11/19/2012 10:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Miracle Kitten Sheds Light on Animal Cruelty

There's nothing that brings a smile to your face quite like your pet. When animals are mistreated, however, it's heartbreaking. Lazarus, an adorable kitten, was born with a severe bilateral cleft palate.

He was abandoned after birth and eventually rescued off the streets in Johnson City, Tennessee. When found by a college student, Lazarus was infested with fleas, malnourished, and had exposed bone on his face from lack of care. Because of his cleft palate, doctors are shocked that Lazarus is even alive today, but his strong spirit and playful attitude has kept him afloat.

Check out the loving, and sweet Lazarus and his story:

Fighting for his life and health, Lazarus' owner is trying to spread awareness about animal cruelty and how every animal has the right to a happy family, despite disability.

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