Valentine, an eight-month-old feline born with a heart condition that is certain to shorten his life, still has a world of love to give to a very lucky forever family. This precious ball of fur has tugged at everyone’s heartstrings at the Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) Adoption Department in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
This domestic short-haired kitten’s life expectancy has a maximum of only about four years, but the love he will be able to pack into that short time will change someone’s life forever. He has an affectionate nature which earned him his time-honored name. Center workers are also hoping that the right person gets shot with the love arrow for this special kitten with the appropriate name in time for the loving holiday tomorrow.
The little boy kitty was surrendered by an over-capacity rescue facility in the Los Angeles area. He arrived with all the characteristics that a potential adopter could ever hope to find. Valentine’s handsome face and sweet devoted purrs immediately gained him a new family, but something went awry. When the family took him to their local veterinarian, they discovered a heart murmur. The family was unable to afford the specialized medical care the little fellow needed, so they brought him to Helen Woodward.
The veterinary staff at HWAC quickly took action. They diagnosed his condition as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In laymen’s terms it means that his heart developed with an obstruction blocking and limiting the blood traveling to his aorta – the main artery to the body and organs.
Valentine’s condition forces his heart to work extremely hard and will eventually cause it to thicken. If he had not received the medical care by the Center’s veterinarian staff, he most likely would not have lived to see his first birthday, but Dr. Stephanie Oba was proud to announce that with care the little kitty will most likely have three, possibly four, years. “He is a happy and loving cat,” stated Oba. “We want those years to be the best years he can have.”
“I know there’s someone out there for Valentine,” stated Adoptions Inventory Manager LaBeth Thompson. “One of the most wonderful things I’ve learned in this business is that our adopters have very big hearts. There are incredibly generous people out there who open up their homes to orphan pets with short life expectancies. I have my fingers crossed for this sweet kitten.”
Thanks to the generosity of those special adopters out there, HWAC’s President, Mike Arms, was instrumental in launching the I REMEMBERYOU.org website. Arms has also been influential in twelve other programs that were designed with the dedicated human-animal bond in mind. This last program was just so that the animals could live in their human’s hearts throughout their lifetime as well.
In addition to the candle lighting gallery, the site is getting set to introduce Dr. Wendy Khentigan and Dr. Vogelsang, both of whom specialize in the emotional phases of pet illness and pet loss. Upcoming expansion of the program promises grief counseling blogs penned by the two doctors as well as pet grief resource recommendations and an upcoming on-line live chat for those struggling with pet grief issues.
In the meantime, however, Valentine will be available for adoption on February 14th and has years of adoration to offer the perfect caring family. Although he will require medication twice daily and follow-up ultrasounds every six months, the devoted kitten is bursting with love to give and a heart set on a forever home of his very own.
See Valentine playing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lyd5NmJrN-A; and then witness Valentine purring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82YE9b3rkAo. When you do, feel that love arrow pierce your heart. Don’t miss out!
For more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center or for inquiries regarding adopting Valentine, please contact: 858-756-4117 ext. 1, go to www.animalcenter.org or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe. For more information on I REMEMBER YOU.org, go to www.IRememberYou.org.