S.P.P.D “Feline Unit”
The spring and summer months tend to be what the veterinary world refers to as “kitten season.” Keeping the feline population under control is extremely difficult with the large number of animals that go by without being spayed or neutered. As a result, many unwanted litters flood shelters and rescue organizations. Sadly, not every kitten finds its happy ending.
Here at PAH we have a great relationship with the Saint Petersburg Police Department. We are so proud of our city’s police officers and the amazing job that they do. Every day they risk their lives to protect our community and our families. They work long hours under heavy amounts of stress. Very rarely do they get to end their shift with a huge grin on their faces, let alone with a bundle of kittens in their arms! However, on May 1st, 2014 Officer Brett McKean did just that.
Officer McKean and his fellow coworker were investigating a scene on the South Side of Saint Petersburg. They were in a dilapidated home that had been involved in multiple illegal activities. As they began to leave the crime scene, they heard the very faint cries of kittens barely three weeks old. The tiny meows were coming from within a wall inside the house. The officers were able to open up a hole in the wall and pull out four tiny, starving kittens covered in fleas and dirt. Knowing that these kittens were weak and in need of warmth and nutrition, he called up Dr. Landers right away.
It would be something of an understatement to say that there’s never a dull moment at Partridge Animal Hospital. When it comes to animals, the job is never done. It isn’t unusual for us to get emergency calls late at night; and when we are needed, we always jump into action. When Officer McKean called, we met him up at the clinic and got to work! The kittens had just opened their eyes. They were covered in fleas, dirt, and their own blood from being bitten by the fleas so many times. They were malnourished from lack of nutrition and cold from not having their mother to help regulate their temperature. You can only imagine what their first impression of the world must have been.
Standing in front of the kitchen sink at one of our houses, we tirelessly bathed the kittens until midnight trying to get the blood-sucking fleas off of these tiny little creatures. We wrapped them in blankets and put them on heating pads to help keep their body temperatures normal. They were clean and warm, but surely not out of the woods yet. The kittens had to be syringe fed formula every three hours for the first two weeks that we had them. This round-the-clock task is not for the faint of heart. Day by day, the kittens got stronger and even started to put on weight. This litter of kittens, consisting of two boys and two girls continued to develop. The best part was when they started to sleep through the night without having to be fed! It was amazing to see their individual personalities begin to develop; especially when they were struggling to survive a few weeks prior. The “Feline Unit” traveled to the clinic every day with us. They played in the cat ward and got plenty of attention from everyone in the clinic. Officer McKean and his co-worker even stopped in to help bottle-feed them a few times!
Today, all four kittens are one-hundred percent healthy and happy! They have all been adopted out to loving families. Officer McKean and his wonderful girlfriend chose to take the runt of the litter, whom they call “Tilly.” She may be the smallest of the bunch, but she makes up for it with her huge personality. Brandi, one of the CVT’s here at PAH also has a member of the bunch. He is doing fantastic as well as the other two kittens, who found homes with acquaintances of the McKean’s. We regularly receive updates and pictures of the kittens. It warms our hearts to see them thriving and happy. We feel extremely special to have been a part of this happy ending.
If you are looking for a veterinarian who will give your kittens and cats the same treatment, contact Partridge Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment.