‘River’s heartbreaking story reminds us why it’s so important to call the city when stray animals are seen in freezing temperatures’

This is the happy ending story of River, a black cat found injured and “clinging to life” in the middle of the Rideau River. Thankfully, firefighters were able to rescue him and get him emergency veterinary treatment.

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When River was first brought in he was underweight and dehydrated. He had an oozing, pus-filled abscess on his forehead. He had injuries to his paws and tail from what is most likely frostbite and had to have a third of his tail removed when he was neutered.

River is being kept comfortable by the staff until he’s healed enough to find a forever home. He was given sub-q fluids as well as pain medication and antibiotics. In addition to the frostbite injuries, River had wounds to his face, tail and paws when he was rescued by Ottawa city firefighters.

The Ottawa Humane Society stated in a fundraiser webpage where they’re asking for donations to cover expenses for River and other animals in need. River has already had $1,500 in veterinary care.

“River, a one-year-old male cat, had an unfortunate, horrible, not-very-good day in the middle of January. Somehow he ended up in the middle of the Rideau River, his face, paws, and tail wounded.

Thankfully for him, our community cares greatly for animals in distress. Ottawa Fire Services were able to rescue him from the river before River was rushed to the nearby Ottawa Animal Emergency and Special Hospital. This poor kitty was soaking wet and suffering from hypothermia. He received immediate treatment to warm him up and dry him off before he was transferred into the care of the Ottawa Humane Society.”

Humane Society President and CEO Bruce Roney said in a press release:

“River’s heartbreaking story reminds us why it’s so important to call the city when stray animals are seen in freezing temperatures. January and February are dangerous months for stray animals, which is reflected in the number of animals who come into our care in such critical condition.”

Despite his injuries, River is giving loud purrs and appears very grateful to be in good hands during his recovery.

Photos courtesy of Ottowa Humane Society.

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Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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3 Responses

  1. Frances A Danna says:

    I agree completely with Mary Dellenbusch’s comment, “It is not their fault they have no homes. It is the humans fault. ” This story brought me to tears. So happy that River is safe, warm and healing. Prayers sent that he finds a forever home where he will be loved forever. ?????️

  2. Mary Dellenbusch says:

    I’m so glad this sweet love was found and is safe. I always look out for strays just in case. It is not their fault they have no homes. It is the humans fault. Please be vigilant and keep an eye for just in case one may need help.

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