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Frisky Feline ‘Starfish’ is Lucky to be Alive after Losing a Leg in Car Strike in South Boston

A friendly, ghost-white cat now named “Starfish” is lucky to be alive after she was rushed to the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center on April 27 by a good Samaritan who found her injured and cowering under a car in South Boston during a rain storm, the MSPCA-Angell announced on May 10.

The cat—who MSPCA staffers believe is about seven months old—weighs about eight pounds and was wearing a red collar when she was found but had no identification tag or microchip, making it impossible to identify an owner.

She arrived critically injured, with her left hind leg nearly crushed and her rear right paw stripped away, likely from being trapped and dragged under the wheel of a car.

Scared, Broken and Cold
Starfish was found hiding underneath a car on the corner of Summer and East Second Street in South Boston, streets adjacent to a number of active construction zones and marked by high-speed traffic. Laura (Savard) Gallagher, a nearby resident, spotted her beside the car’s wheel as a cold rain drenched the neighborhood.

“I was afraid she might take off into traffic if I reached for her so I ran inside to grab my dog’s leash and a cardboard box and, once I got back outside, she tried to crawl toward me but could barely move,” said Gallagher, who ultimately managed to get Starfish into the box and drove her to Angell Animal Medical Center.

Gallagher also set up a GoFundMe page to offset Starfish’s medical bills and, to date, the page raised nearly $2,800. Gallagher plans to donate any remaining funds to help other homeless animals.

“I’m just so glad that she’s no longer in danger and can return to life inside a safe and warm home with people who adore her, as every cat deserves,” said Gallagher.

Starfish’s Long Road to Recovery
Dr. Spencer Yeh of Angell’s surgery team performed a two-hour surgery to repair Starfish’s leg fracture and attached an “external fixator”—a set of steel pins and bars attached to the outside of her leg which will be removed once the fracture heals. “I estimate that the fixator will come off in about four weeks, after which we’ll determine if she needs any follow-up treatment or if she’s able to leave our facility for good,” said Dr. Yeh.

Despite antibiotic treatment the wound on Starfish’s right leg continued to fester and had to be amputated on May 8.

The medical team believes her surgically repaired hind leg will heal in about four weeks, after which—so long as other wounds to her abdomen have also healed—she will be placed for adoption.

Anna Rafferty-Fore, associate director of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center, is already sorting out Starfish’s future. “After all she’s been through Starfish deserves a home where she can live safely indoors surrounded by people who love her—and we won’t stop looking until we find just that kind of home for her.”

Anyone interested in adopting Starfish can email