Help needed to get local kitten life-saving surgery


A local kitten with a rough start to life is on the list for specialized surgery. 

First, “Annie” the kitten was orphaned. Then, a foster parent learned the furry feline has a heart defect. 

Now, that foster parent is working with the city to save her life.

“We’re trying to help her. Every animal deserves a second chance,” said foster parent Sandra Schmidt.

 At eight months old, Annie lives her life like any other kitten except for one big difference. Annie has a unique, potentially fatal heart condition.

Veterinarians say a passageway to her heart never closed when she was born.

“That can be a major problem because her heart is taking on extra work because now it’s dealing with extra blood coming from a place where it shouldn’t be coming from,” said Nicole Vigil, Albuquerque Animal Welfare senior veterinarian.

For the past several months, Annie has been living with Schmidt.

“This doesn’t affect her right now. She’s just a kitten. She knows nothing about it. She just plays as normal,” said Schmidt.

However, time isn’t on Annie’s side.

“It will affect her as she grows because her heart will not be able to pump enough blood,” said Schmidt.

“The more damage that is done to her heart because of the problem that is there, the less time she has,” said Vigil.

Which is why the only solution to save Annie would be for her to receive very specialized surgery. 

“It will save her heart. Although the surgery is very intense and intricate, if it goes well, Annie will get to live a full life. Where now, with her heart problem, we’re looking at only a few months,” said Vigil.

Vigil worked tirelessly to get Annie into a program at Colorado State University, which will allow her to undergo the life-saving surgery for a fraction of the cost.

“Normally this surgery can be thousands and thousands of dollars. They’re willing to do it for hundreds,” said Vigil.

Annie’s spot is secured, but while the cost is significantly reduced, they’re not in the clear yet. 

The surgery will still cost $625.

They hope by tugging at the heartstrings of the community, they can raise enough money to fix a heart worth saving. 

“Once she has this surgery, she will be fixed for life. That is the coolest thing about this situation,” said Vigil.

 The surgery will give this orphaned kitten a chance to find her forever home.

 “I’m going to start crying. It would mean the world to me just to have her be normal,” said Schmidt.

Animal Welfare says any donation is appreciated. 

You can donate at any of the shelters or through Kennel Kompadres.

The money donated will also go to helping with transportation to get to Fort Collins.

Animal Welfare is hoping to get Annie to Colorado State University as soon as possible.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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