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Slideshow: Cat Survives Severe Chemical Burns

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 3:30pm
Slideshow: Cat Survives Severe Chemical Burns

When ASPCA staffer Rena Lafaille saw a veterinarian cradling a tiny animal in her arms, she wondered, “Is that a turkey? What’s a turkey doing at the ASPCA Adoption Center?”

Then she realized: The tiny animal was in fact a cat—one who had suffered severe chemical burns on her back, scalp and other parts of her body. Kylie’s ears were singed off, and she couldn’t walk or close her red and cloudy eyes.

“My heart was completely broken,” remembers Rena, ASPCA Adoption Center Department Coordinator. “Ever since that moment, I’d go visit her when I was done with my office work, for 30 minutes to an hour.”

Late last year, Kylie was found hiding behind some bushes, quietly suffering, when two dogs sniffed her out while out on a walk. The dogs’ pet parent took the first step toward saving Kylie’s life: He brought her to ASPCA Animal Hospital. But Kylie’s struggle was far from over, and our veterinary staff didn’t know if she’d pull through.

“It was really touch-and-go with Kylie because she’d lost so much skin,” recalls ASPCA veterinarian Dr. Patricia Wagner, who treated Kylie. “We didn’t know if she’d be able to blink, or walk, ever again.”

Kylie needed several surgeries, specialist care and extensive treatment for her injuries. She spent months at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where everyone fell in love with Kylie and her sweet, patient personality. “Everyone knew who Kylie was,” says Dr. Wagner. “There were so many people here pulling for her. We didn’t want to fail.”

Then one day it was clear to our veterinarians that Kylie’s recovery had turned a corner—she was out of the woods. In fact, Kylie was ready to continue her recovery in a foster home. Rena’s was an obvious choice. Rena began fostering Kylie in February, eagerly taking on the medical regime her new foster kitty required: pain medicine, fish oil and eye drops, all twice a day on a rigid schedule. To protect Kylie’s burns and promote healing, Rena purchased her a T-shirt. When the shirt didn’t quite fit, Kylie had it tailored.

Today, Kylie is an integral part of Rena’s family and fast friends with Lafaille cats Gizmo and Cleopatra, a Beagle called Maya, and Baby Jin, a four-and-a-half-pound Chihuahua who is her playmate and constant companion. Rena continues to work with Dr. Wagner on Kylie’s treatment, and they’re hopeful she won’t need medication one day.

“Kylie will never, ever give up no matter what,” Rena says. “It was her spirit that got her through this. She’s really an incredible cat.”

We can’t think of a better example of the animals our members’ support touches. If you haven’t lately, please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today. You’ll assist animals like Kylie—those already fortunate enough to be in our care, and those still waiting for our help.

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anthony

dear rena thank you for being so kind to this lovely cat it saddens me that people do this to innocent animals we had a rescue cat but sadly had to put to sleep because he got very sick it's only been a week since this happened we miss him so much we are getting another rescuse soon but he still will be missed had him for 3 years well anyway keep up the good work

Jean

Anthony-So sorry about your loss. Many of us posting to this blog can empathize. Yes! Please do adopt another rescue kitty. Another cat will never replace the one you lost; but he/she will bring new joy to your life with his/her unique personality. And it will be another kitty that will never suffer the same hell Kylie went through before she was saved by angels.

Cherie

The extreme good and evil in this world just astounds me. I can't imagine hurting an animal this way. How these kind of people esxist in the world and then the people like you, myself and others who love animals and would so anything for them! Kylie is lucky to have you and all your animal family! I love your Beagle as I have two like her! I have always been a dog person and with this story I just may adopt a cat to add to the family of dogs! God Bless!

mary jamison

thank god she'll be ok someone needs a good butt kicking for doing that to her she is a strong willed cat

Virginia

The stories of abuse are heartbreaking. I give to the ASPCA for many reasons, but one in particular. I was driving south toward Cape Cod one busy evening and found myself facing a truck which had slammed on its brakes. I got out in heavy traffic when I saw that a young swan was in the middle of bumper to bumper traffic. I pulled my car over to the breakdown lane and parked it while I walked out into the middle of three-lane traffic and stopped it. Someone called the state police and I thought I'd be reprimanded. Instead, he helped me - the swan would have been killed, he had no way to fly off with cars all around him. The officer called the ASPCA, who thankfully were just a few miles away on another rescue. Two men came and gently captured and carried the swan off the road, down a slope and let him go in a small pond. Now if only we could have no-kill shelters, the ASPCA would be perfect.

Anonymous

Every time we naturally get upset about the unfathomable cruelty capable of doing this to a defenseless animal, we have to always remember that there are people like Rena, the man who found Kylie and the doctors who treated her. There is more good than bad in the world and we just have to support it in any way we can :)

diane

God bless all of you who saved her.

Stephanie

Rena, echoing everyone's posts, thank you! Our family also found and adopted a kitten with chemical burns, though nowhere near as severe as Kylie's. we thought she would be bald always, but not so! God bless you and all your furry family members.....so glad people like you and Kylie's rescuers exist!

Tucker

I AS WELL AGREE WITH EMMA!! NICELY WRITTEN!!

O.M.G.!! W.T.F.F.F.F.F. IS WRONG WITH HUMANS!?!?!?
CRYING,GETTING CHILLS AND LIVID!! DISGUSTED,DIDAPOINTED AND TIRED OF EFFING HUMANS!!

GOD BLESS YOU KYLIE CAT, YOUR IN MY HEART AND PRAYERS!!

IT IS HAPPY DANCE TIME FOR CAT KYLIE!! YOU ARE SAFE NOW AND
FOREVER!! WOOO HOOOO!!

GOD BLESS THE 2 DOGS YOU SAVED THIS CAT KYLIE'S LIFE!!
WOOO HOOOO!!

ASPCA YOU ROCK!! DOCS AT BERGH M. ANIMAL HOSPITAL YOU ROCK!! THANK YOU ALL AT ASPCA AND B.M.A.H.!!!!!!!!

Kelly Roche CVT...

OMG what a sad story but with a happy ending!!! My heart breaks just thinking that someone could do such a horrible thing! who do that should that should be punished SEVERELY!!! I'd love to poor acid on their bodies! I live in San Diego and about 2 years ago over a course of 2 weeks the 24 hour emergency hospital I worked at saw 3 pit bull puppies come in with chemical burns on their backs and legs! 1 every few days. They were all found in the general vicinity! All were treated and healed as well as they could and are now in forever homes!! It's just very disturbing to me that there are people who get their kicks by hurting innocent animals. It's just horrific. I REALLY hope one day, SOON, the laws for animal abuse will get more severe. I fine and no longer allowed to own a pet is OBVIOUSLY not steep enough. Sure there can be jail time but not enough offenders get jail time, or a long enough sentence!! For now I'll just keep doing my job and saving the lives of as any pets as I can!!! Thank you to all others in the veterinary industry, rescue groups, volunteers, good samaritans, and foster families!!!!!

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