Oliver: An Amazingly Intrepid Tripod Kitten

Publisher’s Note: The following story brings attention to the good works of a veterinarian and his veterinary healthcare team and animal rescue volunteers during this holiday season. An associate of goodnewsforpets.com was successfully granted adoption of Oliver. He now happily resides with his new family in Manhattan’s SoHo in NYC.

Dr. Cesar Tello and Team – Noah’s Ark Pet Clinic, Queens NY.

Top Left to Right; Viviana Alvarez, Dr. Socrates Tello with his wife Amanda, Dr. Cesar Tello, Jennifer Martinez, Christian Benavides,Jessica Quizhpi, Cynthia Merida. Lower Left to Right; Valerie Valerio, Jose Paredes, Ingrid Garcia, Mellie Tulcan.

When NYC Animal Care and Control personnel rescued Oliver from a street in the Bronx, NY, serious injury to one of his legs made this intrepid little kitten’s survival rather doubtful. Thanks to a combination of serendipitous good fortune, human intervention and his undaunted spirit and courage, Oliver survived his horrific ordeal. In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season an otherwise sad story here culminates in good cheer. We are pleased to be able to share some of Oliver’s story through an interview with Dr. Cesar Tello, who with his small close-knit dedicated staff, comprises Noah’s Ark Pet Clinic in Queens, NY. The team of life-saving angels includes, as well, Dr. Tello’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Socrates Tello, both whom are veteran practitioners in the field of veterinary medicine.


According to Dr. Tello, Oliver had a very large swelling in his right elbow area. According to the radiographs, he had a non-union fracture in his distal humerus (that’s the big bone in the upper arm). The Animal Care and Control (ACC) documents stated he was rescued from the streets of New York City on September 9, 2006. It is likely that his injuries were the result of some traumatic action. It’s difficult to imagine but very easy to hypothesize the chain of events that led up to this debilitating injury; but suffice it to say that he found his way to Dr. Tello’s clinic on September 18, 2006.

Oliver developed a URI (upper respiratory infection) while in the clinic. Dr. Tello’s guess is that he was probably incubating a virus, and the stress of the surgery activated the virus during his recovery period. Dr. Tello had him on very strong antibiotics and some immune boosting medication to treat his condition. Plus they administered a whole lot of love.

In explaining the surgery performed, Dr. Tello commented, “Surgery is very much an art form. There are concrete principles concerning technique that you learn in veterinary school, but the approach can be adjusted based on the surgeon’s abilities and experiences.”

He continued, “We chose a surgical approach, removing the forelimb with the scapula, because it is aesthetically more pleasing visually. My father and I performed the surgery. Again, it‘s the surgeon’s preference, but I venture to guess that there are a fair number of surgeons that perform this technique.”

Oliver and his pal

Oliver was very curious and incredibly active during his tenure at the clinic. Prior to his surgery he was very mischievous, tipping his water and food containers over. Even after his surgery when he only had the use of one of his limbs, he horsed around and once again tipped his containers over in excitement.

Dr. Tello has been involved in animal rescue for quite some time. He says, “Serendipity is the friend of all good fortune. I am most fortunate to have a family deeply rooted in the profession. Presently six members are actively involved in varying capacities and a seventh waiting in the distant wings. I graduated Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. During my studies, I was enrolled in what is best described as an educational pilot program of Case-Based Learning. It greatly influenced me, as did my professors. Later I met a colleague from the ACC during a veterinary conference. As our friendship developed it became clear that we had a common agenda. Performing socially conscious veterinary related work for the ACC seemed like a natural extension of my mission.”

Dr. Tello believes NYC Animal Care and Control is a terrific agency. There are so many pets without life threatening illnesses or injuries that sadly end up euthanized due to limited resources. The Not- for -Profit organization NY S.A.V. E. assists people who can’t otherwise afford much-needed medical care for their pets. They aid in defraying expenses. They also make available assistance to persons who specifically adopt rescue animals. These organizations make it possible for many pets to live happy healthy lives but could use help and donations.

Oliver’s benefactors include City Critters, Inc. (www.citycritters.org), an all-volunteer rescue organization located in NYC. They escorted Oliver, along with a number of other ‘rescues’, to a book party and reception for The Cat Who Wouldn’t Come Inside by Cynthia Von Buhler, featured in the What’s New section of this issue of goodnewsforpets and The Mystery of the Cat by Clea Simon.


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