Harley's Story


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A disturbing case of animal cruelty

Harley is a two year old cat who lives with a loving mom Jennifer and her 8-year old son Nate.  On Friday July 2nd, Harley was outside playing with his sister Linden who lives with a family next door.  When the neighbor went to look for Linden she found both cats covered from the waist down in what smelled like paint thinner.  There were no traces of the chemical on their front paws or faces, which should have been the case if they had fallen in accidentally.  It looked as if the cats had been picked up by someone and dipped into the chemical.  The neighbor was able to clean Linden right away, but Harley jumped onto his patio and out of reach. 

Watch Harley's story on CTV or
see the articles in the news:
Metro - July 9, 2010 - "New West cat clawing to life"

Harley sat for an hour while the chemical got into his lungs and seeped into his skin.   He now has severe chemical burns in his mouth, throat and lungs and is being treated in the ICU at the Canada West Veterinary Hospital.  He can't breathe on his own, and has to be fed through a feeding tube until the burns in his throat heal.  He will likely lose the end of his tongue, and may need a tracheotomy if his breathing doesn't improve. 

Nate has started sleeping in his mom's bed since Harley has been in the hospital.  He says, "I wish Harley could come home, cause I can't sleep in the house without him."  Even though the deposit alone was more than they could afford, there was no question of whether or not Harley would get treatment. 
"Harley has enriched my life in so many ways", says Jennifer.  "His quirky behavior and mannerisms made us laugh, he often licked my tears when I cried, and he was always willing to cuddle at night when I felt lonely. I can't imagine life before him anymore..."

At this point Harley's treatment is estimated to cost anywhere from $5 000 to $15 000.  If you can contribute at all, any amount will help this well deserving family and their brave cat.  Donations can be made by paypal to harleysfight4life@hotmail.com or directly to the Canada West Veterinary Hospital, (604) 473-4882. 

Donations are now also being collected by the Royal City Humane Society, for which tax receipts are available.  Any additional funds will be donated to animals who are in critical condition or who have been victims of abuse.


Updates:
July 10, 2010

Harley's breathing tube was taken out today and he is now able to breathe on his own.  Thanks to everyone who is helping to make his recovery possible!  He's got a ways to go still, but it's starting to look as though he'll pull through.

July 11, 2010
The nurses say he is starting to try to cuddle and the doctor says all of his insides look good and that he thinks he is recovering.  Please keep passing on the word so Jen can afford to keep him going!  By the way, the doctor says he's not suffering as they have him sedated while he is recovering.

July 25, 2010
Harley is finally coming home!  After nearly a month he is finally well enough to leave the hospital.  His throat is still not fully recovered and Jen will have to feed him through his feeding tube for a while longer but the doctors are now confident that he will make a full recovery.  Thanks to everyone who has been supporting the family through donations and emails.  So far $6 000 of the $18 000 has been raised and they are feeling truly blessed that so many people have come forward to help. 

See the latest updates on Harley's condition:

The Province - July 24, 2010 - "New Westminster cat slowly recovering weeks after being doused in paint thinner"
The Vancouver Sun - July 28, 2010 - "Bills for New Westminster cat dunked in paint thinner may hit $18,000"

Join the Facebook group "Save Harley's Roar" for further updates.