CAPITAL DISTRICT One man simply couldn’t leave an injured cat lying in the middle of the road outside of his home, but as a result he now faces veterinary bills totaling more than $3,000.
“I picked him up and he was still alive,” Luke Chiarenda said about the cat he named Nails.
Chiarenda, a full-time member of the Army National Guard, said he was leaving his Rexford home on his way to work when he noticed the cat in the road in front of his home.
“I don’t feel it was right not to give him a fair chance, you wouldn’t do that to a human being,” Chiarenda said.
Chiarenda wasn’t sure if the cat would even make it through the night, appearing to have been hit by a car, but Nails remained strong and pulled through. Chiarenda then decided to take him to a veterinarian the next morning for initial emergency treatment.
There were several injuries identified after Nail’s initial treatment, including one leg with a broken joint, another leg with the ball connecting to the hip coming out and some minor head injuries.
“He was pretty banged up,” Chiarenda said.
Pretty soon the bills started piling up for a cat that wasn’t even his, but he continued with all necessary treatment to get Nails back on his paws. Nails is on track to recover from his injuries.
“The hard part for me was that I wouldn’t have asked for money if it was my cat in the first place,” he said.
Chiarenda said his aunt first reached out to him about getting in contact with Altamont-based Guilderhaven, Inc., which is a nonprofit organization formed in 2001 to help the animal community.
Sue Green, a board member of Guilderhaven, said she was moved by his story and the group offered to help him pay off veterinary bills.