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Cats With Frostbite Get Help From PAWS Chicago's Cold Weather Fund

By Kyla Gardner | January 28, 2015 7:01am
 Sunny the cat is on the mend, and PAWS has taken in other felines suffering from the cold.
Paws Chicago Frostbite Rescues
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CHICAGO — Help get these kittens some mittens.

The first cat with frostbite to be taken in this year by PAWS Chicago is on the mend, but the steady stream of animals heading to the shelter's Little Village medical center with frostbite isn't slowing, said PAWS spokeswoman Sarah Ahlberg.

"As temperatures drop and snow continues to fall, homeless animals are suffering and need us more than ever," she said in an email. "We are currently treating cats suffering from frostbite, URI's [upper respiratory infections], pan leuk [feline leukemia], in need of amputations, you name it!"

To keep up with those medical bills, the Lincoln Park shelter started a Cold Weather Rescue Fund, with a goal to raise $3,000 for animal care. As of Tuesday afternoon, $755 had been raised.

A list of tips to keep your own pets warm this winter can be found here, and you can learn about a few of PAWS' rescues — Sunny, Elsa, Tuxedo Joe and Gandalf — below:


One-year-old Sunny was found malnourished and frostbitten in South Chicago earlier this month, but she is now "on the fast track to recovery," according to PAWS. Sunny is still healing from an upper respiratory infection in a foster home where she keeps an eye on Puck the fish, and is not yet available for adoption.

"We’ve received a lot of calls from folks interested in adopting her and know she’ll find a home in no time once she’s available," Ahlberg said.


Four-year-old Elsa was found as a stray with frostbite on all of her toes, Ahlberg said.

Tuxedo Joe

Tuxedo Joe was found in South Shore after neighbors spotted him wandering the neighborhood for days. The 2-year-old white and black cat has blisters on his front paws from the cold.


Gandalf, an 8-year-old black cat found in Englewood, was rescued from the cold in bad shape, with a broken leg, matted fur and open wounds. Gandalf's leg will need to be amputated, and he also has an upper respiratory infection, ear mites, dehydration, fleas and fractured teeth.

"Despite his pain and discomfort, he let our medical team know how thankful he was by giving sweet purrs and gentle kneads with his paws," according to PAWS.

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