Celebrate your birthday with animals!



Helen Woodward Animal Center thanks "Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation" for their support of our Spay / Neuter program!

Special thanks to the Tippett Foundation and the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation for supporting our Adoptions program.

Rocky the kitten, a holiday miracle

Within hours after Rocky’s birth, we knew that his chances of survival were slim. What happened to risk his life so much?

Rocky’s story begins not at Helen Woodward Animal Center, but with his mother in Los Angeles County. A rescue partner heard that a sick cat had been found and turned into an animal welfare facility that was unable to care for her needs. The rescue partner rushed to the facility and took Rocky’s mom. She was placed in a foster care system in Los Angeles until she could recover from her illness.

Rocky’s mom then began to have bleeding.

Poor cat! What was wrong with her? Rescue partner to the rescue again! Rocky’s mom was taken to veterinary care where it was discovered that not only was she not ill anymore…  she was pregnant.

Unfortunately the foster family could not care for an entire, new litter of kittens. And the rescue partner did not have the means to medically care for them, either. Where could they go?

Within days our Adoptions staff was called and told of the situation. This momma cat had nowhere else to go; could we care for her and her kittens’ medical needs? We immediately said ‘yes’ and had Rocky’s mom, who we named Pinky, transferred to the Center mere days before his birth.

When Pinky went into labor, on October 24, our Adoptions and Medical staff was ready. It was a normal birth, free of any complications except one that soon became apparent…

One kitten, white and small, looked more frail and fragile than it’s one other sibling. We watched as Pinky nursed the other kitten but refused to nurse Rocky. We urged Pinky, but again and again, she turned away from Rocky as he attempted to nurse. Due to his small size and frail body, we knew that to ensure Rocky’s survival we would have to take matters into our own hands. We gently took Rocky away from his mother and sibling and immediately placed him with a staff member for 24 hour infant care.

As he lay on his heating pad, we knew Rocky’s chances of survival were slim. As the days passed by, we noticed his growth was slower than that of normal kittens. Rocky’s eyes and ears took longer to open and it took a lot of effort for him to nurse. However, with bottle feedings, patience and TLC, we watched as Rocky, now named for his fighting spirit, tenaciously clung to life against the odds.

Days turned into weeks and Rocky grew stronger and stronger. We watched as his progress began to take shape: eyes and ears began to open, his fur began to grow, and he began to try (and enjoy) solid food.

While Rocky is progressing wonderfully, he is not entirely out of the woods yet. He still has some growing to do before he can begin to find his forever family. But thanks to staff, volunteers and donors, Rocky’s life has been restored to him when it would have otherwise been thrown away…

We look forward to update you on Rocky’s progress!

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