Cat Impaled on Fence Makes Quick Recovery, Heads Home

January 31, 2012

Boston, Mass., Jan. 31, 2012 – “Shabby,” a sweet orange tabby who lives with her family in South Boston, used at least one of her nine lives when she jumped from a fence on Sunday morning and impaled herself on the spiked remnant of an old fence.  Shabby had been chasing a neighborhood cat when she made the fateful leap.


Shabby’s owner, David Shaughnessy, heard her cries and immediately went outside to investigate.  There he found Shabby unable to move, as the spike had completely impaled her right hind leg.  Desperate for help David called the fire department, and within minutes a team of South Boston firemen had arrived.  The firemen were able to free the spike from the ground and David rushed Shabby to Angell Animal Medical center with the spike still in her leg.

 Shabby's wound after it was stitched by veterinarians at Angell Animal Medical Center


At Angell Shabby was immediately admitted to the Emergency and Critical Care Unit where Dr. Lindsey Nielsen evaluated her wound.  Nielsen and the emergency veterinary team first anesthetized Shabby and then very carefully removed the spike.  Said Nielson, “Shabby is a very lucky cat: as it turns out the spike missed vital organs and large muscles that, if damaged, might have been fatal.”  Following the removal of the spike Dr. Neilson treated Shabby with pain medicine and antibiotics, and stitched up her wound.  Shabby was discharged yesterday and is now back with her family.


Said David Shaughnessy, “We’re so glad to have Shabby back as she’s an integral part of our family.  It’s shocking to see what she went through and we’re very glad that her injury wasn’t life threatening, and she was able to get the care she needed to continue recovering.” 

 The metal spike after it was removed from Shabby's rear leg


Veterinarians at Angell Animal Medical Center expect Shabby to get back to her normal self after a short rest and recovery period.


For more information about Angell Animal Medical Center’s Emergency and Critical Care Services click here.




Angell Animal Medical Center cares for more than 50,000 animals a year and is one of the most acclaimed veterinary practices in the country. Angell has 67 doctors and an experienced support staff who work as a team to ensure high quality general wellness, emergency and specialty care. With 31 board-certified specialists and technology that includes an MRI specifically designed for animals, Angell is committed to providing a broad range of specialized expertise and experience, but delivers this care with one-on-one compassion that animals and their owners deserve. Angell is open for emergencies 24 hours of every day of the year, and offers night and weekend appointments with our specialty services.