Happy Tails

Three Holiday Happy Tails

By Jacques Du Preez
Bastian relaxing on a dog bed.

How the love of the community and Monadnock Humane Society saved three lives this year.


Last July, a tiny, semi-feral orange kitten was making his way across a road when he was hit by a car. Thanks to the quick action of a Good Samaritan, he was scooped up and brought to a local vet hospital for help. It was determined that one of Speedy’s front legs was badly injured. The veterinarian was able to stabilize Speedy, and the decision was made to transfer him to Monadnock Humane Society for further care and socialization.

Speedy, a semi-feral orange kitten.

Upon arrival at MHS, medical staff discovered that the nerves in Speedy’s shoulder had been damaged. Only time would tell if he would regain use of the limb. Speedy went to foster care to work on his social skills, while waiting to determine the viability of his leg. After several months, Speedy still had not regained use of his limb. MHS veterinarian, Dr. Michele Martino, decided that the best thing to do for Speedy would be to remove the leg. Assisted by MHS vet tech, Starr Royce, Speedy came through his surgery successfully and healed with flying colors. Not only that, but Speedy’s time in foster care had done the trick for him behaviorally. He had become an affectionate cat who loved head scratches by his trusted people. While in foster care, he caught the eye of friends of his foster family, who ended up adopting him. He will be spending this holiday season in a warm, loving home.


When Bastian arrived at Monadnock Humane Society on transport, it was noted that he had a limp in one of his rear legs. The medical staff took x-rays and were surprised to discover that Bastian had a now healed, bullet wound, which had shattered his femur. This injury, which had gone untreated, had healed incorrectly.


After multiple consultations with Veterinary Orthopedists, it was clear that the femur could not be surgically repaired. Bastian was put on anti-inflammatory and pain medication which seemed to make him comfortable. He was soon adopted out to a wonderful family who were informed of his condition and managed him well. Unfortunately, after time, the pain medication was no longer enough to keep Bastian out of chronic pain. Current life circumstances of the adopters did not allow them to provide Bastian with the advanced care he would need. They made the heartbreaking decision to return him to MHS where he would be able to get the help he needed. Left with no other options to reduce his pain, he went into surgery for amputation of his leg. Luckily for Bastian, that leg amputation led one of the veterinarians who assisted with his procedure to fall in love with him. She took him home the night of his surgery, and he never left. He is one lucky dog, living life to the fullest, without pain, and with a veterinarian as his full-time guardian.

Bastian, the dog.


Fearing the worst for their sweet cat who hadn’t eaten in days, Orion’s family surrendered him to MHS desperate for help they could not afford. He was in bad shape, with a swollen jaw, it was feared he may have been attacked by a wild animal. He was very weak on intake, and the MHS medical team was not sure if he would survive. His medical examination revealed that his jaw had been fractured. This explained his inability to eat, and the amazing vet team jumped into action. His jaw was wired back together. The next 48 hours were touch and go for Orion. Staff members took turns making sure he had round the clock care. They went above and beyond to make sure he had late night meds and visits. Not only did Orion survive, but he is now thriving in foster care. With his bottom jaw wired, he is able to eat, and is gaining weight. He is a wonderful cat who loves everyone he meets. As he continues his road to recovery, he will be safe and comfortable. We are so glad that we were able to save this lovely boy, thanks to his previous owners, and the love of our medical team.

Orion, a gray cat.

These three stories are great examples of how the future of animal sheltering is shifting towards the need for more complicated medical care. Continued collaboration between the community and local veterinarians is key. Emily Kerylow, MHS Director of Shelter Operations shared, “We have always had pets come to us with medical needs, however, since the pandemic began over 18 months ago, we have seen a significant increase in these cases. This may be the trend moving forward, and we are planning for that. Thankfully, the (local) veterinary community has always been supportive and is helping us treat these medical conditions…” Emily is also grateful that we currently have such a wonderful veterinary team, care staff, group of loyal volunteers, devoted foster families, and generous donors. Without them none of these success stories would be possible.

A community minded approach is needed for Monadnock Humane Society to continue to provide excellence of care to the animals who walk through our doors in need. As we move forward with the support of our community and people like you, we expect this New Year to be bright and full of hope!

If you find yourself asking how you can help make a difference, we hope that you will consider making a gift to MHS before the year’s end. This important work can’t continue without the support of those of you in our community who love these animals as much as we at Monadnock Humane Society do. To make a gift to MHS, visit our website: www.monadnockhumanesociety.org. Thank you for your support and for making Happy Tails like Speedy, Orion, and Bastion possible!