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Scooter, the Cat on Wheels, Is Named ASPCA Cat of the Year

The therapy cat outfitted with a wheel harness inspires with his story of survival.

 |  Nov 8th 2012  |   11 Contributions


Scooter has an amazing story, one that has earned him 2012 Cat of the Year honors from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

His tale begins more than four years ago, when he arrived as an injured six-month-old kitten at Harts Run Veterinary Hospital in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania. The man who brought him in said his family dog came into the house with the black-and-white tuxedo kitten in his mouth. Scooter could not move his back legs, and the owner feared his pet had caused the injury.

Vet Betsy Kennon brings Scooter to visit patients. Photo courtesy Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review

Scooter uses custom-made wheels to get around. Photo courtesy Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review

Dr. Betsy Kennon found no puncture wounds or teeth marks, leading her to believe that the dog had actually saved Scooter’s life. She did discover that the kitten’s last thoracic vertebrae was fractured. The veterinarian adopted Scooter and outfitted him with a custom-made wheeled mobility device -- paid for with donations from hospital staff -- which he uses for regular visits to HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital in Pittsburgh, as well as area nursing homes.

Scooter (seen here with patient Ernie Stock) loves to visit nursing homes and hospitals. Photo courtesy Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review

During his therapy visits, Scooter serves as an inspiration to patients who cannot walk because of injury or stroke. His presence has a transformative effect, according to the ASPCA:

“During one of Scooter’s first hospital visits, a stroke victim who doctors said would never open her eyes or speak watched as the cat snuggled up close to her. It was then that Scooter had worked his first miracle: The patient opened her eyes and began chatting away like they were old friends.”

Scooter with patient Brittany Micholas. Photo courtesy Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review

Scooter, accompanied by pet parents Kennon and Steve Nehus, will receive his award today (Thursday) during the 2012 ASPCA Humane Awards luncheon in New York City. The ceremony honors special animals as well as individuals who have made a significant impact on the lives of animals. Fiona will take home the Dog of the Year award. The fluffy Poodle mix was found living blind in a trash heap in South Los Angeles, and the videos of her story of survival went viral, resulting in 5.5 million YouTube views and calling attention to the plight of homeless pets everywhere.

For a full list of honorees, visit the ASPCA website.

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