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HRA: Caring For the Most Vulnerable

From preventative medicine and infectious disease control to emergency care, shelter veterinarians must be able to adapt to the ever-changing needs of a shelter environment and provide innovative solutions to care for some of the community's most vulnerable animal populations. Nowhere is that more evident than at the Humane Rescue Alliance. Our medical team is dedicated to caring for and changing the outcome for the more than 20,000 animals they serve annually. One of those animals is Snuggle Muffins.

In early January, community cat Snuggle Muffins came to his caregiver's yard for his nightly meal, where they immediately recognized something was wrong and called the Humane Rescue Alliance.

Animal Control Officer Ryan Jesien responded to the urgent call and was able to locate Snuggle Muffins, a grey-colored domestic short hair cat, with a traumatic wound to his forehead. Slowly, Officer Jesien was able to gain his trust and safely confine Snuggle Muffins, after which he transported the injured cat directly to our emergency partner Friendship Hospital for Animals for urgent evaluation and supportive care overnight.

"Given the severe head trauma, his demeanor was remarkable - he was incredibly friendly and outgoing," said Officer Jesien. "Once he trusted me and it was clear I was there to help, he began soliciting attention, head butting, and even making biscuits when I placed him in a carrier."

When Snuggle Muffins arrived at the HRA Medical Center the next morning, it was unclear what had happened, but the medical team quickly began treating a large head wound, in which nearly the entire crown of his head showed exposed muscle and a small central area of skull exposed, in addition to the appearance of a previous burn-like injury to the area. Surprisingly, throughout this incredible trauma, the medical staff noted that he was bright, alert, and very affectionate. 

After three surgeries to repair his head wound and months of critical care by our medical team, Snuggle Muffins was finally feeling better. After some time in the shelter, and later a foster home, he found a new, loving home with Breeann. "Snuggle Muffins's name has officially been changed to Blue because of his calming nature and tough experiences," she writes. "He adjusted wonderfully to his new home and is just a snuggly as ever. We absolutely adore him!"

Snuggle Muffins remained friendly and loving throughout this long and painful ordeal, and is not only a testament to the resiliency of animals, but to the intensive, round-the-clock care our medical and animal care teams are committed to providing to each animal in our care. Because of them, animals like Snuggle Muffins have the best chance at a full recovery and new beginning.


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