The Race to Save King Kong

King King arrived at Willamette Humane Society with a desperate plea to save his life.

Like many animals that come to a shelter, King Kong arrived in a time of need. Left on the doorstep of the Willamette Humane Society (WHS) in Salem with a note attached to his carrier, King Kong had a life-threatening blockage and needed urgent medical intervention.

The note attached to his carrier made clear that King Kong was loved by his previous family, but they simply could not afford the cost of getting him the help he needed.

“I haven’t peed in 24hrs, I need help but my parents couldn’t afford my vet bills,” the note read.  “Please save me, I am such a good kitty. I’m super friendly, potty trained, play at the time.  Please save me!”

The choice of having to surrender King Kong or watch him suffer was not really a choice at all: they reached out for help for their furry family member. OHS veterinarian Dr. Steffi Hornback was at Willamette Humane Society assisting their medical team when King Kong came in. She performed the lifesaving medical procedure, unblocking his bladder and stabilized him for the night. The next day, a dedicated volunteer from WHS brought the 2-year-old blue tabby to OHS for further observation and recovery.

King Kong had been diagnosed with Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, FIC, which can cause a blockage of the urinary tract and, if left untreated, can be painful and fatal in less than 24 hours. Cats often need emergency medical intervention in the form of medication and/or surgery. While FIC is relatively common among companion cats, particularly in males, treatment and management of the disease can be expensive since FIC can recur multiple times over the lifetime of the cat and the onset of the disease can be sudden and unpredictable.

After spending a few weeks in the care of OHS medical staff, King Kong was healthy and ready to begin his journey of finding a forever home. He found a loving home a few days later with an adopter who understood his special needs.

Cases like King Kong’s highlight the kind of collaborative work in which animal welfare organizations like WHS and OHS regularly engage and have helped to make Oregon one of the safest places in the U.S. for companion animals. By sharing resources, best practices and regularly engaging their community, OHS and WHS work together to improve the lives of the animals in their care and throughout state.

That practice of collaboration will solidify further as Willamette Humane Society merges into Oregon Humane Society on July 1. The merger will bring access to more resources and enhanced medical services to the communities of the central valley and their pets.