Tilly was a small bundle of matted fur that shook in fear on the steel table in our Veterinary Clinic. Her fear was distressing to look at. Our vets estimated that this poor girl had been neglected for at least 18 months, if not longer.
The first step in helping Tilly was inspecting the coat of matted fur that covered her trembling body. This fear was so crippling that she needed to be sedated before she could be inspected by our concerned veterinary team.
Once sedated, our vets were able to truly gauge the damage her coat had caused her. Matted severely in places, whole clumps of fur stuck together, impossible to untangle after years of neglect. Thick and dirty to the touch, the fur provided the perfect breeding ground for fleas. They covered her body and appeared to have been living on Tilly for some time. After the examination, our veterinary team concluded that they had to remove her entire coat and so, bit by bit, they cut away the fur and infestation that had plagued her for so long.
After the lengthy process of removing her ruined fur, Tilly woke from her sedation to find herself free of the burden she had carried for the past 18 months. With the fur around her ears and eyes removed, for the first time in over a year she was able to see and hear the world around her.
After some time in foster care, Tilly’s temperament improved dramatically and she began to regain her personality. This rapid and remarkable change led to a discussion between our veterinary and behavioural team that resulted in a single conclusion:
Tilly was ready to find her forever home.
Despite her traumatic ordeal, Tilly’s sweet and affectionate personality prevailed and she was lucky enough to be adopted by a caring new family
Education fosters positive change.
The regularity in which we see cases like Tilly is both upsetting and concerning to us all. While much of the work that we do here at the Shelter is responding to a variety of awful situations, our objective is to prevent these acts from happening in the first place through a variety of proactive education initiatives.
This ongoing emphasis on education is made possible through the generous and ongoing support of the Canberra community. While we will always be a refuge for animals like Tilly where they can heal, rehabilitate and find their new forever home, our ultimate long-term goal is to prevent abuse and neglect in the first instance.
As the end of the financial year approaches, we hope to continue these education programs and make them as comprehensive and far reaching as possible.
Thank you for your continued support as we strive to prevent animal cruelty to all animals, great or small, in the ACT.