DENVER - A kitten that nearly froze to death when it was found outside in the cold suffering from hypothermia on Thursday was rescued when she was spotted in the snow and taken to the Denver Dumb Friends League.
The 3- or 4-month-old old kitten was brought to the shelter by Allison Baker, whose friend found the kitten covered in snow in a neighborhood just north of LoDo.
"A friend of mine called me this morning and she had a cat that she found outside. It was half covered in snow and (she) said it probably wasn't going to make it," said Baker. "I was convinced the cat was dead when she brought her here."
Unsure whether the kitten was still alive, Baker put her on a heating pad and brought her to the Dumb Friends League at 2080 S. Quebec St. for treatment.
"She was gasping for air when she was actually breathing," said Baker. "I think if she had been out another half an hour, there's no way she would have made it."
When the kitten arrived at the Dumb Friends League, her prognosis wasn't much better.
"Her temperature was not even registering on the thermometer, so it was below 90 degrees," said Dumb Friends League Health Care Supervisor Morgan Schneider. "We put little booties on her and had a hair dryer."
The kitten mittens didn't do much at first. Veterinary staff even placed her in a bed of heating pads and warming bottles and administered warm IV fluids to get her temperature up.
"Even after about 45 minutes, her temperature still was not registering on the thermometer, so it was still below 90 degrees," said Schneider.
After more than an hour of treatment, the kitten finally began to perk up and vets were able to stabilize her temperature and feed her some food.
"The most recent temperature was 102, so it was great," said Schneider at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
She said cats temperatures should be around 101.5 degrees.
"I'm shocked. I'm blown away. Cannot believe she's OK," said Baker.
When her friend brought the cat to Baker's house, she was in a box that had the name, "Tom Jones" written on the side.
"We didn't know it was a female, and so we've been calling her Tom Jones all day," said Baker.
At the Dumb Friends League, the veterinary staff changed the kitten's name to Elsa, based on the Disney "Frozen" character.
"We figured that would be a nice theme being from the Frozen movie, but also since she obviously has a fighting spirit," said Schneider.
Elsa will eventually go up for adoption once she is healthy enough, assuming no one has proof that the cat belongs to them.
Spokeswoman Megan Rees said, with the cold weather, the Dumb Friends League has seen an increase in lost cats being brought to the shelter.
If someone is concerned about a dog or cat that is left outside, they are encouraged to bring it to their nearest animal shelter.
-- Winter Pet Care --
The Dumb Friends League offered the following tips to remind pet owners to take extra precautions to protect your pets when the temperature drops:
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