Let us introduce you to Franklin, a five year old tabby boy with a heart of gold. Franklin’s story is full of highs and lows and plenty of frustration, and is one that could have been completely avoided for the sake of around £1.50. Trigger warning: graphic images will follow….

Franklin in his ‘cone of shame’ after one of his several operations to fix his wound

Elasticated cat collars are dangerous and cats can easily get snagged, trapped, and end up with a front leg trapped inside them after trying to free themselves. This is exactly what happened to our boy Franklin. Safer snaprelease collars are usually double the price at around £3 and cat owners will often choose the cheaper option without knowing the horrible risks involved.

Franklin came into our care three months ago with a terrible injury as a result of one of these lethal elasticated collars. Mostly likely, Franklin got his collar caught on something, then pawed at his collar to try and free himself and in the process got his leg stuck through it instead. The collar was then tightly lassoed around his neck and armpit and as time wore on the collar began to dig in to his skin and create a deep tear. Twelve weeks on and the wound looks as painful as ever and our vet bills are continuing to rocket.

At the vets, again! Thankfully, he enjoys the extra fusses!

Since he was discovered back in January with his collar embedded under his armpit Franklin has received five operations in an attempt to rejoin the skin and heal the gaping hole which has formed. He has undergone pioneering surgery involving a complicated skin graft, but as the skin in this area is so delicate, and cats aren’t the easiest animals to keep still even on cage rest (and in a head-cone) all attempts so far have failed. 

Thankfully Franklin’s wonderful nature and amazing resilience has kept us all going. There have been plenty of times when we’ve asked ourselves if we doing the right thing for Franklin, but each time his sweet little meow and soppy, loving face comes nuzzling next to ours and we are compelled to keep trying to save him.

Another attempt to re-stitch the wound was unsuccessful

After the final attempt at re-stitching the hole failed at the end of March we sombrely took him back to the vets. Not knowing if there was anything left to try we thought it might be time to give up for his sake but our excellent vet had one last suggestion: leg amputation. Amputating what seemed to be a fullyfunctioning limb was a big decision but as the vet explained, the limb had a long open wound on it that would likely never heal. So we booked him in for the op. It seemed quite drastic but if it would save Franklin’s life we were willing to give it a go.

The wound was continually opening up because there was very little skin to work with and Franklin was pulling on it every time he stretched out, went to the toilet or just stood up. By amputating the leg more skin would be available to close the wound and Franklin wouldn’t be able to put pressure on the wound as he’d have no leg to pull at the armpit.

The wound was in such a difficult place that each operation although seemingly successful would fail as the wound opened up again despite the amazing efforts of our vets.

Now we are just keeping everything crossed that the surgery goes well and our lad makes a speedy recovery. Not having to be on cage rest will be an absolute delight for Franklin as he loves snuggling up in bed with us. We are hoping that this will be Franklin’s final operation and then we can start working towards getting him ready for adoption.

By the time Franklin is ‘fixed’ his veterinary costs will have escalated to a total of £1,500. These are funds we simply do not have with such intense demand on our small, self-funded charity. We are desperately appealing for donations to cover the cost of his leg amputation and postop care which amounts to roughly £500. We are asking all our followers to donate just £1.50 so we can carry on helping Franklin and many other animals like him. To donate, just click here!

Alternatively, you can text FRAN17 £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070

Thank you for your support from all the M&S Team and, of course, from Franklin.