On a rainy day in late February, only one month before her 10th birthday, Gabby, a deaf and beautiful long-haired white cat with one blue and one green eye, was abandoned in the Seattle Humane parking lot.
The Vet Services team took immediate action, bringing Gabby inside and conducting an intake assessment to ensure she was in stable condition. Through quick thinking, they used a vet sticker on the carrier to identify Gabby’s previous vet, who confirmed that she had been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism a week prior to being abandoned. The vet also provided contact information for Gabby’s previous owner, so she could officially be surrendered to Seattle Humane.
After reviewing her medical records and completing blood work, Gabby was put on Methimazole, a medication that must be taken twice daily. Gabby also needed a foster parent who could closely monitor her as she started her new medication.
Enter the incredible Kelly Wittman!
Wittman has been a part of the Seattle Humane family since she graduated from college and recently has hit 8000 volunteer hours! She began volunteering with adoption support and from there, started fostering kittens. Since 2013, Wittman has fostered 321 Seattle Humane pets. Additionally, she is a dedicated Seattle Humane Board Member, an active member of our Donor Development Committee, and the perfect example of living by a compassionate, caring and community-based approach in her support for animals.
After meeting Gabby through the Foster Manager at the time, who knew Wittman’s weakness for white fluffy cats, Wittman knew she wanted to foster Gabby. Quickly, a strong bond formed, and it became clear that Gabby had found her new home.
“I can’t remember exactly how long we had her, but it was at least six weeks of foster before she would be moved forward for adoption…I couldn’t bear the thought of her sitting in the shelter where I knew she’d be scared (partly because of her deafness) when I knew she felt at home with us. Plus, we had become quite attached!”
Wittman learned through Seattle Humane about a one-time injection treatment option called Radioiodine Therapy that cures hyperthyroidism.
“A very cool thing about adopting an older cat with medical issues is that I had the option of talking with a Seattle Humane vet to answer any questions about her issues before finalizing the deal,” says Wittman.
After a visit to the Feline Hyperthyroid Treatment Center in Shoreline, Gabby was cured!
While it is a wonderful option for cats living with hyperthyroidism, Radioiodine Therapy comes at a high cost, with treatment ranging from $1,200 – $1,600. This price tag limits its availability to owners, as well as to shelters. Wittman hopes that someday, Seattle Humane can offer this treatment to all cats that come into the shelter with the same diagnosis.
“I just know how happy it made (us) when Gabby was cured, and how much more adoptable cats would be without prospective adopters worrying about medication and quality of life issues related to the disease.”
Today, Gabby is living a full and happy life with Wittman and her family.
“Gabby turned 13 in March, and she’s still her beautiful, sassy self! Her hyperthyroid issues are completely gone. Before treatment, she was showing signs of Stage 1 kidney disease, but with her thyroid healthy, her kidney values are now healthy too. All-in-all, amazing!”
If you would like to join Kelly Wittman in helping cats like Gabby, please consider making a gift to support Seattle Humane’s lifesaving work.