Grant Submission: AJ’s Best Friends Rescue

Posted by Jennifer on June 16th, 2011

We’ve received so many wonderful submissions for the the Purina Veterinary Diets® $50,000 Veterinary Care Fund! We were so moved by the amazing lengths rescues and shelters go to give homeless pets a chance at getting healthy so they can be adopted – and thought you would be too! So we’re sharing some of the submissions, and all of the finalists’ and recipients’ stories here. Here’s how a $2,000 grant would (or, in the case of our recipients, WILL) change the life of a pet or pets in their care:

AJ’s Best Friends Rescue
Gilbert, AZ

Persians and Himalayans are the most popular breed of cat in the US.  Television ads show cute little kittens and beautifully groomed adult cats in cat food commercials, but few people realize how many health problems this breed has.

The Brachycephalic Syndrome, or flat face, causes many problems with the eyes, nose, mouth and teeth.  Some cats eyes drip constantly causing a puddle effect and the constant wetness causes irritation and soreness to that region.  Some of the cats that we get in will have teeth that are crooked due to overcrowding or misshapen jaw.  I recently had a kitty whose upper eye tooth grew in sideways and was laying against the top of the mouth.  Some cats will have severe underbites where part of the teeth are inside the mouth and part are outside the mouth.  Sometimes the tooth needing extraction has a long root that nearly reaches the brain requiring specialized dentistry.  So every cat we take in needs to have a dental checkup, with most of the cats having their teeth cleaned and at least one tooth extracted, and many of the cats need to have all of their teeth extracted.

Another often seen problem that we encounter are the cat’s nostrils being almost closed causing the cat extreme difficulty in breathing.   Stenotic Nares laser surgery opens up the nostrils and allows the cat to  breathe easier.  So many of these cats have pinhole-sized nostrils where they expend so much energy  struggling for every breath.   After opening the nostrils, the cat will gain weight, in many cases this surgery also has an effect on the eyes where the drainage is either stopped or minimal now.  The main thing we see is that their quality of life is extended immeasurably.

I’m enclosing a picture of Cookie.  She is a small 4.5# female Persian.  She was owned by a breeder who bred her every chance she went into heat.  Even though Cookie was living in a cage 24 hrs a day, 7days a week she craves human companionship.  She jumps in your lap, she’ll lay on your chest, and in the next picture you’ll see her laying very comfortably on this man’s shoulder.  Cookie is a 4-5yr old Blue Tabby.

Should we be chosen to receive this grant, Cookie would be spayed, she needs to have a couple of teeth pulled as well as a full mouth cleaning.  She would also receive the Stenotic Nares  laser surgery.  She is young enough where with this surgery she could live a long and happy life.

Thank you for the opportunity to apply for this grant.

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