A distraught pet owner is facing a whopping $30,000 vet bill after her cat Alvin was brutally attacked by a dog in an Auckland reserve.
On January 21, Carley Kaizen's partner was suddenly woken after hearing Alvin crying in immense pain as he struggled to get through the cat flap.
Her partner rushed to inspect her cat and found Alvin with broken bones, vital organs hanging outside his body, swollen muscles, and multiple bleeds.
Alvin was attacked across the road at Waiatarua Reserve in Remuera, a place he has played at for more than a year. He was rushed to a clinic where he faced a battle for his life.
Kaizen told the Herald that vets weren't hopeful he'd survive.
"He's lived there for about a year and hasn't had any issues. The reserve across the fence is an on-leash area and one day he came home and the security footage showed he has tried for two hours to get over the fence and into the house.
"He didn't have the use of his lower half. One of his femur's completely snapped at the hip. He managed to climb through the cat door and cried in pain.
"We rushed him to the emergency vets. We were told the cost would be $10,000. He was touch and go for two full weeks. There was lots of 'he's not going to make it' to 'maybe he's getting better'.
"The vets said he would need a miracle. He's been in intensive care, which is $1000-$2000 a night."
Alvin's vet bill soon sky-rocketed to more than $30,000 after undergoing three surgeries, multiple intensive care sessions, oxygen therapy, and other medical needs.
He sustained an intestinal hernia leaving his intestines outside his body, a femoral fracture with likely muscle damage, a laceration on his back with trauma and needed one of his back legs amputated.
Alvin has so far had three blood transfusions, with blood tests showing his red cell count has dropped to just 12 per cent.
He also suffered complications with his blood pressure which can cut off circulation to the brain if the pressure drops too low.
The skin around the amputation site was dying and turning black, meaning more surgery was required to remove any infection from the dog bite.
With the whopping vet bills, Kaizen and her partner have set up a Givealittle page in the hope of being able to cover the cost for their two-year-old cat.
While some have suggested putting Alvin down, Kaizen says they'd rather repay their love to their pet who has been a rock for her partner, who works for New Zealand Police.
"Alvin has given so much emotional support to her through everything she has gone through and the type of work she does. Because Alvin fought so hard to get over the fence and show he wanted to fight for his life, my partner wanted to give him the opportunity and support to make it.
"What people pay for a car or for student loans, we wanted to pay whatever needed to give him the best chance. Now it's over $30,000. He's improved a lot so now isn't the time to stop funding."
So far more than $10,000 has been raised to help Kaizen and her partner pay off their pet bill. The couple has asked for $15,000 to help go towards medical costs.
Alvin is slowly on the mend but is still a week away from returning home, where he will need around-the-clock supervision.
And while some members of the community have hit out at the dog for its actions, Kaizen instead has asked for calm but wants to remind dog owners to keep their pets on a leash.
"A lot of people were upset saying they hope something happened to the dog. The reality is we don't want anything to happen to the dog, we don't know whose dog it is or where it came from.
"But it's important for people to keep their dogs on leashes in on-leash areas. I've got dogs myself. There's a culture here where people try to let their dog off their leash as much as possible, but things like this can happen, it's just so devastating."
Alvin faces a long road to recovery with regular bandage changes needed and a catheter still in place.
Kaizen, her partner and Alvin aren't out of the woods yet, but the couple want to thank everyone for their support and donations.
"We asked for a miracle, and then another, and then another, and with all of your help it seems as though we've got one.
"Thank you so much for all the support and concern for our wee one. We are praying for a hurdle-free healing of this wound and a bright, long, healthy future for Alvin."
You can donate here.