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Financial dilema with stray kitty :(

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

I've long been a lurker of this site for a while and have found the advice given here very helpful, so I'm hoping for some advice regarding my current dilema. Here it is:

A little over a month ago, a stray kitty showed up at my door. He was very thin, extremely dirty, and with an injury to his mouth. I took him in, fed him, cleaned him up, and took him to the vet. His jaw was locked slightly open--he could move it a tiny bit, but not very much. The vet told me that it looks like he was hit in the face during Hurricane Wilma (I'm in Miami). I've kept him in my house since then (although separated from my babies), fed him canned food, taken care of his other medical needs, and he's now gained almost 3 pounds! He's now a pretty happy, healthy kitty. I think he's ready for me to find him a home (my townhouse has already reached it's pet capacity), except for his jaw problem.

Here's what it comes down to: At my vet's recommendation, I took him to see a specialist about his jaw. He found that the right side of his jaw was shattered, locking his jaw in place. This can be fixed, but the surgery will cost between $1800 and $2500. Naturally, I want to get the surgery done, but we just don't have the money. We've already spent almost $1200 on his vet bills, and right now I'm the only one who's working.

I don't know what to do. I'm torn between knowing that his jaw can be fixed and knowing that I can't afford to pay for the surgery, and I'm worried that I won't be able to find a good home for him. He's such a sweet, wonderful kitty, and he deserves to have his jaw fixed and find a wonderful family. What can I do? Do you think I'll be able to find him a good home? Does anyone have any suggestions? Please let me know.

post #2 of 7
Sometimes we take up a collection at my clinic for hurt animals that need an expensive amount of work done. Maybe you could talk to your clinic and see if they'll put out a fund jar for you to help you? Or, you could call around to different places to see if you could get it fixed cheaper....even flying the kitty somewhere out of state might be cheaper to have it done elsewhere.....just a thought.....
post #3 of 7
I think I read something on this board about sources of funding
for those with no money - to care for ferals/strays needing
help... maybe it was specific diseases though?

Anyway, here's my best recommendation - see if you can
work out a deal where you pay it off on an installment plan?

Alternately, perhaps a vet school will take him to do the surgery
and "teach" students at the same time? (Like going to a teaching
hospital when you are a human with lots of needs and low income
post #4 of 7
Have you contacted the local humane society or spca??? sometimes they help out
post #5 of 7
I'm confused. What happens if he DOESN'T get the operation? Is his jaw permanently locked slight open? Apparently he can eat all right. What problems is this causing? Why would an adoptive home not want to deal with this problem? Is he happy? What is his quality of life?
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
If he doesn't get the operation, his jaw will be permanently locked open. He can eat soft food this way, but he drools a lot, makes a big mess when he eats, and has trouble cleaning himself. I have to clean his mouth, chin and nose everytime he finishes eating, and wipe down his entire body once a day. He also needs periodic baths. He will need to get his teeth cleaned at the vet periodically, but getting to the backside of his teeth might be a problem. Other than that, he's pretty happy, and very, very sweet.

I don't mind doing those things, but I am not in a position where I can keep him long-term. Everyone I have spoken to about adopting him tell me that they are not interested as soon as they hear about his jaw--and this was before I knew his jaw could be fixed. I can only imagine people's reactions when I tell them about the cost of the surgery.

Anyway, I appreciate everyone's suggestions. I'm going to use those to try to find a way to get him this surgery. If you can think of any other avenues I should investigate, please let me know.

post #7 of 7
While some people would not consider this wise, if the vet won't offer an installment plan and there are no agencies who will help, I would apply for a credit card and use it to pay for his surgery. Then you could pay off the card as it fits your budget. This isn't the best thing for your credit score but it would be best for the kitty. I think the reason his jaw is shattered is because someone abused him. I'm hoping that the rest of his life will be happy. Lots of prayers and vibes for you to find a way to help this poor little kitty.
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