Injured Cat Finds New Life and Home in Pittsylvania County |

JOHN R. CRANE Danville Register & Bee

It was a Christmas miracle.

Just over a week after dragging himself to a nearby house on Orphanage Road on December 16 after being hit by a car, a one-year-old cat underwent life-changing surgery and found a safe and loving home in Pittsylvania County.

With more than $ 2,000 in donations to a local GoFundMe campaign, a veterinarian and animal welfare advocates, Apollo the Cat can hope for a long and happy life.

Those involved in what was likely a life saving effort were in disbelief at Apollo’s tenacity combined with his gentle and loving nature.

“The most important thing everyone was completely amazed at was how this cat had the strength to crawl to someone’s house,” said Jennifer Miller, a Pittsylvania County resident who has launched the GoFundMe effort to raise funds for the procedure.

The surgery was performed by Dr Al Henry on Christmas Eve at Peaks View Animal Hospital in Lynchburg.

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It all started when the dogs of Fallon Phillips, a resident of Orphanage Road, started barking.

“I heard a ‘meow’,” recalls Phillips, who adopted Apollo. “I looked and saw this pitiful little orange cat hobbling.”

He tried to enter Phillips’ house every time she opened the door.

“When I stepped out onto my porch it started rubbing against my leg,” Phillips said, adding that she had been outside with Apollo for about an hour.

She then called her neighbor, who contacted Miller. Unsure of what to do, Phillips also called local vets to determine what could be done for Apollo.

If she took the cat to a vet for treatment, she would be responsible for the bills.

“The injuries were more than I could afford,” Phillips said.

Miller therefore agreed to fundraise for the surgery needed if Phillips adopted Apollo.

Phillips brought the cat inside on the night of December 16 and took him to Cherrystone Veterinary Hospital in Chatham the next day. He was told that his left front leg and jaw were broken.

However, Cherrystone was unable to perform the operation as pins and plates would be required in Apollo’s leg, Phillips was told. His jaw could heal on its own, he was told.

“I picked him up on Monday [Dec. 20], they had washed and examined him for diseases and they updated his vaccines, had him vaccinated against rabies, gave him antibiotics and cleaned his wounds, ”she said.

Another local vet took an x-ray, realized he couldn’t perform the operation either, and said a specialist was needed, Phillips said.

Lynchburg vet Dr Al Henry performed the procedure on Christmas Eve at a reduced rate.

“He [Apollo] in fact, it took more than we thought, ”said Phillips. “He ended up having a plate with six screws and a pin in his left leg. He [Henry] gave me several hundred dollars which was amazing. He was absolutely amazing.

In addition, Henry castrated Apollo.

As to the cost of the procedure, Miller and Phillips were told it would be $ 3,500. But the total bills for the surgery and vet visits ended up being around $ 2,669, Miller said, with $ 2,061 being collected on GoFundMe from people in the area.

“Our community has been generous this Christmas, helping this cat live her best life,” said Miller, who will cover the rest of the costs herself.

At Phillips’ home on Thursday, Apollo limped but was able to dash to the ground at times. Phillips’ two dogs – Shih Tzu / Yorkie mixes named Juno and Luna – love him, she said.

“They love Apollo and Apollo love them,” she said.

Apollo was a happy and affectionate cat.

“It purrs and purrs,” Phillips said.

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