Shot and abused kitten clings to life, facing possible loss of both hind legs! We are the Friends of 4 Patinhas..a registered not for profit association located on Madeira Island, Portugal...4 Patinhas is a 100% volunteer group of ordinary people from all walks of life...Based in São Vicente, we advocate for the abandoned, abused, neglected and homeless cats and dogs on the north coast of the island. Aside from feeding several feral cat colonies, we monitor the well- being of numerous cats and dogs throughout our community... We also provide emergengy veterinarian care, arrange adoptions and are continuosly raising awareness on the importance of spaying and neutering. Recently, a passing motorist noticed what appeared to be a black plastic bag blowing in the wind on the side of the road...it turned out to be a predominantly black calico kitten dragging her torso with only her front legs, unable to walk...who knows for what distance?...the fur on her stomach was worn to the skin...She appeared to be paralyzed and had sustained a gaping wound on her side. The good samaritan scooped her up in a towel and brought her to the home of one of our volunteers... fortunately, she was familiar with our Facebook page and had heard of our work in the community. The kitten was immediatly rushed to an emergency care facility...she had suffered a fractured pelvis and had a GUN SHOT wound in her side! Since we always opt on the side of life, euthanizing her was never an option...immediate medical care was the only course of action! The reason for starting this campaign is that the medical expenses already incurred have put a strain on our emergency budget...we receive no government funds and our local shelter does not provide any care or housing for cats... as a result, her current medical expenses are being covered by some of our volunteers using money from pensions and in one case a tax refund. We are hoping to obtain some outside financial assistance from other like-minded animal advocates. Her prognosis is unknown and her future mobility is at risk... the vet has already informed us of the possibility of amputating one or both of her hind legs. A big concern is also the gun shot wound in her side...massive doses of antibiothics have been prescribed... she still has some lead shot fragments imbedded by her ribs. What is truly amazing however... despite her injuries at the hands of some unknown monster, when approached gently, she will purr and is quick to nuzzle a welcoming hand. Our goal is to raise 1,500€...a portion of these much needed euros is to replenish our emercency fund as well as to cover anticipated medical expenses she will incur in the near future... ultimately, she may need wheels for mobility. We named her GAIA...after the greek goddess, Mother Earth. Madeira Island is considered by many to be an idyllic paradise, often referred to as "The Pearl Of The Atlantic", belonging to Portugal...not so however, for the hundreds of homeless wandering cats and dogs living on the streets. We hear endless horror stories about the inhumane disposal of unwanted kittens and puppies...abandonment is common place. The Friends of 4 Patinhas has numerous ambitious goals...one of our primary goals is to build an all inclusive animal shelter, providing low or no cost neutering for cats and dogs, open to all, regardless of ones ability to pay. In Gaia's case we cannot put a monetary value on her life or a ceiling on her expenses... a helpless and abused creature who continues to display signs of unconditional love is worth all of our resources and efforts.