My name is Wye Li Chong, and I’m a Veterinarian for RSPCA ACT.
As a vet at the Weston Shelter, I examine dozens (and occasionally hundreds) of animals in need on a daily basis. Each animal has its own story. Some of these stories remain with me long afterwards. I wish for a community where my job wasn’t needed – where all animals were able to live without fear, and each was valued and respected by all. But until then, I enter the vet clinic each day not knowing which animals will need our help.
One story that stands out is Flipper’s. It was a cold May morning when we opened the Shelter doors to a distressed lady. In her arms was a tiny kitten, big eyes peeking out from behind a blanket. Unfortunately the lady told our front desk a story that we’ve heard too many times before: rejected from his family, we were the kitten’s only hope.
Your support allows us to continue this vital work.
At just four weeks of age, Flipper’s original owner was threatening to ‘dispose’ of him. Fearing for his safety, the lady knew that the only way this tiny kitten had a hope for a future was to bring him to RSPCA ACT. She knew that we would do everything in our power to help him.
Our staff could tell straight away that Flipper was different to other kittens. His front legs were bent and deformed. The front desk called me right away.
RSPCA ACT receive calls like this all the time. It is only through your support that we can be there to help animals like Flipper.
We took x-rays of Flipper’s legs and discovered he was born without a radius (a bone in his front leg) due to a condition called Hemimelia, commonly known as Radial Agenesis. Radial Agenesis is a type of deformity or genetic absence of individual bones, but it is rare in domestic animals.
In Flipper’s case, the bone in his front left leg failed to form. This meant his right leg had to take all of his weight and was starting to bend too.
Due to the severe bending of his front legs, Flipper wouldn’t be able to walk, run, or play as he got older without medical intervention. Action needed to be taken right away.
Rather than amputating, we decided to try splinting both front legs to slowly straighten them as he grew. Watching Flipper walk around in these splints looked a lot like a kitten on stilts! Still he quickly became accustomed to them. Week by week we adjusted the splints as his bones began to straighten.
Slowly but surely we started to see progress. It was working! The splints had straightened his legs enough to allow him to gain sufficient functionality for day to day life. Despite this, he would need to continue this treatment until he was fully grown. Had he been much older, this probably wouldn’t have been an option. We’re lucky that his rescuer brought him to the Shelter when she did.
Veterinary costs can be pricey. That’s why we turn to compassionate people just like you to contribute to the care and maintenance of shelter animals while they wait for their forever families. It’s thanks to your help that we were able to cover the costs and perform veterinary procedures on animals like Flipper.
Your gift today will help our Vet Clinic diagnose and treat over 300 animals we see each month.
Despite his beautiful personality we knew that Flipper would need a very special and dedicated family to help him continue this treatment. Fortunately, it wasn’t too long until a new family fell in love with him. I remember examining him one more time before he went home and feeling so comforted in knowing that he was going to a home where he would be wanted and loved despite his physical challenges.
It takes people like you to help provide happy endings for unwanted, abused and neglected animals. Without your support Flipper’s story could have been very different.
Flipper’s story is just one of many we see at the RSPCA ACT Veterinary Clinic. Without funds donated by people like you, we would be unable to help the many animals that come through our doors. As just one member of the Veterinary Clinic team, I can’t tell you enough how vital your support is.
Can you make this happen by supporting the work we do?
Please don’t delay and return your donation today to help animals like Flipper. I want to personally thank you for the support you have provided us so far. It keeps the team at the Shelter motivated each and every day to know that supporters like you are by our side.
With warmest regards,
Wye Li Chong
RSPCA ACT Veterinarian