The shelter named this special kitten Walter, and he surprised everyone with his will to live. He was able to scoot around by supporting the bulk of his weight on his hind legs and navigating the floor on his little deformed front paws. He played like any other kitten and began to grow. Although he was missing his top and bottom teeth, he was able to eat like a normal cat, too.
Sherri Taylor, shelter manager at Dutchess County SPCA, knew that the person who adopted Walter would have to be a special person willing to work with him. He couldn't walk on a smooth surface easily, and his life expectancy was unknown. Taylor knew exactly who the right person for Walter might be. Taylor and Hapeman were friends, and Taylor knew just how to heal Hapeman's grieving heart.
With no expectations, Hapeman headed to the Dutchess County SPCA, curious to see what Walter was all about. For the first time in weeks, she found herself smiling as she pet this affectionate cat for the first time. As she looked him over, she became filled with the need to protect him.