19 year old Allie O’Sullivan adopted a kitten that had deformed front legs which made it difficult for it to walk. The kitten was born without the radius in both of his front legs, causing his legs to be bent like a hockey stick. He walked as a human would walk on their elbows.
Allie went to her local shelter looking for a cat, not expecting to find a special needs kitten. “I have always wanted a special needs animal myself because I have a learning disability and I’ve always felt compassionate towards other special needs animals and people. We’re equal and there is nothing to be ashamed of.”
When she met “Little Bear”, it was love at first sight. “I felt so sad when they showed him to me. He looked up at me with the saddest look on his face, almost as if he was saying “please take me.” I couldn’t resist. I couldn’t leave him there. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
What happened next was a journey that took Allie by surprise. She discovered that Little Bear could have surgery at Tufts University that would straighten his legs by inserting steel rods into them, but it would cost over 10,000 dollars.
Allie created a Facebook page for Little Bear and before she knew it her story made the cover of Modern Cat Magazine, and Little Bear’s FB following exploded. Allie started selling magazines and wrist bands for ten dollars each and help from her FB fans started pouring in. Within a few months she had the 10,000 dollars.
The first surgery was in April and the second was in May. They did one arm at a time. “After the second surgery, we found out he also has a deformed heart as well as a deformed tail and back feet. It was very hard for Little Bear to get around for a few months. Finally, after his first birthday on July 9th, a miracle happened and he started running around. Most of the time he walks on three legs. He usually holds up one of his front legs for whatever reason. He chooses which one he wants to walk on.”
Little Bear has become part of the family including Little Bear’s best friend Luna, the German Shepard.
Allie is a sophomore at UNH, majoring in Animal Science to pursue her dream in opening up a special needs animal shelter. “Little Bear has inspired me to help others. Many special needs animals are euthanized each day, because people consider them worthless. I would like to change that. He has taught me a lesson and I will use that lesson later in life and help other animals in need.”
Allie, I think you have taught us all a lesson from your love and compassion, and what better role model for your generation. I know you are going to make a huge difference in the world by your passion because you already have.
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