The story behind how SHAHS came to be is heartfelt and lengthy, but what is most important to know is it began because of the continued fight to live by one very special cat named Super Hero; his mother, Lisa Jones’s undying love and unwillingness to give up on him; and his entire Red Bank Veterinary Hospital team’s incredible dedication to saving him. Without all three pieces miraculously coming together, there would be neither a story nor a rescue society and sanctuary named Super Hero’s Animal Hydrocephalus Society – SHAHS, in his honor!
Born with Hydrocephalus (Hydro), an excess buildup of fluid in the head which causes damage and death to the brain, Hero didn’t have many complications until reaching 1 ½ years old, when he began experiencing life threatening crises. Lisa sought out the expertise of one of the top veterinary neurosurgeons, Dr. Eric Glass, who believed Hero’s only chance at survival was undergoing brain surgery to implant a human pediatric shunt in his brain to drain the excess fluid. On February 26, 2015, surgery was performed. Against all odds and despite numerous life threatening setbacks, Super Hero survived, living up to his name.
As word of his triumph spread, families, rescues, shelters and even veterinarians from all over the world began reaching out for help with Hydrocephalic animals, especially kittens that they too wanted to give a chance at life! The need for information, assistance, and support soon became obvious, especially since most were unaware of the many affordable treatment options available to them.
Sadly, it is not widely known that many Hydrocephalic animals can live full lives with their disorder being completely managed with medications, no surgery required, and due to this lack of knowledge, many Hydro animals are euthanized. Another obstacle identified by SHAHS was the financial inability of many to afford neurological care, so a financial aid fund was established for the purpose of offering grants for consults, testing, medications, emergency care, neurosurgical CCU admissions and some surgical procedures.
SHAHS received official 501c3 Non Profit status on July 20, 2015 but rescued Hydro kittens long before that. Since April 2015, nearly 4 dozen Hydrocephalic or neurologically impaired animals have received assistance from SHAHS, whether it be through physical rescue, grant monies for treatment, referrals to specialists, general information, guidance, and more, including phone calls at all hours to assist an animal or owner in a time of crisis.
The cats featured in this website are all Hydro cats and kittens rescued by SHAHS, but only Super Hero and Finn reside on premises. Liam was in foster but now lives with a loving family in Alabama who absolutely adores him. Heartbreakingly, all of those others honored during September, Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, have earned their wings, but despite our grief over their loss, our mission to give every Hydro cat a chance at life through actual rescue, education, guidance or grant money, will not end.