her best life thanks to the people who refused to give up on her!
A Shocking Discovery
Sarah Richardson, rescue coordinator for Community Cats of Central Arkansas, received a call from the shelter about a kitten at risk of euthanasia.
The kitten, later named Halo, had a tilted head and wobbled when she walked.
The shelter told Sarah that Halo’s condition was beyond their expertise, therefore she’d be euthanized if a rescue group didn’t take her.
“I told them not to euthanize her and that I’d be there in an hour,” said Sarah. “I didn’t know the back story yet, but I agreed to take her anyway.”
Sarah arrived at the scene an hour later to assess little Halo.
“She was very scared and flinched when I tried to touch her,” said Sarah. “But she started purring once she felt like she could trust us.”
Sarah also realized Halo was either blind or had severely impaired vision.
Once Sarah had safely secured Halo, she asked the shelter what led Halo to arrive there in the first place.
The answer revealed the unsettling truth…
A Mystery Unfolds
“The shelter said they got a call from someone who found her at a local park,” said Sarah. “But something didn’t add up– that park isn’t in a residential area. You’d have to drive to this park.”
Since the park belonged to the city, Sarah and the shelter staff were able to request security footage of the day Halo was found.
The footage revealed that someone had dumped Halo in the park, alone and confused.
“Seeing footage of her being abandoned was deeply upsetting,” said Sarah. “It made me even more determined to save her.”
She was left to fend for herself, blind and unable to walk without falling over.
However, the security footage was blurry and the person who dumped her couldn’t be identified.
“We want justice for Halo, but one of the downfalls of Arkansas law is that it’s very difficult to prosecute for animal cruelty,” said Sarah. “Our top priority is to help Halo make a full recovery.”
Sarah took Halo straight to the vet where they ran several tests.
At first, Halo’s head tilt and wobbly walk made it seem like she had cerebellar hypoplasia, but the vet determined she actually suffered from a traumatic brain injury.
She was treated with steroids and antibiotics, but halfway through the treatment, Sarah realized something was wrong.
Halo wasn’t improving– instead, she started having seizures.
“I knew something else was going on, so I took her to a different specialist,” said Sarah.
The vet agreed that Halo had a traumatic brain injury, but also revealed some new information.
Halo either has an ear polyp or tumor deep down in her ear that’s affecting her brain.
The only way to identify the source of the problem is with a special ear scope that will require Halo to be under anesthesia.
Putting special needs cats with neurological conditions under anesthesia is always a risk, but the surgery would dramatically improve Halo’s quality of life.
The good news is that the vet has offered to use the scope and surgically remove the polyp/tumor in the same appointment.
This surgery is Halo’s best shot at not only preventing her condition from getting worse, but reversing most of the existing damage.
Help Halo Live Happily Ever After
Halo is scheduled for surgery in the upcoming weeks.
Until then, she’ll be getting plenty of love and attention in her foster home.
“The vet is confident that the surgery is the thing to do,” said Sarah.
This means she’d regain some of her vision, have better balance, and improve her head tilt.
Right now, poor Halo can’t even climb into her litter box without toppling over.
She can’t eat without assistance, otherwise she’ll plop over and fall into her food bowl.
“It’ll cost thousands of dollars on top of what we’ve already spent on specialists and medication,” said Sarah. “She deserves a better quality of life. It’s worth scraping together the funds to make it possible.”
If you’d like to help Sarah and Community Cats of Central Arkansas with Halo’s upcoming surgery, food, or medicine, please donate through our Meow Mail program.
By donating as little as $10, you’ll be emailed a progress picture with heartwarming updates on how your donation helped Halo thrive.
Please consider making a recurring donation to receive Meow Mail each month for future cats and kittens in critical condition.
About Our Heroes
Community Cats of Central AR is a small 501(c)3 non-profit rescue organization led by two women, Sarah Richardson and Stephanie Spence, who rescue and rehabilitate cats from rural towns with high animal cruelty rates.
They rely on donations from kind-hearted individuals to continue saving cats & kittens that have suffered from neglect, abuse, or abandonment.
In addition to their direct intake, they pull special needs cats, senior cats, and cats in critical condition from the top kill shelters in the state to prevent unnecessary euthanasia.
Be sure to follow their rescue coordinator, Sarah, on Instagram to see more of their adorable rescue cats!