Trying to save three newborn kittens

One of the ginger kittens being comforted by CLAW vet Dr Marike Calitz.Three beautiful ginger kittens were born to a feral mother in South Africa. Sadly during the birthing process the umbilical cord was tied around one kitten’s foot, causing it to lose blood circulation. Two of the kittens were healthy and in wonderful condition, only needing the dried umbilical cord cut from their full bellies.  

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) partner Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) driver Lumka Golintete rushed the kittens back to the CLAW clinic, after the owner signed a form agreeing to have them vaccinated and sterilised when they are old enough.

The last kitten had tiny toe bones protruding from a severely swollen leg. Tiny and with eyes not yet open there was nothing that could be done to help. It is not often that I have seen a vet cry, yet I found our vet Marike Calitz cradling this tiny soul with tears in her eyes. There is nothing she could do. Too tiny to survive surgery and with a severe infection in the damaged leg, there was no choice but to put her to sleep.

For all our wins, we still have our losses. Dr Calitz needed a moment. I look out the window, my own heart grieving. If only we could spay and neuter more. If only we could assist more.

IFAW needs your help to ensure CLAW can do its vital work to save animals.


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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy