Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Animal rescue isn’t just something that volunteers do; it is something that volunteers are. There are times when volunteers are faced with circumstances which are truly heartbreaking and shake them to their very core. The abuse and unbearable pain an animal endured seems unimaginable yet unfortunately, it is very real. It is in these situations volunteers can feel helpless and so hopeless, their spirits can be broken. However, it is during these moments volunteers demonstrate unwavering strength and determination to do everything in their power to save a life. This is the story of Mike’s miracle.
On September 29, 2015 supporters of AMA Animal Rescue in Brooklyn, NY found a cat on a street and immediately called the rescue, who agreed to take him into their care due to the severe nature of his injuries. Mike, a 6 month to 1-year-old Domestic Short Hair Mix, was found stiff from shock and pain and extremely thin even for a kitten. A rope had been pulled so tightly around Mike’s neck, it sliced his throat nearly in half. According to the Rescue, “The most horrific detail of Mike’s condition was that the rope had a neat double knot tied at one end, leading us to believe that this cat did not just get himself into this extremely unfortunate situation. This means that someone had to be cruel enough to intentionally tie this rope around Mike’s neck and strangle him so hard that a simple fabric rope almost decapitated him.” The cruelty Mike endured was beyond belief, however, Mike was described as being ‘’very calm.” This helpless animal who was so brutally injured at the hands of others didn’t mind being handled by the vets. Mike was soon aptly renamed Miracle by the volunteers at AMA Animal Rescue.
From the moment he was recued, Miracle fought hard to survive the torture he suffered. AMA Animal Rescue vowed to fight just as hard for Miracle. The cost of saving Miracle would come not only at a high emotional cost, but high monetarily as well. They contacted the Ian Somerhalder Foundation and were immediately granted an ISF Medical Emergency Care Grant for Animals.
AMA Rescue’s veterinarians removed the rope embedded in Miracle’s neck and said, “He even let out a purr after the rope was removed.” With the rope so close to sensitive areas such as the esophagus, its removal was extremely difficult and tedious to ensure more damage did not occur. Miracle was closely monitored and was nourished to get his strength up to undergo surgery. Essentially reconnecting the circumference of his neck, the surgery consisted of stitching together his muscles and then reconnecting his skin. Although Miracle’s vital glands and airway appeared to be clear, the full extent of the damage would not be known until the surgery.
Noah’s Ark Veterinary Practice performed the life saving surgery on October 5, 2015. Once again, Miracle was closely monitored and given a high amount of painkillers since the throat area is extremely delicate and moves so much. It was highly imperative Miracle’s neck area did not contract an infection which would compromise his organs during the healing process. Miracle was placed with a foster family 11 days after his surgery where he would continue to recover. Following surgery, a lesion formed on Miracle’s neck causing great concern for his vets. Thankfully, test results from the lesion culture indicated it was a natural reaction to the operated area’s healing. The lesion soon healed and any signs of infection or further complications were absent. Astoundingly, Miracle’s surgery was successful as he displayed full function of his neck including the tissues and nerves.
Miracle’s rescue was undoubtedly a collective display of human compassion from the Good Samaritans who found him so close to death and contacting AMA Rescue, to the vets who cared for him and his foster family who realized Miracle was a perfect match for their family. The foster family was a previous adopter and their AMA Rescue pup quickly formed a wonderful friendship with Miracle. They said, “Fate brought Miracle into their home”. On December 10, 2015 Miracle officially found his forever home.
AMA Rescue had this to say about their experience, “It’s important not to let emotional and gut-wrenching injuries get the best of you. When contacted about a cat nearly beheaded by a rope around his neck we could have decided, the surgery would be too expensive, or that he would die, or even that his rehab would be too difficult.” However, they unanimously agreed they’ll continue to take on the injured and abandoned animals no matter what circumstances surround their rescue. AMA Rescue stated, “Miracle was the turning point where we decided that we will dedicate ourselves to the most difficult cases, especially those that other rescues or individuals might tend to deem a lost cause.”
AMA Rescue thanked ISF by saying, “We cannot thank you enough for investing more than just financial in Miracle’s well-being. We follow you on social media and are humbled by your work and contributions to animal welfare.”
We at ISF would like to say thank you to AMA Rescue and all those involved in saving Miracle. Miracle’s rescue is a true testament that hope can always be found in a seemingly hopeless situation.
Written by Theresa Blangiforti
Edited by Bob Stone