Buddy the Philadelphia cat is home for good.
The former stray captured the hearts of people around the world when he survived a brutal attack on the front porch of a Philadelphia home, with two dogs mauling him at the urging of their teenage owners. The attack, which was captured on video, prompted worldwide outrage from animal lovers and resulted in an outpouring of help, with well-wishers flooding the Pennsylvania SPCA with more than $100,000 in donations.
Dr. Katie Venanzi was the veterinarian who performed emergency surgery on Buddy in the immediate aftermath of the attack, when his survival was doubtful.
That was back in March. Since then, Buddy’s glorious will to live carried him through those perilous first few hours and days, and he eventually healed up enough to go to a foster home.
Venanzi felt an emotional attachment to the little guy and offered to foster him with the hope of providing his forever home. It wasn’t clear if that would be possible: Buddy’s original family failed at making him an indoor cat because he was too accustomed to the freedom of being a stray, so they fed him and took care of him as best they could.
His brush with death seems to have tamed Buddy, who has adjusted to indoor life with Venanzi, her husband and their other cat, Teddy. Buddy enjoys “basking in the sun on a windowsill or watching the world go by from the front screen door,” the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Gillian Kocher said, and his new family “fell more and more in love” with him as the days and weeks went by.
“He has all the toys a cat could want, though his favorite seems to be an empty cardboard box for lounging,” she said. “He is loved, and he is home.”
With his story of perseverance and bravery, Buddy “has become a symbol of everything we do here,” Kocher said. The money left over from donations after all of Buddy’s veterinary needs were taken care of will be used to help other cats and dogs just like him who have suffered abuse and neglect.
You can support the Pennsylvania SPCA by buying a “Save Every Buddy” t-shirt or other gear on the group’s site.