By Savannah Verdon, RedRover Development and Engagement Coordinator

When we’re asked about our pets, the temptation to describe every little detail that makes them special to you is strong, perhaps stronger than someone’s patience to hear about it! So we settle on the few things that we love the most about our pets, the things we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. For Amanda and her three daughters, it’s their cat Calleigh’s “bonnet” that drew them in and made them fall in love.

This sweet little calico cat has a band of darker fur around her face, making it appear that she is always stylishly dressed in her bonnet. But more than her impeccable taste in accessories, Calleigh’s loving personality endears her to everyone in the family, including her feline brother and canine sister. She means everything to the three little girls in the house.

At five years old, Calleigh began exhibiting the telltale signs of bladder stones, including straining to use her litter box and having blood in her urine. Amanda brought her to the veterinarian who recommended that they first try changing Calleigh’s diet and giving her medications that, taken together, would hopefully dissolve the stones so she could pass them on her own. 

But after four months of this treatment, Calleigh’s symptoms weren’t improving. Amanda knew that surgery to remove the stones was Calleigh’s only remaining option, and that saving Calleigh was the only option for Amanda’s daughters. If the stones kept growing any larger, they could cause a potentially life-threatening obstruction. She was shocked by the cost of the surgery quoted by the veterinarian, especially after having invested so much in the prescription diet and medication, but it wasn’t going to stop her from helping Calleigh and keeping their family whole.

When her daughters’ school switched to virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amanda had quit her job to help her daughters at home. Her husband still worked, but their budget was tight, and Calleigh’s surgery was too urgent for them to have the time to save money. Amanda had begun selling some of their things and asking friends and family for help when she thought of applying for help from the humane society where she first adopted Calleigh. On their advice, she also applied for a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant, and shared how special their bonneted furbaby is to them:

“She means everything to our family and my girls. She has been with our family since my youngest was a baby. If something happened to her, my girls would be lost and devastated. I beg and my kids beg for anything you can help with the bill.” 

After fighting so hard to raise the money she needed for Calleigh’s surgery, Amanda was relieved to get the call from RedRover that her application had been approved. She now had enough for the surgery, and she scheduled it as quickly as she could. They waited with bated breath for hours, hoping that the surgery would be without complications. 

Finally, they were able to take Calleigh home, free of pain for the first time in months.

We are eternally grateful for the Happy Tails your monthly support makes possible for families like Amanda, her daughters, and Calleigh. Thank you for your commitment to the belief that pets are family and your dedication to our mission of bringing animals from crisis to care!