Cambrian: Opinion

Food and shelter are just a start for HART cats

Roger before and after his eye surgery, which was performed using money from the Guardian Angel fund.
Roger before and after his eye surgery, which was performed using money from the Guardian Angel fund.

In keeping you informed about how HART addresses its residents’ health care needs, summaries and stories each have a role. The short summary below is followed by two stories that illustrate how HART continues to improve the health and adoptability of its cats.

Medical Director Evelyn Zanella works tirelessly overseeing the shelter’s many health care demands. Often neglected or homeless, many cats come to HART with pre-existing medical conditions. Diabetes, hyperthyroidism and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are just a few of the health problems some suffer.

Basic and long-term health needs (medications, veterinary care, medical tests and special diets) plus standard prevention measures that include flea treatments, vaccinations and spay/neuter procedures, strain budgets and require extra volunteer hours. While expenditures can be staggering and additional volunteer hours in short supply, HART pursues its mission, believing that humane guardianship and heartwarming success stories are their own rewards.

Roger’s Tale

Three-month-old Roger arrived at HART with a severe upper respiratory infection and a badly infected right eye, which included scar tissue formation that kept it from fully opening. The HART general fund paid for the antibiotics that cured Roger’s infections.

Sadly, with his scarred right eye, Roger’s chances for adoption looked bleak. Dr. Meusel, a local veterinarian, determined that Roger could benefit from surgery to remove the scar tissue.

Because HART’s general fund could not cover such a costly procedure and essential follow-up treatment, the HART Guardian Angels (GA) stepped up, as they have done so often in the past. Used exclusively to pay for special medical care, the GA fund financed Roger’s surgery, which Dr. Meusel successfully performed in December 2016.

After two weeks of recuperation that included daily treatments to prevent scar tissue from reforming, Roger was released from medical hold — and adopted the very next day. Happily settled into his new home, Roger continues his amazing recovery.

Weigh to go, Jelly Bean!

Newcomer Jelly Bean suffered from a problem well-known to humans: obesity. She arrived at HART in late December, weighing in at 23 pounds, and was immediately put on a special diet. By the end of January, she had dropped 2 pounds, an 8 percent weight loss and the equivalent of a 150-pound person losing 12 pounds in one month.

On Feb. 3, Jelly Bean was adopted by four energetic Cal Poly students who vow to continue her special diet and ensure much-needed exercise via a new harness and daily walks around the dorm: a great start to a heathier life.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi

The Homeless Animal Rescue team’s quarterly column is special to The Cambrian. Visit HART’s no-kill shelter at 2638 Main St., Cambria, CA 93428, email or find HART online at Editor’s note: HARTbeat is the new title of the Pet Topics column.

Volunteer opportunities

HART needs volunteers and welcomes your help with any one of these services: cleaner, fosterer, writer, trapper, supply shopper, med team assistant, office worker, pet pal, photographer, transporter, gardener.

For more information, please call (805) 927-7377, or visit HART, 2638 Main St., Cambria,