British Columbia

9-year-old helps save injured cat found near B.C. garbage dump

Hazel the cat was found in early February scavenging at the transfer station in Anahim Lake, about four hours west of Williams Lake.

Hazel is 'the most beautifulest' cat Sutter Rowse says he has ever seen

Sutter meeting Hazel for the first time at the Williams Lake SPCA. (Leslie Rowse)

Nine-year-old Sutter Rowse loves cats.

So when he and his mom were looking around online and saw a story about a stray cat in desperate need of care that had been found at a Chilcotin garbage transfer station, he knew he had to help. 

"I just couldn't stop thinking about her."

In a statement, the Williams Lake SPCA explained the cat — which had been named Hazel by the shelter — had been found at the transfer station in Anahim Lake, about four hours west of Williams Lake. 

While the SPCA was spaying the cat, the vet discovered her hip was injured — the head of her femur was fractured and necrosis had set in. It said the discovery would mean more surgery and follow-up care, including physiotherapy.

The Williams Lake shelter put out a call to the public to help the non-profit cover the vet costs. 

Hazel was in the care of the SPCA for a number of weeks following her surgeries. (Leslie Rowse)

It was that story that led Sutter to start brainstorming ideas with his mom for a fundraiser at school until they came up with one that seemed like it could work – homemade cinnamon buns.

$850 raised

Along with his mom, Leslie, Sutter made cinnamon buns to sell online through social media.

"I was encouraged that he was wanting to do something so positive," she said.

She posted about it on a community page and says she was overwhelmed by the response.

"We took on the challenge, not having any idea how quickly it would take off and how many cinnamon buns we would actually be making that week."

They ended up making around 15 dozen and sold them by donation, raising $850 — money that was used to help pay for the surgery and veterinary costs.

When the family dropped off the money, Rowse fell in love.

"She's just the most beautifulest cat I've ever seen."

Sutter holds Hazel on his bed. (Leslie Rowse)

Rowse kept going back to visit until one day, a few weeks ago, his mom told him Hazel had found an owner. As they went for one last visit, his mom made him guess who the new owners were. But Sutter wasn't so easily fooled.

"I guessed us! And I was right."

A cat of his own

Leslie says she knew the time was right. Sutter had been asking for a cat since he was small.

"I just knew how happy it would make him to finally have his own cat and so we took the plunge as a family and committed to Hazel."

Sutter helps Hazel up a ramp he made to help her on his bed. (Leslie Rowse)

Hazel is still recovering from her surgeries and the family hopes she will "regain full jumping and running abilities within the next months." Since adopting Hazel, Sutter has made a ramp to help her get on to his bed more easily. 

"She's just the sweetest cat."

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