Everything about Valentino suggested that he was missing out on the one thing he craved the most: human touch.
The filth was embedded in the cat’s stiffened fur. He had sarcoptic mange, a highly contagious illness that affects both animals and humans. His eyes were locked shut because they were caked and swollen.
Elaine Seamans, on the other hand, was unconcerned.
She heard his weak plea for aid while passing by his cage at the Baldwin Park animal shelter last week.
Seamans tells The Dodo, “He reached out with his little paw and made the slightest meow.” “It felt as if he was shouting, but he didn’t say anything: ‘Please help me.'”
“There are moments when continuing to walk is not an option,” she adds. “All you have to do now is stop.” “It was one of those occasions.”
She also chose not to wear gloves, instead pressing Valentino on her heart.
“He put his little head on my shoulder when I scooped him up,” Seamans adds. “That was the end of it. I needed to get him out of there.”
Then Seamans, the founder of the At-Choo Foundation and a frequent visitor to the shelter, told Valentino that he could contact for aid on his own.
She called Toby Wisneski, the creator of Leave No Paws Behind, while still holding the cat.
“I exclaimed, ‘That’s it,'” she tells The Dodo, “while I was talking to Elaine on the phone and she let me hear his little meow.” “I was able to hear him. That was the final straw.”
Valentino was picked up by Wisneski over the weekend and taken straight to a veterinary facility, where he could sense his world changing for the better despite the fact that he couldn’t see the professionals. “He couldn’t move or see anything.” Wisneski said, “But God love him, he’s a fighter.” “Everyone adores him and is incredibly protective of him.”
“His prognosis is fantastic, and he’ll have a long life ahead of him once he gets through this.”
“He has a good heart,” she continues.
But, on the other hand, a veterinarian didn’t have to certify that.
Seamans realized this the moment she risked everything to embrace a mange-infested cat close to her heart – and let him know he wasn’t alone.
Wisneski describes him as “very loving.” “You can tell he appreciates it a lot. He’ll purr for them and rub up against [veterinary personnel]. He is confident that he is protected.”
Valentino will wake up to a brand-new life when he eventually opens his eyes. One that is part of a family.
Maybe you’re the one.
Here’s how to get in touch with Leave No Paws. Also, if you’d like to contribute to Valentino’s recuperation, please consider making a gift.
Valentino’s progress can also be followed on the group’s Facebook page.