Paralyzed Kitten Shot With BB Gun Forced to Use ‘Drag Bag’ to Get Around

A kitten paralyzed from a BB gun at just 7 weeks old has found a new way to roam around, thanks to help from Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance.

The North Carolina-based nonprofit offering care and rescue to newborn and medically challenged kittens immediately stepped in and treated Tommy after he came into the facility on December 20. He was dragging his hind legs, completely unable to walk.

An X-ray scan discovered Tommy was shot with a BB gun. The pellet was still lodged in his body close to the spine. Plus, a fecal test discovered an “extraordinary amount of roundworms” that could also have been linked to his immobility due to the inflammation.

However, Tommy’s immobility has not stopped him from living life to the fullest. The agency informed Tommy’s fans in a January 18 Facebook post that he is “living the good life as a playful kitten and has stopped hissing at people.”

Photos of a 3-month-old kitten named Tommy, using his “drag bag.” Tommy is paralyzed in his hind legs, relying on the bag to move around the house.

Andee Bingham/Esther Neonatal Kitten Alliance

The now-3-month-old kitten is living with a foster family and he hasn’t slowed down. He is exploring his foster home with the assistance of a “drag bag,” which the foster ended up purchasing after advisement from the Esther group.

A drag bag is a fabric placed around a paralyzed pet’s legs. The slickness of the material allows the pet to drag themselves across the ground, giving them the freedom and ability to move gently. It keeps them safe, comfortable and active without having to worry about rug burn or other injuries.

Esther group Executive Director Andee Bingham told Newsweek that Tommy “zooms” and climbs around his foster home. The team looked into getting Tommy a wheelchair, but members figured that since he was already used to running and scooting around close to the ground, it would be easier for him to use the drag bag. Plus, through their research, Bingham said, they felt that animals weren’t safe when left alone in wheelchairs.

There was a brief moment of hope that Tommy would gain movement again early on in his treatment.

“The second day [of treatment] I was holding him close to my chest, playing with his toes, and noticed he splayed his toes on one of his feet,” Bingham said.

However, after two weeks of physical therapy, the team did not see any improvements in his mobility. Instead, they pivoted to help him be more comfortable, since they did not believe he would ever regain mobility. The neurologist also did not see any signs that Tommy’s brain was sending signals to his legs.

Tommy is also experiencing digestion issues. He keeps going back and forth between diarrhea and constipation, Bingham said. They are working to solve the issue between medications and diet, and she believes they almost have it down.

Once that gets solved, the team will be on the lookout for potential adopters. However, Tommy’s forever family must be willing to put in the time and effort.

“It needs to be a special home,” Bingham said. This means the home must be one without stairs. If there are children, they should be gentle and the owners must be dedicated, as there is a possibility Tommy will be in a diaper for the rest of his life.

But despite everything Tommy has dealt with in his very short life, he still has a “happy-go-lucky attitude.” Bingham said he is ready for any challenge that comes his way. He rolls with it and always figures it out.

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