Jeaniene Leis, The Ohio State University
During my trip with HSVMA’s Rural Area Veterinary Services this past summer at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, I encountered a unique situation that has left a lasting impact on my life.
Several days in to our week-long clinic, Toshia, a sweet 10-year-old girl from the community, found a very broken 3-month-old kitten under a tree house near her home. She could tell that the tiny kitten was very badly injured and brought her to the community center where our clinic was set up. We examined the kitten and found she would not bear any weight on her swollen left front leg because it was severely fractured. She also had a large wound on her right hind leg that was horribly infested with maggots. Toshia had definitely saved the kitten’s life by bringing her in to the clinic, but her family did not have the ability or resources to care for a kitten in need of such intensive care, and a decision would need to be made about her future.
RAVS is not a rescue group, but a team of veterinary professionals and students passionate about bringing medical care to animals in communities that have limited or no access to veterinary services for their animal family members. Occasionally, like with this kitten, an extreme health or welfare issue puts an animal’s life at stake, especially if there is no family to provide the ongoing care the animal will need.