He was found unresponsive and barely breathing â miraciously he was able to reunite with his owner

Salem was found emaciated and on the verge of death in the front yard of a Wynn Vale home – today he has been reunited with his owner, Gemma, after a gruelling and lengthy eight weeks of separation. It was RSPCA South Australia Animal Ambulance Volunteer, Catherine, who came to Salem’s rescue, after a worried resident reached out with concerns for the cat’s welfare.

He was found unresponsive, barely breathing, and suffering from a severely embedded collar, which had been digging into the flesh of his armpit for more than fifty long days and nights. When Catherine observed that Salem was having difficulty breathing due to the collar that was fixed around his neck and armpit, she immediately unravelled it and realised the severity of his state.

Upon being transported to the nearest emergency vet and weighing in at just a shocking 2kg, it was feared that Salem wouldn’t survive the harrowing injuries that he had suffered from his adventurous ordeal.

Owner Gemma was contacted immediately – a bittersweet moment that she said she’ll never forget

“I dropped everything and just started crying and shaking, I had to get my Mum to finish the phone call. I was happy that I found him but knowing the condition that he was in absolutely broke my heart. The emergency vet told me that there wasn’t much hope.”

Upon entering the room, prepared to say her final goodbyes to her beloved cat of four years, Gemma was greeted with a Salem who was ready to fight for his life.

“He came to as soon as he heard my voice, it was incredible. It was in this miraculous moment that I knew he had a chance of survival, I immediately got him transferred to our regular vet, Holden Hill Veterinary Clinic, so they could begin his lifesaving treatments.”

It’s important to hold on to hope when your pet goes missing

The underweight Salem stayed in the care of the clinic for a week before he was able to return to the comfort and warmth of his own home with a strict treatment plan – and two new fur siblings.

“Every time there was a black cat found by the RSPCA, we drove down to the Lonsdale shelter to check if it might be him. On one of those occasions, we adopted another two kittens while we were there. So now he has a little brother and sister as well,” said Gemma.

After two weeks of being fed every three hours, Salem has been able to put on 55 grams – just 5.5% of the total weight he needs to gain before he is stable enough to receive the surgery to repair his arm and broken tooth. Now that this lucky guy is relaxing at home and is expected to make a full recovery, Gemma can finally breathe knowing her best friend is safe and sound.

“I really want to give people some hope that one day they too might get to be reunited with their lost pets. There certainly reached a point where I started to lose hope, but I’m so glad I held onto it,” said Gemma.

We’re currently seeking volunteers who would like to be part of Team Rescue as volunteer ambulance drivers or rescuers, to help more cats like Salem sign up HERE today.

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