Laurel is a 10-month-old kitten who loves to purr and knead the blanket she uses for warmth at local animal hospital.
Her eyes sparkle with hope and gratitude, and do not reflect the horrors she has faced, which make you wonder why she trusts humans at all, or how she's even alive in the first place.
The last week was certainly a traumatic one for Laurel, as she was hit by a car, shot, stoned and left for dead before a Good Samaritan saved her life.
Her recovery is going to be very costly, and ARC is reaching out to the public to help this cat get the care she deserves.
"We're going to do whatever it takes to make sure she lives her life as a happy cat," said Tina Hagar, media coordinator for ARC. "We have two links to help her and you can go on our website and donate."
Laurel, a grey kitten with splashes of white, was found in the area of Virginia Street in Cape Coral on July 17 with severe injuries. X-rays revealed many fractures that led to the conclusion that Laurel had been hit by a car and left for dead.
They also showed that Laurel had also been shot, as she had BBs or gunshot pellets in her body; and was being stoned, reportedly by children, too injured and weak from starvation to escape.
Thankfully, Frank Konners, a roofing estimator whose wife volunteers for ARC, was on the roof and saw the children throwing rocks in the nearby brush. He went to see what the problem was.
"I got off the ladder and saw a cat limping, so I grabbed the cat and called ARC to find out where to bring it," Konners said. "I was with her for an hour and fed it and put a towel on her. She was purring and had the will to live. I needed a doctor to say the same thing."
Konners called his wife and the wheels went into motion. Laurel was taken to Specialized Veterinary Services in Fort Myers, where she underwent a battery of hydration, nourishment, bandaging and wound management.
"She started to perk up and we continued assessments and they felt strongly she had the spirit to pull through," said Wayne Leinen, ARC executive director. "She has a good shot at recovery."
She'll require multiple orthopedic surgeries to mend her broken bones and remove the bullets lodged inside her body. She will likely lose her right rear leg, and she will require extensive surgery to save her left forelimb.
"The doctors were very objective on their diagnosis of her, whether doing good for her would be doing a disservice by keeping her alive," Leinen said. "The doctors determined that we weren't."
Remarkably, her prognosis is promising. Even more so is that she is so affectionate and loving.
But the road to recovery will be long, and very expensive.
ARC is looking for people to donate to Laurel's care. Visit the websites below to donate to her Special Medical Fund or her GoFundMe account, set up specifically to help Laurel and other animals like her.
"We're really hoping we can get a good amount of donations so we can give her the best shot," Hager said. "We hope this inspires people to stand up for animals being abused. Help is always there."
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