Culver City News
October 22, 2009
ASO, Caring Vets and Community Save Smokey
Culver City Animal Services Officer Stephanie Yarbro responded to a call that a small cat had been hit by a car outside of Sony Pictures Studio. Within minutes Yarbro was at the scene, where she found a long-haired cat, alert but suffering from two broken legs.
Officer Yarbro and her supervisor Sgt. Mike Webb transported the cat to the City of Angels Animal Hospital, where it was stabilized and kept overnight.
Local resident and longtime animal advocate Christina Impastato, a volunteer with a local cat rescue organization, offered to transport the newly named Smokey the cat to spcaLA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - Los Angeles) shelter in Hawthorne the next day, due to the fact that Culver City Animal Services is not open on Fridays. Dr. Karen Halligan, director of veterinary services for spcaLA, conducted an examination and determined that Smokey would require additional medical attention.
Halligan's goal was to save Smokey's life and legs, and she quickly realized that her injuries could only be repaired through surgery, and the clinic was not equipped for the type of orthopedic surgery that little Smokey required.
Through her many contacts, Halligan knew a veterinarian who could perform exactly the surgery that Smokey needed; Dr. Rachel Jones of the nearby Marina Veterinary Center. "Dr. Jones is a great surgeon and has a big heart too!" said Halligan. The spcaLA's shelter manager, Robert Lopez, transported Smokey to the veterinary hospital, where Halligan had already arranged with Jones to reduce the surgery to less than a third of the usual cost. In addition, Jones agreed to clear her schedule so that Smokey's surgery could be performed the next day to avoid her broken bones from mending improperly and painfully.
On Monday, Oct. 19, Jones performed the lengthy and delicate surgery on both of Smokey's legs. Halligan also took time out of her schedule to assist during the surgery. "I think it's great to have a vet like Dr. Jones, who is clearly devoted to helping animals," she said.
Both veterinarians report that Smokey came through the surgery with flying colors. It was also arranged for Dr. Fred Eckland, a chiropractor with a mobile clinic, to come on Friday to adjust Smokey pro bono.
When Halligan notified a number of concerned Culver City animal lovers that Smokey would indeed recover from the surgery and was already spayed and healthy, they decided to show their appreciation to Yarbro, Webb, Halligan, the spcaLA staff, and especially Jones for saving Smokey's life. They have set up a fund at the Marina Veterinary Center www.marinavet.com to help cover the cost of Smokey's surgery.
The cat is expected to make a complete recovery, and despite the fact that her background is unknown, both vets are confident that Smokey will make a pet guardian very happy. For the moment, Smokey is resting comfortably under the care of Jones and her staff - purring and purring.
Anyone who is interested in contributing to Smokey's surgery fund can contact Friends of Culver City Animals at (888) 893-9909 or
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.