A cat confined to a wheelchair after being hit by a car last year has defied the odds and is walking once again thanks to his dedicated new owner’s care.
Chance, who was unable to use his back legs following the life-changing collision and was fitted with a novel animal wheelchair, has now regained 80 percent use of his legs due to physiotherapy.
Paul Dempsey, from Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, adopted Chance from rescue group Cats Without Homes after the cat's original owner gave him up following the accident, the Irish Independent reports.
“Initially, X-rays showed that Chance suffered spinal injuries and nothing could be done to help him other than rest and physiotherapy, but I really wanted to see if I could do more for him,” said Dempsey.
Dempsey, who was worried his cat would develop ulcers on his back legs from dragging them along the ground, took Chance to see veterinary surgeon Dr Pete Wedderburn in Bray, Co Wicklow.
They decided to try and fit Chance with a wheelchair. Dempsey was able to buy the €420 ($469) piece of equipment after a fundraising campaign.
“Chance didn’t like it (wheelchair) much and despite spending a few weeks gradually getting him use to his hind legs being supported by wheels, he was not enjoying it and he seemed depressed,” said Dempsey.
“We sent the wheelchair back to the UK company and got a 70pc refund. It was worth a go, but Chance was just not going to be a wheelchair cat.
“Chance, who is now two, is still very wobbly but is getting around without dragging his legs which is just mind boggling. To me, he is just an amazing cat and full of determination.”
Dempsey is now setting up Ireland’s only home for disabled and special needs cats called TLC/The Last Chance Sanctuary.
“He has inspired me so much that I had started another campaign on gofundme.com/the-last-chance to set up a small cat sanctuary to cater for up to 10 special needs and disabled cats near Baltinglass.
“Not only has Chance inspired me and many others who support and follow him on his Facebook page.”
So far, Dempsey has been able to raise more than €3,800 ($4246), but he still needs another €1,000 ($1117) to pay for the unit and €700 ($782) a month to run the sanctuary.
Moss Veterinary Hospital in Naas, Co Kildare will be helping with the medical care.
To make a donation, go to gofundme.com/the-last-chance.