If you are an avid animal lover you probably follow a lot rescue groups. You fall in love with their work, and the animals they save. You wonder how the volunteers do it, and how can they possibly stay afloat.
The answers are, it’s hard, but it is also achievable thanks to volunteers, and a supportive donor base. Without donors you simply would not see the great saves of sick, beautiful, deserving animals given a chance because adoption fees alone do not support a rescue’s ability to take on the animals with major medical challenges.
Our rescue opened it’s doors to fostering animals in May of this year. In this article we will review just a small sample of our special cases, and the economic challenges associated with their care.
Peanut was the very first dog we welcomed into our rescue. Peanut lived for 7 years in a puppy mill. She was bred over and over again to make money for the owner with her puppies. Unfortunately that owner did not repay Peanut by caring for her medical needs. Peanut had one of the most severe cases of dental disease we have seen. She lived for years with an infected, painful mouth. When we first met her, the smell of rotten flesh was overbearing. After she came to us she immediately saw the vet, was prescribed antibiotics and later had 2 surgeries- dental surgery and her spay. Her medical bills totaled nearly $1,000. Once she was healthy we found a wonderful adopter and today Peanut is living her best life. Peanut’s adoption fee was $250.00
Next we have Willa. Will was surrendered to a vet hospital when she was a day old because she was born with a cleft palate. Puppies born with clefts will die without intervention because they cannot eat on their own. We brought Willa immediately into rescue to tube feed her and give her every chance at survival. This has been a labor of love since day one. There have been days we thought we were going to lose her, but thanks to our experienced vets, and our skilled, dedicated foster she is with us 8 weeks later, and fighting hard! Unfortunately Willa was dealt with 2 major birth defects, she also has hydrocephalus, we know this because she has had 2 brain ultra sounds. Willa’s vet care has exceeded 500.00 and she has more medical tests and procedures ahead of her before we can consider looking for a family able and willing to provide for her and her special challenges.
Lastly I would like to tell you about Buttercup. A girl new to our rescue. Buttercup came from a puppy mill. Her picture probably says it all. Bred to exhaustion, with medical needs never addressed. She came to us last week with double ear infections, and terrible skin. So far we have spent $600.00 to make her comfortable, and you know what- she is worth it! Buttercup wags her tail, follows her foster mom everywhere quite literally grateful beyond measure that she is out of the hell her endured for 4 long years.
So back to economics. I have illustrated the medical costs of just a few dogs that have come into our rescue who’s medical bills combined have exceeded $2,000. Some of the dogs we rescue are lucky enough to be young and relatively healthy despite their difficult starts. When a rescue has a healthy, young dog they may spend only $200.00 to have it altered, vaccinated, microchipped, and treated for parasites. When that happens, a rescue may end up with $100.00 over the adoption fee, and that money helps pay for the medical care of others. But young, healthy dogs are what rescues are made of and because of that we reach out for help. A lot. The support of community donors, like you- if you are reading this article, are what makes the miracles happen. We will continue to give it our all, our time, energy and hearts, please continue to help us meet the financial burden. Together we make a difference!