When Jasper arrived at OHS, you could hear his purr even as he waited patiently in his kennel during the check-in process. This young, friendly feline captured everyone’s heart from the moment he stepped out of his kennel. But one step was all it took for the team to realize something was very wrong.
Jasper traveled to OHS, via the Second Chance Program, from a small rural shelter with few resources. He was one of the more than 8,000 pets who were transferred to OHS in 2018.
As Jasper tried to walk, it was clear that his legs were malformed. They were bent and his knees splayed out. Even as he struggled to walk, he was eager for attention – he staggered over to each person in the cat exam room soliciting pets. The low hum of his constant purr echoed throughout the room and melted the hearts of the OHS staff.
His sweet disposition was a heartbreaking contrast to his apparently painful condition. He was diagnosed by OHS veterinarians with luxating patellas, a rare condition in young cats affecting his knees. Instead of sitting in their proper place, Jasper’s kneecaps were lodged on the inside of his leg. This explained his awkward gait. Jasper was likely born with the condition and, sadly, never been pain free.
Dr. Wendy Rekers from the OHS Medical Team had the expertise to perform the intricate surgery that Jasper needed to be able to walk normally. She tackled the surgery in three parts. First, she removed the kneecaps from their incorrect place. Then she created a groove in the proper place in his leg for the kneecap. Finally, she used sutures to secure the kneecap into its new, and proper, place.
After surgery, Jasper spent time recovering in a foster home while the OHS Medical Team monitored his progress. Jasper’s young age was both an advantage and a challenge. His body healed quickly but that also meant he wanted to run around and test his new knees. Luckily, he was a cooperative patient and his foster home kept him calm and quiet until he was fully healed.
Jasper returned to OHS where he quickly caught the eye of an adopter. His new mom also adopted another OHS cat, Loki, who was around the same age. The two cats became fast friends.
Jasper is not only a beloved pet, he also has an important role in paying it forward. His adopter works in the mental health field and Jasper is always there to comfort her and provide a dose of laughter after she’s had a tough day. This little orange and white cat, who began life with the odds stacked against him, is now a ray of sunshine in his new home.
Jasper is just one of the more than 12,000 pets who rely on the OHS Holman Medical Center for care each year. With your help, every pet who comes to OHS gets the medical care they deserve.