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The No-Kill Community Equation

Recently, a speaker at the Best Friends National No Kill Conference noted that the single most dangerous place for a pet in this country is, sadly, in a municipal shelter. “No Kill” means no healthy, treatable adoptable companion pets die due to homelessness.

In order to save companion pets, we need programs that keep animals from coming into those shelters and also programs that support the live release rates of the municipal shelters as well.

Based on communities that have transitioned from a high-kill to a no-kill community, below are the identified necessary components to impact outcomes to lower euthanasia rates. This is the No-Kill Equation.

 

No Kill Email

Established Best Practices
I. Comprehensive Adoption Programs
Adoptions are vital to an agency’s lifesaving mission. The quantity and quality of shelter adoptions is in the hands of shelter management, making life-saving a direct function of shelter policies and practice. If shelters better promoted their animals and had adoption programs responsive to the needs of the community, including public access hours for working people, off-site adoptions, adoption incentives, and effective marketing, they could increase the number of homes available. Killing would be replaced with adoptions.

II. High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
Low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter will quickly lead to fewer animals entering the shelter system, allowing more resources to be allocated toward saving lives.

III. Rescue Groups
An adoption or transfer to a rescue group frees up scarce cage and kennel space, reduces expenses for feeding, cleaning, killing, and improves a community’s rate of lifesaving. In an environment of millions of dogs and cats killed in shelters annually, rare is the circumstance in which a rescue group should be denied an animal.

IV. Foster Care
Volunteer foster care is crucial to No Kill. Without it, saving lives is compromised. It is a low cost, and often no cost, way of increasing a shelter’s capacity, improving public relations, increasing a shelter’s public image, rehabilitating sick and injured or behaviorally challenged animals, and saving lives.

V. Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) Programs
TNR programs have been proven to have the greatest impact on cat intake numbers.  This program focuses on the feral cat population. Many communities throughout the United States are embracing TNR programs to improve animal welfare, reduce death rates, and meet obligations to public welfare.

VI. Pet Retention
While some of the reasons animals are surrendered to shelters are unavoidable, others can be prevented—but only if shelters are willing to work with people to help them solve their problems. Saving animals requires communities to develop innovative strategies for keeping people and their companion animals together. And the more a community sees its shelters as a place to turn for advice and assistance, the easier this job will be.

VII. Medical and Behavior Programs
In order to meet its commitment to a lifesaving guarantee for all savable animals, shelters need to keep animals happy and healthy and keep animals moving through the system. To do this, shelters must put in place comprehensive vaccination, handling, cleaning, socialization, and care policies before animals get sick and rehabilitative efforts for those who come in sick, injured, unweaned, or traumatized.

VIII. Public Relations/Community Involvement
Increasing adoptions, maximizing donations, recruiting volunteers and partnering with community agencies comes down to one thing: increasing the shelter’s public exposure. And that means consistent marketing and public relations. Public relations and marketing are the foundation of any shelter’s activities and their success. To do all these things well, the shelter must be in the public eye.

IX. Volunteers
Volunteers are a dedicated “army of compassion” and the backbone of a successful No Kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough dollars to hire more staff, and always more needs than paid human resources. That is where volunteers make the difference between success and failure and, for the animals, life and death.

X. Proactive Redemption
One of the most overlooked areas for reducing killing in animal control shelters are lost animal reclaims. Primarily shifting from passive to a more proactive approach—has proven to have a significant impact on lifesaving and allow shelters to return a large percentage of lost animals to their families.

XI. A Compassionate Director
The final element of the No Kill Equation is the most important of all, without which all other elements are thwarted—a hard working, compassionate animal control or shelter director not content to continue killing, while regurgitating tired clichés or hiding behind the myth of “too many animals, not enough homes.”

It is clear that No Kill is simply not achievable without rigorous implementation of each and every one of these programs and services. These programs provide the only model which has ever created No Kill communities. It is up to us in the humane movement to demand them of our local shelters, and no longer to settle for the illusory excuses and smokescreens that shelters often put up in order to avoid implementing them.

Comprehensive Implementation
To fully succeed, however, shelters should not implement the programs piecemeal-ed or in a limited manner. If they are sincere in their desire to stop the killing, animal shelters will implement and expand programs to the point that they replace killing entirely. Combining rigorous, comprehensive implementation of the No Kill Equation with best practices and accountability of staff in cleaning, handling, and care of animals, must be the standard.

No Kill Photo

 

 

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Unchain Midlands-New Program

Pawmetto Lifeline is initiating a new program called Unchain Midlands that will improve the welfare of dogs who are continuously living outdoors on a chain by offering free fencing and dog-houses for pet owners in need.
unchain midlands blog
There are pet owners living in our community who are unable to financially provide shelter and security, other than tethering, for their pet or who may not realize the negative repercussions of continuous tethering or chaining of a dog.  Continuous tethering puts the dog at a great risk of self-injury, including raw or embedded collars and accidental self-hanging. It is also psychologically damaging and often leads to highly aggressive behavior. The natural response to a perceived threat is to fight or take flight. Tethering eliminates the dog’s flight option, often making him or her feel forced to fight.  Tethering makes dogs easy targets for harassing humans and other animals. Having a fenced in area avoids these issues and allows the dog to have much-needed exercise, stimulation, and the ability to take flight or defend itself if necessary. Dog-houses provide important shelter from harsh weather elements.

Midlands Fence
Pawmetto Lifeline’s goal is to build 12 dog houses in 12 months. A local fencing business, Midlands Fence has generously offered to donate the labor and supplies for our first fence build, which will be on May 29th for a dog named Cindy, who has spent her life thus far living on a metal chain. After May 29th she will have the run of the yard!

Pawmetto Lifeline hopes this new program will make a lasting impact on pets’ like Cindy’s lives and will help educate our community about the negative implications of continuous tethering.

To sponsor a fence build or recommend a fence recipient, please contact Alison Gibbons at agibbons@pawmettolifeline.org or 803-465-9187. Fence recipients must own their own property, be low income or receiving government assistance, and agree to have their pets spayed/neutered.

Cindy

Cindy

by Alison Gibbons, Pawmetto Lifeline Director of Volunteer Services

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A Letter from our CEO

To all Animal Advocates Actively Opposing S.687,

Each of you is nothing short of absolutely amazing. Each person that called, emailed their Senators, and represented the animals at the Senate Sub Committee Public Hearings over the last month has been providing a voice for the voiceless! We were so proud to work beside each of you as we address the dangerous articles included in this bill. You believe in our mission and you follow through with actions. The Senators said they got more calls on this Bill than many others. Senator Campbell was even quoted as saying “This bill has created as much concern and interest as I’ve had since I’ve been here in eight years, and it’s because people do care about animals and they care about them on both sides of the issue.”

We are moving towards the end of the legislative session, and it is still unclear if we will have another sub committee meeting before the end of session. If we do, you can be sure we will again call upon you, the animal advocates, to come and make your opposition known.

If another hearing isn’t called this session, we are still needing to fight and educate the community about the issues surrounding this bill. We will be working tirelessly over the summer to provide information you can share with your network of friends and family so that when this is brought up again in January 2016, we are all ready to show up and shut this down once and for all.

We will let you know the next steps as soon as we receive the information. Until then, we wanted to let you know that we are so, so thankful the sub committee  has not called a vote on this bill and it is because of the hard work you each did to show your concerns regarding Senate Bill 687!

Thank you for representing the companion pets not just in the Midlands but across the state!

Sincerely,
Denise Wilkinson

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URGENT: STOP BILL S.687-Second Hearing this Wednesday

URGENT MESSAGE:

There has been a second hearing scheduled for the “Vet Bill”-Senate Bill S. 687 on Wednesday at May 20 9am Gressette Bldg Room 109

PLEASE ATTEND!!!!!    You do not have to speak to have your voice be heard. The presence of those in the room who oppose can make a very powerful, visual statement!

PET OWNERS …your choice of affordable veterinary care is being threatened!

The South Carolina Veterinary Association (SCVA) wants to prohibit you from seeking affordable care from non-profits by restricting services offered by non-profit clinics. It would PROHIBIT ANYONE ABOVE POVERTY LEVEL from using selected low cost services offered by non-profits.
Oppose
The (SCVA) wants to limit your choice of veterinary care by eliminating competition, despite the fact that non-profits have been responsible for a reduction of 31% in the euthanasia rate in the last 5 years.

According to the 2015 Poverty Guidelines (HHS), 1 person would have to make less than minimum wage to qualify.  So, a person making minimum wage (less than $16,150) would have to take their pet to a private practice clinic.

Please attend and show your support for free choice and AFFORDABLE veterinary care. Oppose government intrusion and price protection in veterinary care.

To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/defeat-s687.

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A Dog’s Capacity for Love: a Medical Rescue in Progress

Learn more about Pawmetto Lifeline’s high quality medical services  and how you can become a Medical Miracle Worker here. And consider supporting Pawmetto Lifeline during Midlands Gives on May 5 as we all work to raise money for our homeless pets so we can provide more animals with their happy endings. Donate today!

helenaA few weeks ago, Pawmetto Lifeline rescued Helena, a black and white Staffordshire terrier mix, from a drop cage at a local municipal shelter. In case you do not know, drop cages are outdoor chicken wire cages that allow anyone to abandon their pets at any time to the municipal shelters. Helena was thrown into one of these cages like yesterday’s garbage and left without food or water, scared and alone, and confused about what she had done to end up in such a place.

Once rescued, the Pawmetto Lifeline veterinarians diagnosed Helena with demodex mange, a NON-CONTAGIOUS form of the skin disease, caused by mites that attack puppies with weakened immune systems. It was also discovered that she was suffering from a pretty severe eye infection.

As for her appearance, the veterinarians concluded that Helena’s ears were cropped Helena Bodydangerously close to the bone with what they believe was most likely a box cutter. She also received blunt trauma that broke her jaw when she was just a tiny puppy, around 2-3 months old. This trauma caused Helena’s jaw to heal crookedly and for her to have a disfigured muzzle. Unfortunately because more detailed background information is still missing, Pawmetto Lifeline is unable to determine the exact state of her previous environment. Staff can only be thankful that this sweet baby will never again be in a hostile environment and that her time at Pawmetto Lifeline will help her smoothly transition into her forever home.

Helena is still undergoing treatment at the facility. With a sulfur bath a couple times a day to treat her skin issues, Helena may be a little smelly but that does not stop her from snuggling and cuddling all over the staff and volunteers. This 9 months old pup is far from the nervous dog  she might have been after these traumatic first few months of life.

But her big heart and sweet eyes are open wide for affection. The moment you walk up to her, she roles over on her back, panting for some belly rubs. She likes to play outside, go for walks and chase toys, but human touch and praise are what she loves the most. Her capacity for forgiveness and love is endless, and after a few more baths, Helena will make a perfect companion pet and new family member.

Pawmetto Lifeline is dedicated to rescuing Helena Flowersother abandoned pets like Helena and helping them receive the medical attention that they desperately need. Without rescue, Helena may have well ended up being euthanized because of her weakened immune system, skin condition and eye infections-all treatable issues. Helena’s case is only rare in that Pawmetto Lifeline was able to get her rescued and into medical care. Too often, dogs and cats with treatable illnesses are never given a second chance at life with a loving family.

But today, you can be part of the solution. Donate to Pawmetto Lifeline’s Midlands Gives Campaign! There is a matching anonymous donor who will be matching each gift today up to our $20,000 goal. Have your gift make double the impact so we can save more critical pets like Helena and give them a second leash on life!

 

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Georgia’s Medical Rescue Story

We have had many requests about the background story of the photo below. We posted Georgia’s photo to Facebook to promote our Midlands Gives campaign and folks wanted to know more. So we are sharing her story in hopes that you will become a Medical Miracle Worker to help others like Georgia get a second chance. Pledge TODAY!

Georgia-Side View of Leg-sm

Pawmetto Lifeline stepped forward to save Georgia, a sweet hound mix, was found stray and brought to one of our local municipal shelters with a horrifying injury. With your help, Pawmetto Lifeline was able to provide the care this special girl needed.

It will probably never be completely clear what happened to her, but when she was found, she was missing most of one of her back legs. That leg appeared to have been sheared off somehow, and with NO MEDICAL CARE, had left her to fend for herself with an exposed bone and major trauma to her hip. We have no idea how long she hobbled around with this terrible injury before she could be rescued. She was in tremendous pain and painfully thin when she was found, but somehow, she survived!

Georgia faced a long road to recovery after her rescue. She needed surgery to remove her leg and to repair her back hip, and she required weeks of recuperative care until she could be ready for adoption. Pawmetto Lifeline Veterinarians estimated that it would take at least $2,500 to bring her back to health. It was the donations of supporters that helped make that a possibility.

Georgia-Face view

Despite her terrifying experience, she continues to be one of the sweetest dogs. Georgia was adopted from Pawmetto Lifeline, just 33 days after she was taken into care, and she is doing wonderfully. Georgia visits Pawmetto Lifeline a couple times a year when she stays in the boarding facilities. You would never guess what Georgia has been through. She loves to run as fast as lightning, jump around and swan dive into the swimming pool. Georgia deserved all of the love and happiness in the world, and because of your generosity, she was able to find it.

Pawmetto Lifeline relies on support from community champions and donors to provide the best medical care to the most critical pets to ensure they get a second chance at life. To become a Medical Miracle Worker, pledge today!  All funds donated to the Midlands Gives campaign will be MATCHED by an anonymous donor, which means your support will go further and help save more lives.

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She Got Her Second Chance

Learn more aboutPawmetto Lifeline’s high quality medical services  and how you can become a Medical Miracle Worker here. And consider supporting Pawmetto Lifeline during Midlands Gives on May 5 as we all works to raise money for our homeless pets so we can provide more animals with their happy endings. Pledge today!

**Warning: Graphic image below.

Charley

Charley, a loving hound mix, came to Pawmetto Lifeline with a terrifying injury in September 2013. She had been shot in her front leg and was then left without any medical treatment. Pawmetto Lifeline veterinarians believe this poor girl wandered stray for about a week on her shattered leg.

Without any medical attention, her leg dangled helplessly, becoming horribly infected until she found herself at a municipal shelter. Pawmetto Lifeline was able to rescue Charley from a dark fate of euthanasia by “pulling” her into the adoption program.

With the help from donors and supporters, Pawmetto Lifeline was able to step forward and provide the emergency care that this sweet girl needed. With an injury like this, Charley’s road to recovery would be a long one. She had surgery to remove her damaged leg and required months of recuperative care before she was ready for adoption in a medical foster home.

Close up of Charley's Leg

Close up of Charley’s Leg

Charley worked hard to adapt to life without her front leg, and now she is moving and playing with the best of them. Despite her horrifying experience, Charley has always been a very gentle and loving pup. She just wants to be petted and loved by everyone she meets. It is no wonder that after a few months of recuperation, Charley was adopted.  For Charley, she got her second chance because Pawmetto Lifeline’s generous supporters.

So many dogs and cats in the Midlands go weeks, months and even years without receiving proper medical attention for injuries, necessary vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries. Not only does Pawmetto Lifeline focus on the adoptions and fostering programs to support the mission to end pet overpopulation, it is equally dedicated to providing high quality and low cost medical care for all companion pets in the Midlands. Your donations save lives by providing the necessary medical funds that help animals like Charley who have already suffered enough.

Take the pledge today. Become a Medical Miracle Worker by pledging here.

 

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A Medical “Happily Ever After”

Thanks to my Mom’s love of animals – I always had a great dog in my life.

My husband and I were unfit pup parents for the first 26 years of our marriage due to our extensive business travel schedule.When we thought things had settled down and with much painful discussion, I convinced my husband we were ready. Our first was a pure bred $2,500 Havanese puppy.  Bubba was a great puppy. My husband became a devout believer and we thought we were the happiest pet owners ever.

Boo and Bubba Bailey

A few years later, I dropped off some blankets  at Pawmetto Lifeline that a dear friend made for the animals. The director invited me in to her office for a chat.There lay shivering the sweetest little Shih Tzu.  He had a bulging eye that had to be extremely painful and had been “found” wandering in a very affluent neighborhood.

That night, I kept my husband up until he said “FINE! BUT ONLY FOR THE WEEKEND!”

The saints of reuniting pets with their parents went to work.  Posters were plastered and social media was in a frenzy. There was no chip. And no devastated family called.

The staff and volunteers at Pawmetto Lifeline were amazing.  Kindness poured from their hearts, and I appreciated the time and thoroughness they put into making sure we were the perfect match for Boo. Boo was even fostered for a couple of days after his eye surgery by a very loving staff member and to this day, Boo loves his foster Mom and Dad.

But what about the people who abandoned him?  Were they afraid of his bulging eye? Could they not afford the medical services necessary to cure it and alleviate his pain? Boo’s entire medical bill was over $300, which could be an overwhelming amount to a pet owner. But is that the only reason they could have possibly had to abandon a precious little animal that could have been hit by a car or attacked by a larger dog?!  Did they not know that help was out there? Did they think their only option was to abandon Boo? He could have starved.  This, I will never understand.

Knowing the pain and suffering the animals go through and cruelty or irresponsibility in people the staff at Pawmetto Lifeline see day in and day out made me appreciate their commitment and dedication. They find a way to heal broken bodies and lonely hearts through the generosity of donors and supporters and of course the eventual adopters looking for a new friend.  And in our case, we didn’t even know our hearts were lonely.

Boo Done

As I type this four years later, Boo is cuddled on his Daddy’s lap being petted and hand fed.  It took all of a few seconds for them to fall in love. Both boys go to work with us every day.  They are best friends and sulk when separated (which is rare).They are great moral boosters and excellent judges of character. In fact, we don’t hire people unless “the boys” approve. Bubba and Boo somehow know how to bring out the best in people.

We know the heroes in our story:  the lady who brought Boo to Pawmetto Lifeline and the medical and adoption staff and volunteers at Pawmetto Lifeline who cared for Boo.

Boo was our first rescue and I hope there will be many more. Some have said Boo won the jackpot.  We know who the big winners really are.

By Cindee Bailey, Board of Trustees Member (Co-Chairperson), Pawmetto Lifeline

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Committed to a Second Chance

As part of our Midlands Gives Medical Miracle Worker series, learn about how rewarding saving the most critical cases can be from someone who has extensive experience and a huge heart-one of our medical fosters. Pledge to be a Medical Miracle Worker today at http://bit.ly/PLMidlandsGives!

Midlands Gives Profile Photo
I have been a foster for Pawmetto Lifeline for over six years and have fostered about 40 dogs in that time, most with medical issues.  The puppies or the healthy young dogs just aren’t for me. Give me the old, the sick, the starving or the injured!

I have fostered dogs suffering from everything ranging from starvation, kennel cough, ear infections, eye infections, pneumonia, skin issues, heart problems, injuries, digestive issues, epilepsy, puppy mill trauma and being heartworm positive.  My friends used to ask ‘what kind of dog?’ when I said I had a new foster, now they ask me ‘what’s wrong with this one?’! The way I have to answer, however, is that “this one is alive”.

Sick or injured dogs and cats who find themselves in our local municipal shelters are more likely to be put down because treatment for these illnesses or injuries can be costly. And if they are already homeless, they have no one to stand up and request the treatments or provide payment for the services. Even if the illness is treatable or the injury can be mended, they won’t make it out. That is why being a medical foster can be so rewarding.

Hero
Good Boy, Hero

Fostering a dog with medical issues is often a long term commitment, on average three to six months, my longest being ten months.  How can I bear to give them up after that long?  It is hard and I cry every time. But I foster to save lives, and every dog that I foster makes room for another dog to be saved.   I foster medical cases for selfish reasons, as well. I can’t tell you the joy it brings me to see the changes that take place over the weeks and months as they turn from a sick, sad, often shut down dog into a normal, healthy companion pet who will go on to be adopted. I could give you dozens of examples but here are a few.

Hero, my first medical foster, had been found stray and was very emaciated. He had obviously been hit by a car in the past and been seriously injured. His bones had healed but had healed crooked, and there was also a lot of internal damage. Even with the deck stacked against him, Pawmetto Lifeline rallied support and funds around him to provide the necessary medical services, all because they don’t give up on sick or injured animals. They want to help because giving the pet a second chance at a loving life is the best outcome for everyone.

Liberty After
Liberty After

The same can be said for Liberty, who was a starvation case and also heartworm positive; he went from being about 45Ibs to over 90Ibs and was heartworm negative when he was adopted.

Chumley Before and After
Chumley Before and After

And for Chumley; he had terrible skin issues and was terrified of everything, especially people.  After 10 months, he was adopted as a big fluffy people lover.  In all of these cases, the pets didn’t have a chance in a municipal shelter, but Pawmetto Lifeline believed in them. And because of that, I got to see these animals go from scared shells to pets that could give and receive love.

I have two foster dogs at the moment, Jess, who I’ve had for five months, and Magnum.   Magnum is the new boy, and I’ve had him about three weeks. He is a 16 year old chow mix who has lived outside his whole life.  He is heartworm positive and was in terrible shape, skinny with horrible skin issues.   When I picked him up he was totally shutdown, could barely walk more than a few steps at a time, and we thought he may be nearing the end of his life.

Magnum
Magnum

For a dog  that we thought was at death’s door, could barely walk and would avoid all contact, now three weeks later he is a different dog. His skin is almost healed, we take two thirty minute walks a day, and I get tails wags all the time.  Last night he came up, put his head on my knee,  looked up at me and gave me that ‘I love you’ look. It made my heart sing. That’s why I foster medical cases.

By Laura Crisp, medical foster  and dedicated Pawmetto Lifeline supporter.

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Sweet Lucy

Lucy for Blog2

I have always been a pet-lover with a house full of pets that my family purchased from a breeder or acquired as a stray.  As a child, we had multiple dogs and cats that were the brighter aspects of our lives.  My home has never lacked for canine or feline companionship as I truly cannot imagine life without a pet.  It would be like having a kitchen with no kitchen table to enjoy meals with family/friends.

Upon my return to Columbia in 2001, after attending the College of Charleston, I purchased a llhasa apso named Millie from a local breeder.  Millie was my heart, my pet that I personally chose on my own. She travelled with me everywhere on vacation (even flights to Montana), and she stayed in more hotels than most people do in a lifetime.  She graced my life with her presence until she developed a heart condition and passed away in December 2009.  Not a single day goes by that I don’t think of Millie, and her “sweet tart” personality that lovingly encroached my life.  Until Millie passed away, I hadn’t experienced such a tremendous loss of a pet since my childhood BFF named Doxy.  It was excruciatingly painful all over again.

I’ve been volunteering with Pawmetto Lifeline since about 2004, and it has been the most rewarding experience of my life.  I’m currently a Board of Trustees member and cannot possibly give enough of my time to this organization.  I have looked in the faces of hundreds of pets at PetSmart, interviewed adoptees, walked dogs, and adopted a few of my own.  On this particular Saturday, I was volunteering at Project Pet’s PetSmart adoption event when I noticed the sweetest pup.  She was a very shy, solid-colored white Pekingese mix puppy that was being overlooked by everyone.  She was heartworm positive, used specifically for breeding, malnourished and skinny, estimated to be 2-3 years of age.  I fell in love with her immediately and knew that I had to foster her throughout her heartworm treatment.  She was too special to be overlooked and needed to be shown one-on-one attention prior to being adopted by someone.  Hence, Lucy has become my second “foster fail” story with Pawmetto Lifeline.  I officially adopted Lucy two days later.

Lucy stole my heart and has never let it go since the day I brought her home.  Lucy made it through her heartworm treatment with flying colors and has become a fixture in my household with my other four pets.  Lucy has become a happy, healthy, people-loving girl.  She is an avid dancer, enjoys happy hour with friends, cheering for the South Carolina Gamecocks, strolling in the neighborhood, and Sunday afternoon car rides in her car seat.  Lucy celebrates every day with an under bite smile and an appetite for life!

lucy for blog3

In November 2014, I discovered that Lucy had a lump in her chest area.  She was diagnosed with Grade 1 Mammary Carcinoma, had to undergo surgery to remove the tumor, and I was left with only one choice—to do my very best to ensure that she receive life-saving chemotherapy treatment.  Lucy was used specifically for breeding with multiple litters occurring in the first 2-3 years of her life.  She wasn’t spayed until she was rescued from a local municipal shelter by Pawmetto Lifeline.  According to Lucy’s veterinarian, this is a common development in female dogs that are used heavily for breeding during the young years of their life.  Research studies show that pets that are spayed/neutered within the first year of their life, have a much longer healthier adult life.  My sweet Lucy was once again paying for her original owners’ selfish acts, which could ultimately be her life.

lucyhalloween

Since November 2014, Lucy has undergone six chemotherapy treatments, with a three-week reprieve in between each treatment.  She has been in super high-spirits, with only two setbacks that delayed two treatments.  She is due back in mid-May for her body scan and check-up to verify that the cancer hasn’t spread.  Fingers and paws crossed that our prayers will be answered with a clean bill of health for my sweet girl.

I never anticipated having to spend such a large amount of money on a pet that I’ve regularly taken to the veterinarian for check-ups, kept her active with neighborhood strolls, and generally in good health. I already spend plenty of money on my pets’ general health veterinarian bills but that is the assumed responsibility once you acquire a pet.  Who plans a financial account just to provide their pet with chemotherapy treatment?!  Regardless of the financial burden, I was willing to drain my savings and do whatever was necessary to give my sweet Lucy a fighting chance to beat cancer.

Most pet owners aren’t left with a choice, as the chemotherapy treatment is rather expensive and not even an option.  Throughout this experience, I have learned that there are certain financial programs that are available to pet owners for these types of treatments.  Pet rescue organizations, programs at the veterinarian’s office, private organizations, and grant programs are all available to pet owners that cannot afford these expensive treatments.  There are so many options available; you just have to research the information to find out which option might be available to you.

Lucy for Blog

I look at my sweet Lucy every day, and cannot imagine my life without her.  Moreover, I cannot imagine not being able to help give her a fighting chance at life.  Her original owners may have discarded her after years of neglect but that most certainly will not EVER be the case for her again.  Pawmetto Lifeline not only gave Lucy a second leash on life, they gave me the opportunity to love and adore a pet again.  Millie would have never appreciated another female pup to share the attention in my home, but I know that she is certainly proud that her memory lives on within my love for Lucy.

By Carlynn E. Cary, Pawmetto Lifeline Board of Trustees Member (Social Media Chair)

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