Alley Cat Allies’ work in communities to protect cats ranges from large-scale improvements on law and policy to supporting high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter to saving a single cat with much-needed surgery.

This month, that special cat was Tank—a beautiful, lively young tabby with a lot of life to live and love to give, but also with a condition that could shorten that life significantly. We’re so thrilled to say that, as part of our continuing work with Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester in New York, we were able to provide Tank with surgery he needed to thrive!

Tank was born with a condition called a portosystemic shunt. In the most basic terms, it means there is an anomaly in his blood vessels that causes blood to be diverted around his liver rather than through it for detoxification.

Tank before surgery showing off his ear tufts.

Cats with liver shunts can experience seizures, digestive issues, vomiting, and a host of other medical issues, affecting weight gain and normal growth.

To help Tank, Alley Cat Allies provided Lollypop Farm with a grant to fund liver shunt surgery. The surgery involves repairing the abnormal blood vessel with an ameroid ring. With this type of repair, the shunt causing the issue is closed gradually as the ring contracts around the vessel.

We’re happy to report that Tank is a spirited little guy and holding his own nicely post-surgery! We have high hopes for his recovery and longer-term prognosis. Right now, Tank is recovering at Lollypop Farm until he’s cleared to return to a foster home.

Tank will continue to require follow up, monitoring, and ongoing veterinary care and support. Our grant will help cover the costs of it all.

Every Alley Cat Allies grant for veterinary care, even if it is geared toward spay and neuter and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), also provides for critical surgery or other treatment a cat or kitten may require. For example, our Feline Frenzy® spay and neuter event with Lollypop Farm earlier this year was focused on TNR, but was also committed to providing any other care cats may need, be it broken leg repair or flea treatment.

We have saved the lives of many cats like Tank who needed extra and specialized medical attention—often in a last-minute emergency situation.

That dedication to cats’ health and wellbeing means everything, and it is only possible because of our generous supporters and donors. We deeply thank all of you for helping us save Tank and empowering us to protect cats everywhere!