Recently a story went viral on the internet. Sergeant Kelsey found a cat in one of their campsites. The cat was wounded and ill—she needed urgent care. After Kelsey and her team took care of the poor cat and brought her back to health, they named her Sergeant Whiskers. The bond between the cat and the soldiers grew stronger and stronger. Sergeant Whiskers was grateful for the care and love, while the soldiers had a snuggle buddy and some moral support.
A few days later, to many people’s surprise, Sergeant Whiskers brought her two kittens to the camp. The soldiers were impressed by how the cat managed to keep herself and the kittens alive. The kittens bonded quickly with the Sergeant and soldiers and became part of the family. Currently, the soldiers are gathering donations so that they’ll be able to bring the kittens to the US, safe and sound.
Sergeant Kelsey, a US soldier, found a surprise six weeks into her tour
We asked Guardians of Rescue to tell us the story of how the cat and her kittens were found: “Whiskers first started coming around a few weeks into Sergeant Kelsey’s tour in the Middle East. The Sergeant said ‘She would come from across the parking lot but couldn’t make it the whole way without laying down. She would walk, then lay, then walk, etc. When she started coming around, we noticed her nose was severely scabbed, her tail was broken and kinked, her eyes were scabbed, she was very thin and she moved with very little energy. It was 126° when she started coming around so we gave her cool water to try and help. She wasn’t too interested in this. From the beginning, she held a special place in my heart. She was a fighter. She was physically, and probably mentally, run-down but she continued to fight for her survival and her life. This attitude of hers inspired me every single day. No matter what information or conditions I was met with, I too would fight to get through it. Because of her attitude, demonstrated perseverance, and survival we named her Sergeant Whiskers.”
A wounded and malnourished cat visited their campsite in the Middle East. The cat could barely walk and needed urgent care
Sergeant Kelsey immediately took matters into her own hands and started caring for the kitty, who she named Sergeant Whiskers
“We are very happy to say that Sergeant Whiskers and her kittens are doing great. They have all been seen by a veterinarian, and are in good hands. They are being well cared for and getting stronger every day so they can make the flight to the U.S. safely.”They told us about the most difficult part of caring for the animals on a campsite: ”
The conditions and restrictions around the bases make it very hard for the soldiers to interact or care for any cats or dogs they encounter. In many places overseas there just isn’t any pet infrastructure, so even getting basic supplies is a challenge.”
After a few days of getting to know the camp and the people there, Sergeant Whiskers brought her two kittens
Sergeant Kelsey took care of all three of them; in return, the cats were a source of comfort and love in a difficult place
The kittens are still in the Middle East with one of the four partners in foster care: “We have a very good track record of saving these animals for our military serving overseas, and we have very solid plans in place to get these cats to the U.S. The logistics of moving animals, even by car, can be very difficult overseas, and veterinary care can be very hard to come by. We have developed very strong partnerships on the ground that can facilitate these rescues. Getting animals to the U.S. is also very expensive, and in summer months high temperatures can halt animal cargo.”
Sergeant Whiskers and her kittens became healthier and happier, bonding and hanging out with everyone in the campsite
Guardians of Rescue shared what surprised them most about this story: “It is not so much of a surprise, but we are always amazed at how these chance encounters can change the lives of not only the soldiers but the animals they rescue. In most places, cats and dogs are not treated like pets, and many are subject to very brutal conditions.”
Everyone was impressed by how Sergeant Whiskers managed to keep herself and two kittens alive
Guardians of Rescue tell us more about themselves: “Ever since I was a kid there was never any shortage of animals in distress or in need of help. Thankfully, I was not one of those kids who could just look at something and laugh or shrug it off as it’s just an animal. I learned very quickly at a young age that not everyone is going to think the way I do but I knew I needed to do something a little different and bigger to help more animals. When I had the opportunity, I founded Guardians of Rescue, and thousands of animals each year are saved from some pretty horrible conditions because of it. That’s the one thing with animal rescue, it never stops. This story about Sergeant Whiskers is part of our No Buddy Left Behind program. This program services our heroic military serving overseas. When they befriend an animal while serving their country, we cannot ask them to suffer the loss of leaving their animal buddy behind. When a service member sees an innocent animal in distress, hungry, or injured, you either have it in you to jump into action or you don’t. Many of the service members continue to jump into action when they become stateside because of that relationship that they had with that cat or a dog while they were serving overseas and they too realize that not only did they make a difference in that animal’s life but they can also make a difference in others’ and often they will get involved locally with animal welfare. This program is a win-win for everyone in my opinion.”
Soon Sergeant Kelsey and her team are returning back to the US and they need help taking the kittens with them
“Guardians of Rescue’s goal is to take animals out of suffering situations. Recently we rescued a lot of beagles from a laboratory that was using them to test for pain management. Another case: dogs that were at a breeding facility. They were all in horrible conditions and needed medical attention. Social rehabilitation was also required because they had never been touched or loved. Another story is about a cat hoarder who had over 65 cats, many of them starving, injured, and infected with fleas and open wounds. She allowed us to come in and save the animals. The air conditions in the home were so bad, our members had to wear hazmat suits and respirators.
Kelsey is asking people to donate through the program “No Buddy Left Behind”
That way Sergeant Kelsey can take the kittens back to America
“If you want to help animals, look for a local organization doing work with animals and volunteer. The lessons you learn last a lifetime. I think the best advice is to try and support your local shelters. They are doing the hard work day in and day out and many of them are severely underfunded and do not have enough volunteers.”
Sergeant Whiskers would live with Kelsey, while the two kittens would stay with another Sergeant they’ve bonded with
“When you see something that looks wrong, try to get help. Many of the cases of animal abuse and neglect are brought to us by a concerned neighbor or someone that just sees a bad situation. Don’t give up until you can get help for the animal. We have seen animals that came from some pretty horrific situations turn into the most loving and kind pets imaginable. If you’re looking for a pet, don’t buy, go to a shelter and you will be amazed at the wonderful animals that are available to choose from.”