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O’Malley is one lucky cat.

A passer-by saw an orange-and-white cat lying by the side of the road as she drove to work. At first she thought the cat was dead, but as she drove by she noticed the cat’s head was up.

Ashley, one of the writers of the I Love Rescue Animals blog knew she couldn’t just leave the injured cat to die, so she turned around, parked her car, and crossed four lanes of traffic to reach the fractured feline.

She found the cat covered in dirt, debris, open wounds, and ants. Ashley pulled the cat out of the road and onto the grass and picked the ants off him and called her vet. The vet told her to bring the injured cat right over, so she carried him back across the road and laid him on the front seat of her car.

The cat, who now had the name O’Malley, received subcutaneous fluids to treat his dehydration and X-rays to determine why he couldn’t walk. Ashley knew that if his back was broken, the kindest thing to do would be to have him euthanized, so she waited nervously for the results.

After three hours, the vet told her that although O’Malley’s pelvis was broken and his left leg was completely dislocated from his pelvis, the cat could make a recovery with rest, antibiotics to prevent infections from his injuries, and pain medications. The vet also told her that O’Malley was FIV-positive.

Ashley knew that FIV-positive cats could have long, healthy lives, so she took O’Malley to her home, where the marmalade cat is resting comfortably as he makes his recovery.

Many of these situations happen every day, and the odds are good that any cat lover will find a feline in need of rescue.

Dr. Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, of K9 Chronicles has offered some advice for good samaritans who find an injured animal in need of assistance.

“It’s important to stop,” she says. “Even if you feel helpless, being a voice for an injured animal is doing something.”

Tobiasson offers five tools to be ready to help an injured animal:

  1. Muzzle or gauze to make a muzzle It is essential to not be injured yourself. Animals in pain will often lash out. Dont take it personally expect it, and be prepared.
  2. Crate or blanket – You may not have room in your car for a crate, but a blanket will work in a pinch to provide transport IF there are no spinal or other serious injuries that would necessitate a firm stretcher. Blankets are also good to cover the animals eyes (reduce stress and fear) and keep them warm in winter conditions.
  3. First aid kit – There are many commercial first aid kits out there, for pets and for humans. You can even build a first aid kit yourself. Being familiar with the contents and how /when to use them are essential. Consider a pet first aid class to learn more.
  4. Flashlight / reflective clothing / flares – Animals get hit by cars at all times of the day, but at night our vision is reduced. These items protect the injured animal and you from getting hit or creating a separate accident.
  5. Phone number of vet and animal control If you have a cell phone, program the number of your vet, your local animal control, and your nearest emergency veterinary clinic.

If you have any question or doubt about your ability to deal with an injured animal, Crosby says to wait for professional assistance to avoid injury to yourself or further injury to the animal.

[Sources: I Love Rescue Animals and K9 Chronicles]