We’ve received so many wonderful submissions for the Purina Veterinary Diets® Adopt-a-Pet.com $50,000 Veterinary Care Fund! We are so moved by the amazing lengths rescues and shelters go to give homeless pets a chance at getting healthy so they can be adopted – and think you will be too! So we’re sharing some of the submissions, and all of the recipients’ stories here on our Shelter Blog. Here’s how a $2,000 grant would (or, in the case of our recipients, WILL) change the life of a pet or pets in their care:
Brown County Humane Society, Inc.
The Brown County Humane Society is located in rural, south central Indiana. We are an open-admission shelter and are the only animal rescue group in our county. Brown County, Indiana is overrun with homeless pets and in the last few years we have received four times more pets into our shelter per capita (97 pets/1000 people) than the national average (24 pets/1000 people). In recent years, we have worked very hard to implement life-saving programs at our shelter and in 2010 we had an amazing 96% Out Alive rate. One of the biggest barriers to a continued high Out Alive rate is the number of dogs and cats we receive that need extensive medical care. An Adopt-a-Pet grant would go along way to ensuring those pets that need extraordinary veterinary care can be appropriately treated. A few examples of pets that arrived with medical needs are described below.
A frantic call from a supporter early one morning reported that a dog had been hit by a car and was lying on the side of the road. Our shelter manager and a volunteer arrived at the scene minutes later to find Dharma, a Siberian Husky mix, badly mangled and in shock. She was rushed to a veterinarian barely hanging onto life. She had a badly broken leg and several other contusions, but fortunately no internal injuries. Dharma was stabilized and underwent surgery to repair her leg.
Several days later, the vet determined that the nerves to the leg were too damaged to heal and her leg was amputated. Dharma, being an extremely active young Husky, gave her foster family fits during recuperation. She managed to tear out her stitches 12 different times, slowing down the healing process and requiring multiple trips to the vet. After 9 weeks Dharma was finally completely healed and ready for adoption. Dharma’s medical costs exceeded $800.
Mr. Joe Bangles (aka, Joey) arrived at the shelter with both eyes so badly infected he could not open them. Actually, we weren’t sure if he even had eyes. There was just a matted mess where his little eyes should have been. The people who dropped him off said he was like that when they found him. Joey was quickly taken to the vet.
Diagnosis – severe entropic eyelids on both eyes. This is a condition where the eyelids turn into the eyes and instead of protecting the eyes, the lids continually scratch the eyes. The veterinarian recommended immediate surgery. After surgery you could see Joey’s right eye. It was about 60% as big as it should have been. The left eye was in even worse shape and required a second surgery. The vet actually had to do an ultrasound to confirm that an eyeball was there. There was, but it is only about 12% as big as it should have been. The wonderful news was that Joey could see!! Joey is now living in a wonderful home where he sleeps peacefully in the windowsill and has a completely fenced in enclosure where he can explore the world.
The Brown County Humane Society receives many heartworm positive dogs every year. In 2010, we treated a total of 12 dogs (6% of adult dogs) with this disease. Currently we have a 6-year-old English Setter named Lively Louie who has a severe case of heartworm. Louie was picked up by an Animal Control officer after receiving a call that a stray dog was swimming in a lake. Upon arrival, it was noted that Louie had a severe cough, and a heartworm test confirmed heartworm. Louie is a very active boy and will need to be placed in a quiet foster home while undergoing treatment. We anticipate this treatment will cost around $500.
These are just three of the special needs pets that arrived at the Brown County Humane Society animal shelter this year. A grant from the Adopt-A-Pet program would be greatly appreciated and used to help treat Louie and many other dogs that come to the shelter with heartworms, as well as those pets that arrive needing more extensive medical treatment like Dharma and Joey.