Friday, April 26, 2013

Saving Leroy's Legs

For May 7 update, click here
UPDATE April 29, 2013: Please scroll to the bottom to read the latest news on Leroy

Many of you may recall Chaz Leroy, (the gals called him Chaz and the guys at Florida Power & Light [FP&L] yard called him Leroy) but the latter name won us over.  Leroy is one of the black Riverfront cats that is friendly, docile, affectionate and spotlighted in our various posts about caring for community cats. From educational videos to National Feral Cat Day, Leroy is a favorite of the caretakers at Riverfront Cats.

Sadly Leroy went missing for three days--a red flag that something bad happened. Was he injured and fighting for his life? Recuperating in places we never see? Or was he.... dead? You see Leroy never missed a feeding. He showed up like clockwork at 7am to greet the FPL guys at the gate for breakfast, in the yard at 3pm for afternoon snack, and in the evening over by our condos for dinner. Cats are smart. Their internal clocks are more reliable than a Swiss clock.

With each passing day volunteers walked the neighborhood, calling his name, treats and tuna in hand. No sign of Leroy.  Our hearts sank a notch every time. The last day he was seen was a Wednesday. Then he appeared on Sunday. Laying in the high grass, away from the cat house, Leroy was lounging on a lazy Sunday.  But this was no post picnic weekend wind down. In the dim light, we discovered his hind left leg was grossly swollen and missing fur, but no trace of blood. Did he lick it away?   A volunteer came rushing with a pet carrier and towel and we scooped him up, no struggle, no hissing. Leroy was play-dough in our arms as we contorted his body and gently placed him in the carrier.

Leroy on vet exam table

The vet explained there were no bite wounds or fracture. It appeared to be a chemical burn. His fever was running high and there was a 50/50 chance of saving the leg. Our options: try an aggressive treatment to save the leg, or go straight for amputation.  Thankfully he wasn't feral and we gambled he would remain tame indoors (as can happen when  you place an outdoor cat and try to convert him to an indoor cat). If administering medications was not a struggle, Leroy would remain indoors regardless of the final outcome. So why didn't we bring him in earlier? Good question. For many reasons.Click here to learn why.

Leroy's left hind leg

We opted for aggressive treatment.  The vet cleaned the leg and then noticed a similar burn on his front left paw. Volunteers felt faint. Double amputation? The word "amputation" is like a loaded gun for the untrained. Like doctors and soldiers, witnessing and treating horrific injuries is common occurrence, it's part of the job for animal rescuers.  Prior experience prepares us. But a possible "double amputation" left us speechless.

Leroy would remain hospitalized for three days and two nights, hooked up to an IV, and given fluids, antibiotics and pain medications. On the third day we picked him up, both left legs mummified in bandages they looked like clubs next to his healthy svelte legs.  

Leroy resting at home in carrier with bandages on both left legs.

RC Volunteers continue administering antibiotics, antacid, a laxative and pain medications and return every two days to change the bandages.

At this point we are praying to save Leroy's legs.  

We can't do it alone and need your help. 


Leroy happy and healthy, January 2012

The vet bill is approximately $600*.   It adds up fast. If you can help with a financial donation, we welcome any amount. Simply click here or the Give Now button on top right.We are only asking for help if you can give.

Not every one is able to donate and we completely understand. However, if you have to do online shopping for your household or buy pet food, supplies and medications, please consider shopping at your favorite retailers (Walmart, Petsmart, Amazon, eBay, Old Navy.... ) by first visiting this page, clicking our links, and begin shopping so that Riverfront Cats receives a small proceed! It's a win-win-win for all! 

REMINDER: Mother's Day is coming up! Buy your gift online and help homeless pets at the same time.  

UPDATE April 29, 2013: 

Bad news / good news.  The fever returned and the left hind leg has not improved. The specialist determined the leg must be amputated. The good news is that the swelling reduced in the front left leg and the leg is salvageable.  The estimate for the amputation is $1,800 at Miami Veterinary Specialist.

More importantly, Leroy is in good spirits and adjusting well to indoor life.  He has not hissed or shied away from other resident cats.  We will provide lots of TLC for his recuperation and we know we can find him a permanent loving home.  Tripods (3 legged) animals are easier to find homes for than healthy adult cats. 


Bless you for caring. Together we can make a difference!

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* Leroy's vet bill is addressed to Sabrina Vega. Sabrina is the Vice President of Pawsitively Humane Inc. aka Riverfront Cats.  No board members receive any compensation. 


  1. Poor sweet Leroy. I shared on Twitter and Facebook and my Dad swnt some green papers.

  2. Poor baby hope he gets a full recovery,xx Speedy

  3. It breaks my heart to hear Leroy might lose 2 legs. Being on social security and it being the end of the month..I am broke! Please do all you can to save his legs, or at least one so he can adjust. Poor thing...what caused the chemical burns or doesn't anyone know at this point? I will share as much as I can with my friends and pray for Leroy. My son and his wife have 2 cats that are three-legged and they get around well, even jump onto the sofa. I pray the vet will save Leroy's legs. If there's anything else I can do beside's $$$ at this point, please let me know. I want to help all I can.

  4. At this point of the month, being on social security..I am broke. I will continue to share Leroy's story & hopefully help to get more donations. If there's anything else I can do please let me know. My prayers are with Leroy and his vets and caretakers. I pray they can save his legs and he will get a furever, loving home.

  5. I have 7 cute kitties at home and 4 of them were found outside in a very bad conditions, my husband and I decided to take them home and they appreciate us a lot. I wish I could help him too, my hart is turning to Leroy....Bless you all for all your work, I wouldn't be able to to do what you are doing it is too hart breaking for me.

  6. I am sharing Leroy's story everywhere I can...I wish I could do more..

  7. Best wishes to Leroy for a speedy recovery.

  8. We are blessed with the ability to send some money, which we've done. We have 8 cats, all of whom had some sort of medical problem when we adopted them. It takes time, patience, lots of TLC, as well as money! Thanks for all you're doing for the Riverfront kitties. The RainbowCatsx8 are sending love & healing purring to Leroy. With so many people in his corner, we're hoping he'll be just fine and very soon, too!

  9. it's not much, but I sent something. I generally reserve my donations to my local shelters / homeless cats, but this kitty has a chance at a wonderful life, I hope he gets it.