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Woof! Woof!

Hello and happy holidays everyone, my name is Harley! I am an 18-month-old Jack Russell terrier cross. 

While I didn’t have the easiest of starts, I still understood how lucky I was. When I found my way to Lort Smith, and to the wonderful staff and volunteers whose hard work, care and support transforms the lives of vulnerable animals every day, I knew I had arrived in a special 

place.While I’m really looking forward to spending Christmas in my brand new home, with a family all of my own,
there are many other animals that won’t be able to do that this year. The lovely people at Lort Smith are hoping that by us telling you how they’ve given both of us a second chance at life, you will send them a gift this Christmas and help to save even more lives.

Before I arrived at Lort Smith I had a home and a family, but they couldn’t look after me anymore because they weren’t very well. At first I was worried about what might happen to me, but I soon found myself at Lort Smith. I learnt that Lort Smith was named after Louisa Lort Smith. A lady who loved animals a whole lot and did many amazing things to help them. It turns out that Lort Smith is this magical place where humans save the lives of animals and find them new homes.

During my initial health check at the Animal Hospital, the vets found I had a bit of a wonky front leg – it was bent at an unusual angle. One of my front legs felt different to the other - it hurt and made playing difficult.

The Lort Smith team decided it was definitely something that needed fixing as it might cause more problems for me later in life. Apparently Jack Russell’s rarely have completely straight legs. In my case, they were worried I would develop osteoarthritis, or other conditions which would make it even harder for me to walk, run and play as I got older.

Using a CT scanner, the vets took detailed pictures of my wonky leg. I know that this machine cost lots and lots of money and that it has helped Lort Smith save so many animals including wombats and koalas.

The humans worked out that I had a valgus deformity - the bones in my leg were twisting outwards as I grew. Because I was still just a puppy, there was nothing they could do until I had stopped growing.

I had to wait five months until I became a big dog and then Lort Smith would be able to fix my leg. Lort Smith placed me in foster care with a lovely lady called Adele until I was able to have surgery.

When I reached twelve months of age, I was no longer a puppy and the vets at Lort Smith could start fixing my wonky leg. The humans said that repairing my leg wasn’t going to be easy. They used their CT scanner to create a 3D printed model of my leg bone making it easier to plan for the procedure. They were able to make a custom plate to be attached during surgery and it would be the perfect fit!

My surgery was a complete success and I felt so fortunate to have received such amazing care from everyone at Lort Smith.

It took me some time to recover, but I soon received some very exciting news that made me forget about any discomfort I was feeling. Adele and her lovely partner decided I could stay with them for always! I absolutely adore my new home – I have so much space to play! There are donkeys, a horse, kangaroos and echidnas. My favourite game is soccer, followed closely by anything to do with tennis balls! I also enjoy quiet time on the couch with my new family, just knowing that I am loved is the most incredible thing.

And that incredible thing is what Lort Smith wants to be able to offer other animals in need. All I wanted for Christmas this year was to be happy, healthy and living in a safe home. Thanks to generous donors, Lort Smith was able to make that happen for me. And with your support this Christmas, they will be able to make this dream a reality for so many more.

Love from Harley x

Meow and Purr!

Hi everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the start of the festive season! My name is Fluffy and I’m a four-year-old ragdoll cat. 

I’m not quite as far along as Harley in my own journey, but I’m very hopeful of finding a new home and family myself one day soon. Like my friend, I’ve not had the best of starts, but the care, support and love that I’ve received at Lort Smith has given me so much hope for the future. There are so many more animals just like me that Lort Smith wants to help this festive season.

Before I arrived at Lort Smith I was living with a family and another feline friend. Life was pretty good, until one day, I was crushed by one of those big metal doors where humans keep their cars! Meowsers – did it hurt!

My family couldn’t afford to help me get better, and they decided that it would be best for Lort Smith to look after me. I was confused and a little scared at first as there was just so much change but the amazing team at Lort Smith soon made me feel safe again.

I had pelvic radiographs carried out to see if I had any my broken bits. They discovered that I had a pelvic fracture. I couldn’t stand-up and I could only put very light weight on my hind legs. I couldn’t eat when I first arrived, it was just too painful. Plus, it hurt when I went to the toilet… The vets had to start syringe feeding me.

I needed to have surgery to fix my fractured pelvis. After the plating surgery the vets said my x-rays looked good, so I was hopeful I would start to feel better soon.

My wound was uncomfortable so I would chew at the sutures. The vets had to glue the wound closed with a special medical glue. Even though I knew the surgery was helping me to get better, I still didn’t feel very well.

I still didn’t want to eat and the humans at Lort Smith were starting to get really worried about me. I had pyrexia, which means I was hotter than I should be, and I suffered with persistent anorexia. Because I wasn’t eating I was losing more weight. The humans got so scared for me that they decided to transfer me to the intensive care unit where they could keep a closer eye on me.

The vets decided to do an oesophagostomy tube placement. An o-tube is a type of feeding tube which enabled me to receive all of the calories that I needed in the least stressful way.

Even though I struggled with anaemia and diarrhoea during my recovery, I was slowly starting to get better. I had some moderate muscle wastage around my hips and so I began physiotherapy to rebuild my strength.

I was able to reduce the medications I was taking, and I quickly started to feel much brighter. I started to eat a small amount of food although and had a preference for being spoon fed and anything with gravy!

I continued to receive supportive treatment with nutritional food supplementation and appetite stimulants to help my eating get better. My movement improved and my anxiety reduced – I enjoyed receiving cuddles again.

Initially, I went to stay with a vet in their home whilst I recovered. Once my o-tube was removed I was placed in the loving home of one of Lort Smith’s amazing foster carers. She says I am a very sweet and calm cat, albeit a little shy. I love my toys and playing in tunnels. Every day I feel like I am getting back to my former self.

Although I don’t have a new home and family of my own yet, the wonderful humans at Lort Smith tell me I’m ready to find one now! I feel so lucky to have received such amazing care and support and I’m hoping to find a new home in time for Christmas. Thanks to the staff and volunteers at Lort Smith I have been able to recover from my injuries. It cost Lort Smith more than $4,000 to fix my pelvis and to care for me. From surgery, to rehabilitation, to medication and physiotherapy, Lort Smith saved me in every way possible. Without the support of generous donors this would not have been possible. Are you able to make a donation and help ensure Lort Smith is able to save more animals in need just like me?

Paws sincerely, Fluffy x

Don’t forget any donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

Our fundraising team will automatically send you out an end of financial year tax receipt.

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24 Villiers Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051

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