Here at AWLQ, every animal in our care is precious. However, there are those cats, dogs or other companion animals who come through our doors who are ‘extra special’.

These particular animals touch our hearts so deeply because, despite the many challenges they have faced in their lives, they remain resilient, loving, loyal and trusting.

Their stories bring to light just how unique AWLQ is compared to other rescue organisations. These animals are what many would deem ‘unfit’ to save, but at AWLQ, rather than asking ourselves “can we save them?” we ask ourselves – “how can we save them?”

Two such recent animals in our care may be the complete opposite of species, but they share the exact same ‘special need’. Daisy the dog and Divine the cat have no eyes.

Daisy and Divine came to AWLQ late last year, both animals presenting with untreatable eye infections from very different causes. Though both the dog and the cat were in poor condition, it was Divine’s situation which was most disturbing.

Divine was rescued off the street by a Council Animal Management Officer, who brought her almost lifeless body to the shelter vets with very little hope that she would even survive the journey. The young cat had unsuccessfully given birth and stillborn kittens remained inside her, causing life-threatening infection. Worse yet, whilst suffering incapacitated on the sidewalk, ants began to eat at her eyes.

Dehydrated and in excruciating pain, AWLQ vets believed it would be kinder to euthanase the poor cat than attempt to treat her numerous injuries. However, at the last minute, something made the treating Vet Dr Carolyn Adams stop and rethink the decision.

“This cat – that was literally on death’s door – began nuzzling my hand as though pleading for human touch,” said Dr Adams.

“I decided then, that I was going to try and give her a second chance at life. She was seeking affection, so I knew that at one time, this cat had known love. I was going to do everything in my power to make sure she knew love again.”

Once Divine was put under anaesthetic, the extent of damage to her eyes was fully apparent and it was decided that both her eyes needed to be removed. As well as this, she needed extensive surgery to treat internal damage from the stillbirth. Thanks to the skill of Dr Adams and AWLQ’s shelter vet nurses, Divine came through her operation successfully.

Divine remained under strict veterinary supervision for some weeks at the shelter and eventually transferred to a loving foster carer. After many weeks convalescing, we are extremely happy to report that just a couple of weeks ago, Divine was adopted by a wonderful lady, who loves and cherishes her new companion. By far, this is the best outcome AWLQ could have imagined.

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Gold Coast City Council Pound attendant Hannah who was the attendant on duty when Divine first came to the AWLQ says an emotional goodbye as she leaves for her new home

While Divine’s story is sad and indeed horrific, it shows the passion and dedication that AWLQ’s staff and volunteers have towards the animals in their care. From the Pound staff who first accepted Divine into our care, to the vet who saved her, the volunteers who cleaned her cage and fed her whilst under observation, to her foster carer and everyone else who met this little brave cat along the way. Every single one of them was committed to giving Divine a second chance at a loving life.

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Divine sitting in the lap of her new owner ready to leave the AWLQ Coombabah Shelter

In the next edition of Happy Tails, read about Daisy the dog’s amazing story of survival and how, with the help of a dedicated animal attendant, who went above and beyond in her duty of care, this little dog with no eyes has no worries!