BOSTON (CBS) – Just four months old, Scottie came to Boston the hard way.
The purebred Scottish Fold kitten was bred in the Ukraine, prematurely separated from her mother and then imported to a kitten reseller in New York.
She was then bought online by someone in Boston and shipped to Massachusetts.
The tiny, gray kitten arrived in poor health. She was significantly underweight with a severe upper respiratory infection.
But her painful odyssey didn’t end there.
Her new owner, after finding out she was sick, didn’t want her, and surrendered her to the MSPCA.
At the MSPCA’s Angell emergency center, veterinarians performed numerous tests to determine the cause of her illness. Their diagnosis? Failure to thrive.
Animal advocates decried selling animals online and they advised pet adopters against buying pets online.
“Unfortunately, purchasing animals online and having extremely young animals shipped over long distances is dangerous and can result in significant complications with both health and behavior,” said Alyssa Krieger, manager of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.
“Scottie weighed only one and a half pounds—and a kitten her age should have been at least two pounds, Krieger said. “She will likely suffer lifelong medical issues as a result of poor care and the conditions under which she was bred and transported.”
After several days of intensive care, Scottie was moved into a foster home.
“She was, and still is, too fragile for life in the shelter and needed to be with an experienced caretaker who could administer medication and fluids,” she said.
The Angell and shelter veterinary teams say Scottie is highly susceptible to upper respiratory infections which, for her, can be severe.
“We’ve been able to reduce her symptoms over the last couple of months and she’s a much happier cat as a result,” said Krieger. “But her new owner will need to be prepared for future respiratory illnesses that will need to be treated with antibiotics.”
Krieger stressed that whomever adopts Scottie will need to be prepared for regular visits to the veterinarian so that future flare-ups — as well as any other medical conditions that can be common with this particular breed — can be addressed quickly before they become dangerous.
Interested adopters can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Scottie and the adoption process.
Meanwhile, Scottie’s care has already exceeded $2,000. Anyone interested in donating to help with Scottie’s medical care can make a contribution to Spike’s Fund, which helps pay for emergency medical care needed by homeless animals in the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.