April 12, 2015
If cats could drive, an increasing number of them would be able to put organ donor on their license.
The Daily Beast reports that the trend of pet organ transplants and donations is growing in the United States. One of the people leading the charge is Dr. Lillian Aronson, professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School.
Aronson is considered one of the top minds on kidney transplants for cats, and her work has been saving the lives of cats all over the globe. Currently the University of Pennsylvania is one of only three places, along with the University of Wisconsin and the University of Georgia, that perform kidney transplants for cats.
Closer to home, Aronson helps find cats in danger of death a new home by making them donors, as The Daily Beast explains:
The way the U-Penn program works, she explains, is that cats that are actually donors are from the York County Animal Shelter that would otherwise be euthanized. So the program is actually saving two cats—the one that needs the kidney, and the one that is the donor. Just like humans, cats can live with one kidney.
They are trying to save the life of a shelter animal, and Aronson says they follow the donor cats for the rest of their lives, to insure they are well taken care of.
A transplant is costly. But for some, spending around $15,000 is worth it. In 2011, a Memphis woman found a Philadelphia cat on death row through Aronson to save her own feline friend who suffered from kidney disease. The donor, Cadbury, got a home, while the other cat, Opie, got to celebrate the one year anniversary of the transplant with his grateful owner.