SPCA New Zealand

From rescued to rehomed: Steve's story

29 May 2023

Here at SPCA, we have dozens of animals come through our doors every day. Our ‘rescued to rehomed’ stories share just some of the incredible and inspiring tales of those who come into our care, like poor Steve, who was found with an eye missing.

From rescued to rehomed: Steve's story

The rescue

It’s not every day that a member of the public spots a cat with its head trapped inside a jar. This is exactly what happened in Auckland, and it was unclear how long the cat, now known as Steve, had been stuck.

Very luckily, his rescuer managed to get hold of him, and immediately took him to a nearby vet clinic for help.

Thankfully it didn’t take long for the vet to remove the jar – but they quickly discovered that this poor boy was missing an eye, and had some clear dental issues.

Steve was understandably very distressed and nervous around people, and giving him a proper assessment was very difficult.

The next day he was picked up by one of our SPCA Inspectors and brought back to our Māngere Centre. Steve had a long road to recovery ahead of him, but he was in the best possible hands to get there.

The assessment

When Steve first arrived at the Centre, the vet team could only imagine what this poor boy had been through. He may have only had one good eye, but it never strayed from us as he watched, wide-eyed, our every move. The poor boy was visibly terrified. He had inflammation and wounds from when the jar had been stuck on his head, so they were quick to give him medication to ease his pain, and put him on a course of antibiotics.

After assessing his missing eye, the team were surprised to find that it didn’t appear to be missing from an injury, but rather that he was likely born with only a partially-developed eye. As the skin around it hadn’t fully healed, they determined it would be safest for him to have surgery to ensure the eye socket was fully closed off, and to reduce the chances of infection developing.

The vet team also noted that his upper canine teeth seemed to be causing discomfort on his lower lip, and he’d likely need them removed in due course.

With his initial assessment completed, a plan was put in place by our amazing staff to ensure Steve would get the best possible outcome.

The recovery

Steve experienced the loving care and treatment that all of the vulnerable animals that pass through our Centres receive, including flea and worm treatment, and vaccinations.

Georgia, our Feline Team Leader at the Māngere Centre, said that it took a little while, but Steve slowly started to become comfortable around people.

“It took time, but he definitely came out of his shell while he was with us. And he even began to come and greet us with a little chirp,” she said.

The once timid and terrified boy seemed to know that the people around him were there to help, and in time he became very smoochy with his loving carers.

When he was well enough, Steve underwent his surgery to close up his missing eye. As he then needed somewhere quiet and peaceful to recover, Steve went into foster care.

Foster care is so incredibly important for the animals of SPCA. By being able to spend some time in foster, it allowed Steve to experience a loving home, away from the sometimes loud and bustling shelter environment.

When he came back to the Centre with his eye now healed, the vet team decided to give him dental treatment, to ensure he wouldn’t have any long-term issues with his upper canine teeth.

Despite all that he’d been through, Georgia told us that this little trooper recovered quickly, and his personality continued to grow.

“He absolutely loved the cat tower in his room, and he navigated around pretty easily even with a missing eye!” she said.

It was clear that Steve was much more comfortable after spending some time in our care.
It was clear that Steve was much more comfortable after spending some time in our care.

A loving forever home

When it was clear that Steve was fully recovered and raring to go, it was a bittersweet moment for the team that had been a part of his journey. He had spent two months in our care, slowly transforming from the weak, injured and terrified boy we first met, into the friendly, confident and happy cat on the other side of his treatment.

He was listed on our adoptions page, and it wasn’t long before someone applied to bring him home.

Courtney was the one who saw his profile and fell in love – and we don’t blame her! We’re so thrilled that he has found a forever home where he’s getting all the care and affection that he deserves.

“We all love him so much. He’s been the best addition to our flat,” Courtney said. “He’s just so sweet and cuddly, and he’s such a chatty boy when he’s not getting attention! He’s our special one-eyed boy… and who could turn down a cat with the name Steve?”

Thank you to everyone involved in Steve’s rescue and rehabilitation – from his initial rescuer, to the vet and feline teams, his foster family and his forever family, you’ve all played a critical role in ensuring this boy got his happy ever after. It takes a village, but heartwarming stories like Steve’s make it all worthwhile.

Steve found happiness in his loving forever home.
Steve found happiness in his loving forever home.

Interested in adopting a cat like Steve? Check out all of the animals now waiting for their forever homes here: www.spca.nz/adopt

Can’t commit to adoption, but think you can provide a short-term home? Become a foster hero today: www.spca.nz/foster

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