Donations of thousands of pounds from cat lovers around the world have paid for a potentially life saving operation for a stray cat, being treated in Accrington.
A charity’s online appeal to help Ollie, a ginger tom cat who was found badly injured last week, has gone viral on Facebook.
Staggeringly, more than £4,000 has been donated for Ollie’s veterinary bills after over 15,000 people shared the original appeal, by East Lancashire Cats.
Ollie was discovered at the side of the road covered in oil and dragging his back legs in Radcliffe, near Bury. He was shivering and could not use his back legs or tail and it is believed he had been hit by a car.
He was taken to the RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital in Salford, where vets found he had suffered severe nerve damage requiring complicated treatment.
Ollie was facing being put down until he was taken in by Accrington charity East Lancashire Cats and transferred to Mearley Veterinary Group in Accrington for treatment.
Charity founder Andy Richards, 54, from Church, posted Ollie’s story on his personal Facebook page.
Andy said: “It’s gone absolutely viral. I really can’t believe it.
“I never for a minute expected to get this kind of response. We’ve had donations from Australia, the US, Canada and all over Europe. It’s incredible.
“Ollie still has a long way to go. But we’ve gone on such a journey with him, we really don’t want to lose him now.”
An RSPCA spokesman said: “A stray cat was admitted to the RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital after he was found in the street dragging his legs on Thursday, June 18.
“Vets assessed him straight away and he was given pain relief and placed on a drip. He was monitored throughout the night, and on Friday, once stable, he was placed under anaesthetic for X-rays. No fractures were seen on the X-rays but the vet was concerned about a possible spinal injury, as he was still dragging his hind legs, and was not able to go to the toilet on his own.
“Whilst in, he was given flea treatment and vaccinated, he was given pain relief, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics round the clock, along with intensive nursing care to manage his incontinence, urine scalding and grazes. Sadly he failed to improve with this. Vets felt that his welfare was compromised by his condition and further investigation was beyond the scope of a basic charity clinic, potentially requiring advanced imaging such as CT scanning, and the care of a specialist neurologist. Even with this, with the severity of his symptoms, the prognosis was considered to be very guarded.
“The people who had originally found him had remained in touch about his care, and they opted to take him for more specialist care. Whilst we were unable to help this cat further we wish him all the best, and hopefully a full recovery.”
East Lancashire Cats relies entirely on revenue from its Blackburn Road shop. They currently have around 20 cats in their care.
Donations for Ollie’s treatment can be made through Paypal using the address email@example.com, or via a cheque payable to East Lancashire Cats, sent to 8 Blackburn Road, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 1HD.