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Jax's Story: From the Jaws of Defeat

Fri, 29 Jun 2018

It was a Sunday morning in Canmore and a passerby saw a cat lying at the side of the street. At first he feared it was dead, then he heard it crying. It had obviously been hit by a car. He knew the cat needed immediate medical attention and called the local vet clinic to get the weekend emergency telephone number. The veterinarian examined the cat (Jax would become his name) and determined his injuries were life threatening and possibly life ending. He was immediately sedated and By-law as well as the Bow Valley SPCA were contacted.


The cat’s fate hung in the balance for the next 24 hours. Were the injuries so severe that he would have to be euthanized? Could an owner be found to make medical decisions and pay for the procedures”? If no owner could be found, how much would Canmore By-law pay for his emergency medical treatment? If the cat needed surgery to save his life before the 72 hour waiting period required by By-law to officially become owners and then surrender him to the SPCA, who would make that decision?

The answers came over the next 2 days. His injuries were terribly severe, but the chances of his survival were very high if surgery could be commenced within 48 hours. Ultrasound and x-rays showed his bladder was not ruptured, but was displaced to an area near his hip joint. His major abdominal organs were all displaced and some herniated through his abdominal wall. His pelvis had been broken. However, because the injuries were so complex, the surgical expertise needed was beyond the scope of the local clinic. Thus began the search for a surgeon with the expertise and an available time slot. We had quotes between $2,500 and $7,000 and opted for a great surgeon in Okotoks who came highly recommended that could perform the surgery on Wednesday.

No owner came forward on Monday or Tuesday and by-law agreed that they would officially surrender him to us on Wednesday if no owner could be identified. On Tuesday we transported Jax to Okotoks and authorized surgery for Wednesday. In doing so the Bow Valley SPCA agreed to assume the bulk of the medical costs and the risks for managing his recovery. He came through a successful surgery and on Thursday was transported back to Canmore to spend a night at the vet clinic receiving IV fluids and meds for his pain. As he needed IV fluids and meds for his pain for and extended period of time he remained at the vet clinic for a further 5 days so he could be appropriately monitored.

On Wednesday June 26, he was released and is now resting comfortably at the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre. This is one brave young cat and his recovery so far is amazing. We will continue to update news and pictures throughout the coming weeks!

The Veterinary Care Matching Campaign is a great opportunity to help Jax and the other dogs and cats at the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre.


The offer of matching funds for veterinary care is extremely important. It adds impact to any contribution made from our donors and potential donors.

If you sign up for monthly donations, the match will be 15X that single monthly donation (A quick calculation: $25/month will result in a contribution of $400 [$25 X 15 = $375 contributed by the match] + your first month's donation of $25 gives a total = $400.) This total is important, but even more important is that the Bow Valley SPCA can count on your ongoing support to change lives and make a difference.

Click here to help!

Jax looking very alert