Joaquin the Unbreakable

Joaquin on the mendI don't want any tears of sadness as you read this story. This is a story of a cat whose spirit is unbroken despite what's happened to him... and how the San Francisco SPCA helped change his life. This is a happy story.

Joaquin came to the SF SPCA with two broken legs, a punctured eye, and a fractured tail. We don't know what happened to Joaquin, but we often don't know medical histories with transfers from other shelters. We do know that despite his multiple fractures, he was a playful, loving cat who was full of life.

I met Joaquin the day before his surgery, the day after he arrived at the SF SPCA. I noted his agitated gait, which was the result of his two broken legs that had quasi-healed on their own. Despite those injuries, he was very interested in pouncing and chasing. However, it was his unconditional love and affection that were truly impressive... and his loud purr. He loved people (at this meeting, we were strangers), loved being petted, and wanted to be held. This gritty video documents those early meetings.


We didn't break Joaquin, but we have the chance to make his life better. In the video at left, Dr. Kate talks about Joaquin's injuries and our likely medical response. It's painfully honest and tells you a bit about how far we go to save a life. The same day that video was taken Joaquin went in for surgery.

X-rays revealed a smashed pelvis and a compound fracture on the back left leg. In addition, the broken bones in his front right leg had formed a callous around them. His left eye was slated to be removed.


Don't worry... it gets better from here. This cat's spirit can't be denied. Veterinary technician Melina narrates Joaquin's post surgery check-in. The video at right shows him the morning after surgery, being tenderly cared for by the SF SPCA vet staff. As you can see, the staff absolutely loved him. He was playful, happy, full of purrs, and just could not get enough of that stethoscope.

Doesn't he absolutely rock that neck cone? This cat is amazing in spite of all he's been through. He is so sweet. Nothing gets him down. How can a cat with a body this broken be so unbroken in spirit?

Joaquin was kept under intensive care watch for the weekend while his body continued to heal. At the SF SPCA, we adopt out about 5,000 animals every year. Many of those animals are brought in from partner shelters and many come to us in need of medical care, just like Joaquin.

Will you help us help animals like Joaquin? I ask this because you matter to them. The SF SPCA can't operate without community support because we are funded almost entirely by community donations. Though we share similar missions, we do not get funding from the ASPCA or HSUS.

Our ability to save lives depends on people like you. If you're already a monthly donor, thank you for helping us save Joaquin and other animals. If you're not a monthly donor yet, please join us!

Below you can contribute monthly to help animals like Joaquin. You matter to him.

Rand Montoya
SF SPCA Individual Giving Manager



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