The St. Mary's Animal Welfare League is a nonprofit, rescue organization that specializes in the rescue, care and placement of abused, neglected and homeless companion animals

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2018 Pet Fair

  • icon 2018 Pet Fair

Sampson (still looking for a furever home!)


I'm 4 years old and I am so grateful that SMAWL gave me a second chance at life!

Animal control removed me and 42 other cats from a hoarding situation in February of this year. I was sent to a high kill shelter. I was very skinny and having problems breathing from an injury I received before I got to the shelter.  On top of that I got an Upper Respiratory Infection.... things weren't looking too good....  but my luck was about to change when some volunteers from St. Mary's Animal Welfare League (SMAWL) came into the shelter one cold day and rescued 26 of us. I didn't realize how truly lucky I was at that time.

One of the nice volunteers put me in her bathroom with a humidifier.  I had to take yucky medication, but I was able to eat lots and lots of food. I was so happy :0).  I started feeling better and I gained some weight. After I was released from quarantine and got all my vaccinations, I was still very skinny.

The volunteers were concerned so another nice person took me into her home to foster me. A foster home is a place that animals can stay while they wait patiently for a home of their own.  I still live with my foster family while dreaming of my forever home.

My foster mom noticed that I was still having problems breathing sometimes, so they took me back to the vet, and I had another exam and bloodwork done. Then I had to go to another place for x-rays. Then I went to a third place, Mid-Atlantic Animal Specialty Hospital (MASH) where the kind folks put me in an oxygen chamber and for the first time in a long while, I could take big breaths, it was so wonderful!!! 

The next day the surgeon came in and said they needed to get to work on me immediately because I was a mess!  No one knew how bad off I was until they opened me up... my right lung was completely collapsed and my entire liver, gall bladder, stomach, pancreas, several loops of small intestine and my greater omentum  (another part of my insides) were all herniated and in my chest cavity. The doctor moved all my organs back to where they should be and repaired the hole, so I could once again breathe.  They inserted a chest tube. Things were a little fuzzy for a couple of days after that. I was told I needed blood and plasma,

and after going through all of that, my lung re-inflated and I am back in my foster home again doing great!!

I have to go back for another check-up in 10 days. I am so grateful for a second chance to live my life. I love cuddling with my foster mom.

I heard some people say that SMAWL shouldn't have spent so much money on me, I wholeheartedly disagree. This is the only life I will ever have, and I want to live until I'm an old man of at least 20!!