Local cat lovers fund Winnie's leg surgery

By Melissa Nightingale -
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ON THE MEND: Winnie will spend at least eight weeks on cage rest while she recovers from her surgery and is cared for by SPCA staff, including Francie Flis (pictured).PHOTO/ STUART MUNRO
ON THE MEND: Winnie will spend at least eight weeks on cage rest while she recovers from her surgery and is cared for by SPCA staff, including Francie Flis (pictured).PHOTO/ STUART MUNRO

Winnie the SPCA cat may get to keep her leg after Whanganui residents raised $2500 for an operation on the broken limb.

General manager Danny Auger put out a plea in March for people to donate money so Winnie could have her badly broken leg fixed.

She was found injured on a doorstep, and was taken to the SPCA.

They discovered the leg had been broken for about five to six weeks and the bones had fused back together incorrectly.

SPCA staff believed surgery to rebreak and restructure the leg would work, and did not want to amputate if they didn't have to, as Winnie was young and otherwise healthy.

The operation cost about $1500, but Mr Auger said they raised approximately $2500 after an article in the Chronicle called for donations to the "Winnie fund".

The extra money would go towards the cat's post-operation care.

"We hoped for a good response and Whanganui certainly didn't let us down," Mr Auger said.

Winnie now had "screws and plates" in her leg, and Mr Auger was awaiting the X-ray.

"Obviously with any operation there's never any guarantee," he said, adding however the vet "seems confident".

"She's now going to have to be on around about six weeks cage rest."

Mr Auger said the cat, who was about nine or 10 months old, "seems comfortable".

He said the community's response to Winnie's situation "just shows that the Whanganui public really care about animals, which is great.

"Obviously Winnie has won the hearts of some very generous people."

Many people came to the Wanganui SPCA centre on London St with donations of $5 or $10, while some donors were providing $200-300 each.

"It's been a big success, and the Whanganui public have been very generous."

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