Willy Update – Help Appreciated, Still Sick, Lab Results Back, Shame On In Our Hands Rescue

by Valerie, Mom Knows It All

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People continue to offer words of support for my Willy and I thought an update was in order.

If you’re new to Willy’s story, you can catch up by reading the links below.

Update #1 – April 23, 2017 – Love At First Sight. Welcome Willy. http://www.valmg.com/welcome-willy/
Update #2 – May 16, 2017 – A Willy Update – Illness And Our Experience With In Our Hands Rescue.  http://www.valmg.com/willy-illness/
Update #3 – June 16, 2017 – Willy Update – Still Sick & Needs Surgery ASAP And How In Our Hands Rescue Made Me Doubt Everything. http://www.valmg.com/willy-update-3/
Update #4 – June 21, 2017 – Willy Update And A Public Response To In Our Hands Rescue Of NY. http://www.valmg.com/willy-update-4/


We brought Willy in to the vet for surgery early in the morning on June 22. I knew the surgery would take several hours and that he was in good hands but I was very nervous nonetheless. I was very relieved to get the call from the vet that afternoon letting me know he was out of surgery. The vet told me that he had removed all of Willy’s damaged teeth removed as he had expected and planned to do. The vet found massive infection everywhere. There was nasty stuff dripping down from his soft palate. The windpipe looked to be ok when it was checked but there were long firm strands of an almost solid pus-like matter in it that required real effort to pull out. The vet said had never seen this stuff before. The vet passed a catheter up and around the mouth and nose and tried to flush everything out. There was debris in the ear. Willy came home on painkillers and more antibiotics.


June 23 found Willy on several different medicines, including antibiotics, painkillers, ear medicine and another. Last night was a bit funky. He wasn’t allowed to have water until 8, then it would only be a small amount and if he kept that down for an hour he could have more (trying to be sure he wasn’t sick from anesthesia). He started looking for it and food before then. When I wouldn’t give it to him he started walking around trying to find some. He looked a bit like someone’s drunk uncle at the end of a long family reunion, he was sort of staggering and it was really sad to see. He was super clingy and didn’t go far from my side. I’m sure it was because he’s not feeling well. He was on painkillers, which makes him sleepy. So most of his day (and therefore mine) was spent snuggling. He either slept on my bed, on my lap, on the couch next to my desk, or as was the case for most of the time on me. Medicine stayed down and was tolerated, and his appetite did slowly return.

On day two after surgery, June 24, Willy seemed to feel under the weather. He spent a good chunk of the day sleeping on me or on the back of the couch directly next to my desk. I heard coughing and what sounded like a lot of phlegm and congestion. This worried me and left me thinking we would have a vet visit coming sooner than expected.

The cough and breathing issues continued, I shot this brief video on July 4.


July 5 found us back at the vet for a recheck, where they gave us a different medicine. July 13 found us there yet again. By this time, poor Willy has been to the vet often enough that he just sits on the table and waits to be seen. Last weeks medicine didn’t seem to do anything. The vet thinks the weird nasty stuff he found in surgery is coming back. He had to do a culture in order to try and figure out where that nasty infected stuff is coming from and how to treat it, which Willy really didn’t enjoy. The culture cost $125!

On July 23. the results from that expensive culture came back. It showed that Willy has two things. The first thing is a feline form of bordetella, which in dogs can be kennel cough and in humans can be whooping cough. It is contagious. I pray that it doesn’t spread, as we do have other pets and if they were exposed the vet bills would be driven even higher. The second thing is a form of pasteurella, which I’m still reading up on. It is also contagious, and could go from cat to human under certain circumstances which could be really bad. The vet decided to try to treat both of these things with yet another expensive antibiotic.

We finished that round of antibiotics in early August. It was easy to see that they didn’t help. I reached out to the vet again. He rechecked the culture results and decided that he wanted to try something stronger. So he gave me a prescription for Cipro, an antibiotic for people. A really expensive antiobiotic for people, retailing at over $200! Fortunately the lady at the pharmacy was able to find a coupon to apply to bring the price of the medicine down. It’s a pill. Willy definitely isn’t a fan of pills but I have been managing to get one into him every day and he’s been a really good sport about it.


I am appalled at the knowledge that In Our Hands didn’t check Willy and the other cats that came in all together with him on that flight. Who’s to say that Willy is the only one that was sick? Any of the other cats could have gotten sick from him, or he sick from any of the other cats. Who was sick first really isn’t the point. The way I see it there could actually be six or so more cats with the same infections that Willy has. I only hope that other families haven’t been subjected to watching their adopted pain in pain and suffereing. And I only hope that if any ofthe other animals were infected that they didn’t spread it to animals that were already here in the country.

There is a reason that animals bought into the country are supposed to be kept in quarantine and vet checked. That’s to prevent illness and disease from spreading. I can’t help but think this whole situation is a major violation of procedure for a rescue, since it in actuality endangered other animals. To me it seems like something you would think a Board of Health or someone similar would handle. Shame on In Our Hands Rescue! Knowing that they are still in operation, and still bringing cats and dogs in from other areas besides the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania horrifies me. Truthfully, knowing they are still operating at all horrifies me.


I adore my cat. There’s no way in the world I would give him up, and I wouldn’t give him back to that rescue under any circumstances whatsoever. Once again I caution anyone contemplating adopting an animal from In Our Hands Rescue to do their homework and be very diligent. Even if you’re adopting elsewhere I strongly urge you to be cautious and to ask any and all questions, and to demand to see paperwork proving anything that’s been claimed.

Willy is still wheezing and coughing. The plan is to let him finish this medicine, which should take about a week. I am hoping that the medicine will somehow suddenly kick in and he’ll get better. If he isn’t better I don’t really know what we’ll do.

For those friends that have donated towards Willy’s vet bill, your generosity is greatly appreciated and I offer you sincere thanks. If you’re just reading about this we could still really use your help please. Willy’s surgery, follow-up care and medicines have been really expensive. This summer has been a really difficult one for us. The vet has been very patient with us on payment. We’ve paid a good chunk of what we owe however, we still owe $540 and they are expecting a payment that I have no way to make. If you’d care to make a donation of any amount it would be greatly appreciated.



melissa chapman August 21, 2017 - 5:59 pm

You are so amazing to see Willy through all of this. It looks like the worst is over now and you might find some semblence of normalcy. I am a pet lover and wish you had abetter experience.

Robin rue August 21, 2017 - 6:05 pm

Poor Willy! He’s been through so much! Thank god he found you and your family!

Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle August 21, 2017 - 6:09 pm

Aww, poor guy. I’m so sorry to hear he’s not doing as well as you’d hoped. At least he’s not doing worse, it seems. You truly are the salt of the earth, and I hope the next update brings some amazing news.

Ora Lee Gurr August 21, 2017 - 6:24 pm

I wish I was in a position to help out right now. This is a scary experience for anyone. I think that the no-kill shelters are so afraid that people won’t adopt if they know the cat or dog needs medical attention they just avoid saying anything until after the signature on the dotted line. Hang in there, and God bless the kind veterinarian.

Liz Mays August 21, 2017 - 7:12 pm

Gosh Willy is having such a rough time. I’m glad he has you guys to look out for him now though. The rescue really should have been more thorough in examining him!

Veronica Solomon August 21, 2017 - 7:18 pm

What a lucky cat to have you looking out for him. Amazing what you are doing

Kelly Hutchinson August 21, 2017 - 7:34 pm

I hate that Willy has had such a tough time. And you guys too! Your son holding him just touched my heart! I am so glad Willy has someone like you to make sure he gets the care he needs.

AnnMarie John August 21, 2017 - 11:23 pm

That is too much to bear for such a small lovely cat. I am glad that he is also a fighter just like his human momma! I know there’s still a long way to go but I hope you guys remain strong for each other. Willy is awesome and he deserves the best life!

Carol Cassara August 22, 2017 - 8:06 am

I hope things will be better for Willy in the future! I’m so happy that he has an adoptive mom that loves him so much and isn’t giving up easily.

Jocelyn at Hip Mama's Place August 22, 2017 - 8:23 am

I feel so much for you. Cats are filled with so much love and it’s heartbreaking to see them go through tons of struggle every day. I hope Willy finally gets better so he can just enjoy life.

Wendy Polisi August 22, 2017 - 3:34 pm

Awe poor willy. I am so glad you were able to rescue him and just love him unconditionally.

Annemarie LeBlanc August 22, 2017 - 5:03 pm

Poor kitty. He’s been suffering for a long time now. I hope the vet finds the appropriate medication and have Willy feel better soon.

Our Family World August 22, 2017 - 5:07 pm

I will try my best to spread the word to reach more people to help with Willy’s vet expenses. He is such a beautiful cat and I am glad he has you for a pet parent. I hope he will feel better soon.

Chrystal | Nevermore Lane August 22, 2017 - 6:39 pm

Poor baby has been through so much. What a sweet, beautiful baby. I hope there is a day some of these things are resolved.

Rosey August 23, 2017 - 3:52 am

It’s definitely not what you expect or want when going through a rescue operation!! And yes, shame on them. Willy is beautiful and very lucky to have a forever home with you!

pat.navymom August 23, 2017 - 2:32 pm

The Humane society should investigate the agencies that “gave” you Willie as should media to protect other innocents]]pets and people.

Amy Desrosiers August 23, 2017 - 9:26 pm

Poor Willy! That is so sad that he is deathly ill. I truly hope you can continue to get him the help he needs to fully recover.

GiGi Eats August 30, 2017 - 7:47 pm

Poor Willy! I will pray that he gets better!!

AG February 5, 2020 - 8:12 pm

In our hands is truly the worst “rescue” I’ve ever dealt with. And have given multiple chances to!


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