Saturday, February 27, 2010

Valentine In The Media

There's been one cat all over the news lately as the public comes together seeking justice for her ... and that same cat a part of Joa's Arc: Valentine!

Valentine is recovering well now and getting lots of well wishes sent her way too. Thank you to the media and all those who cared enough to get the message out about her. Hopefully with the newly increased reward (now at $1,000 from the NJSPCA) and all the attention she's gotten, we'll finally have some justice for the awful act done to her.

Popular perhaps? Check out some of these articles and media clips on Valentine from just this week:
- KYW: Reward Offered for Villain Who Shot Cat With Blow Dart in NJ
- My Fox Philly: 'Valentine' Hit By Dart, Reward Offered
- Gloucester County Times: Authorities probe case of cat found in Gloucester County with dart stuck in eye
- 6 ABC Action News: Suspect sought after cat shot in the eye
- NBC Philadelphia: Cat Shot In Eye With Dart
- Examiner.Com: Valentine, a cat shot in the head with a dart
- People Magazine's Pet Page: Cat Shot with Dart 'Has a Will to Live'
- Love Meow: Cat Shot with a Dart Recovering
- Examiner.Com: NJSPCA increases reward to $1000 for info on Valentine, cat shot through eye with blow dart

Again thank you, thank you, thank you! Tweet This

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gibson Has Been Adopted!!

Gibson has been adopted! Well enough to find a home of his own, he did just that. He stole the heart of a local girl and her roommate. Gibson marks Joa’s Arc first adoption! Tweet This

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Justice for Valentine

You may recall this post about Valentine - her introduction where Joa’s Arc first told you about Valentine's plight.

Since she's already been introduced, this post is for a another reason: Joa’s Arc is actively seeking justice for poor Valentine! We're joined by the hard workers at Gloucester County Animal Shelter and the NJSPCA who has been kind enough to offer a $500 reward for anyone offering information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this shooting. Check out her introduction as well, though the pictures are graphic, look at them if you can. Does the dart look familiar to you? Know what type it is?? Did you hear anyone bragging about shooting a cat in the eye earlier this month? Any kind of information could be helpful! It's awful what happened to Valentine and she deserves some justice!

Remember, she had two eyes until this awful cruelty happened to her. If this cat now named Valentine looks familiar to you (be it she was your cat at one time, a stray you have fed before, you've seen her in your neighbors window before, etc) please come forward! This is very, very important.

Joa’s Arc and Valentine thank you! Tweet This

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Introducing Valentine

~Well, hello there, Valentine~

Please allow Joa’s Arc to introduce you to Valentine! The name only seemed appropriate for the gorgeous girl that came into our care right before Valentine's Day. What's up with the missing eye and weird facial hair ... or lack of (specifically around her eye)? Well, Joa’s Arc became involved when a local shelter called to tell us about the need to recover a cat, our Valentine, who had just had her eye removed ... because someone had shot her through the eye with a dart - possibly a blow dart or some sort of dart gun.

**CAUTION** There are graphic photos below. Although we want everyone to be able to read this and probably shouldn't post such graphic photos, Joa’s Arc also wants to be completely (and, if necessary, graphically) honest with our supporters.

Yes, you read correctly: a dart! Ugh! The dart went directly through her left eye (not piercing her eyelid) and through the back of her neck! This poor kitty showed up on someone's porch in this awful condition. When the home owner saw Valentine on the porch, they called animal control who picked her up and immediately took her to a local veterinarian office. From there, Valentine had surgery where her eye was removed, her wounds cleaned and closed up as best as possible. She will be returning this Friday (2/19) to have her eye socket, which has been draining, sutured shut permanently. She should do fine with just one eye physically, though obviously the things she has endured have traumatized her quite a bit.

A reward is actually being offered by the NJSPCA of $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible jerk... person(s). The fact the dart did not pierce Valentine's eyelid made the vet who performed Valentine's surgery suspect that whoever did this to Valentine had a partner ... someone to hold Valentine's head! Think about it: when something comes at your face, you turn away or blink - something! The fact that Valentine didn't do anything and had her eyes wide open for this injury seems very odd.

Valentine is for adoption through the Gloucester County Animal Shelter in Clayton, NJ. Tweet This

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Medical Update on Nennee's Eyes

Recently, Joa’s Arc and Nenne were lucky enough to meet up with Dr. Andras M. Komaromy from the Department of Clinical Studies at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine! After some conversation, lots of lights shined in Nennee’s eyes (she even got the dye put in her eyes that glows!) and not too many battle wounds from an upset Nennee, we got some answers on her eyes ... then Nennee tried to climb into Dr. Komaromy’s bag! Don't worry, Joa’s Arc got her back!

Here’s a general run down of what Joa’s Arc found out about Nennee’s eyes thanks to Dr. Komaromy. She was diagnosed with:

- Mild eyelid agenesis (both eyes). This is a congenital absence of all or part of the eyelid. Most commonly, the side part of the upper eyelid is thin or may be lacking with varying degrees of severity. This may result in an inability to close the eyelids (lagophthalmos), which is discussed later.

- Microphthalmia with secondary entropion (right eye). Microphthalmia (or microphthalmos) is a congenital deformation resulting in abnormally small eyes. Entropion is a medical condition in which the eyelid (usually the lower lid) folds inward to the eye. It is very uncomfortable, as the eyelashes rub against the cornea constantly.

- Persistent pupillary membranes, also known as PPMs (left eye). This is a condition of the eye involving remnants of a fetal membrane that remains as strands of tissue crossing the pupil. The pupillary membrane in mammals exists in the fetus as a source of blood supply for the lens, but it normally atrophies (waste aways) from the time of birth to the age of 4 - 8 weeks. PPM occurs when this atrophy is incomplete. It generally does not cause any symptoms aside from the strands connecting to the cornea or lens, but most commonly to other parts of the iris. Attachment to the cornea can cause small corneal opacities, while attachment to the lens can cause small cataracts.

- Cataracts (both eyes)

- Suspected anterior lens luxation (right eye). Lens luxation is a displacement of the lens from its normal position.

- Coloboma of the fundus (left eye). Coloboma (also part of the rare Cat eye syndrome) is a hole in one of the structures of the eye, such as the eyelid, iris, retina, choroid or optic disc. The hole is present from birth and can be caused when a gap called the choroid fissure between two structures in the eye, which is present early in development in the uterus, fails to close up completely before birth. The classical description in medical literature is of a key-hole shaped defect.

There are some big words in there that I tried to break down a bit. Hope this gives you a better idea on everything poor Nennee is going through – lots of eye defects! Dr. Komaromy told Joa’s Arc that if Nennee were a person, she’d be legally blind! Oh, and the “quick fix” of maybe just removing her damaged, irritating eye if necessary (instead of repeated surgeries to her eyelids) – also not possible. The one eye she is more blind in has her less irritating eyelid deformities and her other eyelid is more irritating, but she sees better out of that eye. Poor girl!

Thanks a million to Dr. Komaromy for being nice enough to come out, meet us and give Joa’s Arc some conclusive answers finally about Nennee. Your kindness and insight (no pun intended, Nen) are invaluable, Dr. Komaromy! Tweet This

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fundraiser Tomorrow Canceled.

Just a quit update to say that due to the weather we are, sadly, canceling the fundraiser tomorrow at Bill's Wonderland of Pets.

Hope you're all safe and warm! Tweet This

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Introducing Tilly

Meet Tilly! Tilly is for Otilie which is German for "fortunate heroine" and I'm not sure there's a better name for this little girl! Let me start from the beginning though...

An old friend of mine called me Saturday afternoon to tell me that she has been noticing some ferals not far from the high school we went to together. She wanted information on who to contact about getting them fixed. Relating more to Joa’s Arc though, my friend was calling because not too long before calling me, my friend had seen a smaller, dilute calico dragging her back end (born that way? Hit by car?).

I made arrangements with my friend to meet her near by the next morning so she could show me to the place and we could look for the injured cat. We saw cats, lots of them - but not the one we were looking for. I helped my friend leave food for the cats (who looked to be living off the restaurant left overs and "slop" being fed to the pigs there). You can see in the photo that the orange kitty is eating slop and the little brown tabby with white is eating the dry food we put down. I was surprised they let us get as close as they did before running off - some would let us get within just a couple feet!

I returned for a second visit later Sunday evening and saw even fewer cats and still no signs of the cat with the injured back legs...

With the encouragement of all the other Joa’s Arc members and our supporters, I continued to look for this elusive, injured kitty. I went back Monday morning to feed the kitties and there were a few around, but not our girl. I gotta admit, I was a bit scared because no one was there this morning and there were like 75 vultures picking at the trash and eating along with the cats.

I left, but returned about an hour later. I pulled up where I had been parking for each visit and right in my line of view, sitting in the brush, was a dilute girl. Too good to be true, I thought! But as I approached her (these cats let you get pretty close before running), she got up to run and was dragging her back end! I'd like to brag, but she was pretty slow and didn't put up much of a fight. I went back to my car, got a big comforter and followed her little drag marks in the snow. She was just starting to go under the boat behind the abandoned house when I tossed the comforter over her. She hissed a little, but that was about it.

Medically, Tilly is in rough shape. She suffers from some sort of trauma to her back, though what caused it exactly, we may never know. She has sores on her feet from dragging her feet like the one pictured here. She got her vaccinations and when her sores heal, she can be spayed. Her paralysis in her back end makes her different, but she can still lead a wonderful life now that she's safe and warm inside.

Socially, Tilly seems very, very scared. We're hoping she's not feral and can eventually come around since she obviously cannot go back outside in her condition. Cross your fingers she comes around and learns to trust as her wounds heal.

So far, living outside as she was, she proven she's obviously a survivor. Tweet This