Help Middletown Animal Hospital
We are the friends of Middletown Animal Hospital vet, Dr Jeff Smith, his wife Sheri, and their selfless and hardworking staff.
Many of us are animal care professionals from around the region whom have observed Dr. Smith donate his time while supporting his tireless staff since the days the Valley Fire erupted, under terrifying and debilitating conditions. Please join us in helping them continue to provide care for animals in our community.
The Valley Fire devastation has strained Middletown Animal Hospital's resources significantly.
At this time, the hospital desperately needs your support to maintain their maximum level of staffing and care, purchase supplies and medications while aiding in the search and rescue of animals still out in the fire zones and ruins needing help and medical attention.
To help Middletown Animal Hospital remain sustainable and operate at the same high level, despite the current challenges from the Valley Fire. Dr. Smith will need to pay his staff while the animal hospital is currently not generating any income. He will also need to continue to replenish medical supplies, medications and to feed and board the patients until they are well enough to be released.
Supporting your neighbors and community by helping to provide care for their animals. So many have lost everything but their beloved companions. We hope to support survival and recover by continuing to provide compassionate and affordable care to any and all who need it during this difficult time. Your donation to this campaign will directly help and impact the community and their pets.
We thank you for your time, well wishes and donations. The outpouring of support to Lake County, the animal hospital and the animals is amazing. We are eternally grateful.
Friends of Middletown Animal Hospital
You can learn more about Middletown Animal Hospital on their website, Facebook page and Twitter
This is the story of Kitty #42 aka Princess Fiona:
This sweet girl came to us 14 days after the fire. She was scared, severely dehydrated, emaciated and had very badly burned feet. After extensive care her feet are now healed but they are mono-pads, meaning the burned tissue all healed into one pad. We had to sedate her for bandage changes daily for weeks then every other day until the healing was completed. This helped her not associate pain with people and provided her better pain management. She was on pain medications during the burn healing period.
We have spayed and vaccinated her and she has really gained weight and become more social. When she first came to us, she used to hiss at first when approached but then warmed up to us. Now she is still small and a bit timid but acts like a normal cat and enjoys being pet and human interaction. With a family of her own she will likely come out of her shell even more. She has been through a difficult time, the burns were painful and then she has had over a month of medical treatments but she is ready to begin a new life and beginning so that she may fully heal in every way.
Unfortunately her challenges did not end with the burns, she is also FeLV+. We tested her once and she tested positive and then we waited a month and tested her again. Again, she was positive. She is non symptomatic right now so that is good news for her health. However, she should not be exposed to other cats who are not infected so as not to spread the virus. That is why she will need to live her life indoors in a cat colony of positive only cats. This makes finding a forever home for her challenging. Luckily for her the wonderful Milo Foundation has stepped in and has agreed to step in and help coordinate her adoption and provide a safe place for her to live until she is adopted. We are so grateful to them for bringing her into the fold of their organization as she has become very special to us at Middletown Animal Hospital. We have invested not only a great deal in her medical care but we also really care for her and have become pretty attached. She has a way of stealing hearts, not just ours but also our friends at HALTER who helped out with some of her extensive medical expenses. She is a wonderful girl who has been through a hard time. She deserves a happy ending and new beginning. We are confident that Milo Foundation can help her find that. Her care and well being has been a team effort between our medical staff, your donations, HALTER and now Milo Foundation. If you can give her a home by herself or with your other FeLV+ cats please contact the Milo Foundation ( http://milofoundation.org/) to apply to adopt her. She is a wonderful girl, you will love her as we do.
We have included some recent photos of her taken by the wonderful photographer Melania Mahoney who came with our friends at HALTER ( http://halterfund.org/ )
Thank Melania for taking so many beautiful photos of our Valley Fire survivors and helping to tell their stories.
Thank you to each of you who have donated and helped support the care of animals like little Kitty 42. We could not have done it without you.
The flow of burned animals coming in to the hospital has now subsided and our efforts at Middletown Animal Hospital have been focused on continuing treatment for animals recovering from burns and fire related injuries as well as providing needed veterinary care to animals who's families have lost their homes and/or businesses in the fire. We continue to provide this care at no cost and our goal is to be able to continue to do so for a few more months and help take some of the burden off of those who are rebuilding their homes and lives and provide continued care to those pets who have been reunited or adopted who were injured in the fire.
It has been 7 weeks since the fire began and most of the reunification of pets with their people has happened or that window has closed creating new beginnings through adoption. We have been very lucky to work with some amazing rescue partners who have helped with this process. Some pets have had some very special needs and these rescue partners have been a really important part of that process.
These animals have important and special stories that deserve some attention. Their stories are our story. Their journey is our journey as a community. For the next couple of weeks we will use this fundraising page to tell each of their stories and share with you a look into the rebuilding of our community and the beginning of renewal.
Raja came to Middletown Hospital as Cat #43 and was found 3 weeks after the fire. He had three badly burned paws and had been through a lot being on his own for a long time. He was found in Cobb which was the last area in the Valley Fire to be re-populated and was heavily impacted by the fire.
We were fortunate to have Dr. Penny Elliott from Larkspur Landing with us that day giving her time and talent to the Valley Fire Animals. She took Raja back with her to finish his treatment, recovery and even took him home with her until his adoption. After several weeks, no one had claimed him and Raja found a new family with a local Cobb resident who's daughter worked with HALTER and had fallen in love with this guy the day he came to Middletown Animal Hospital.
Today Raja lives back in Cobb with his new adoptive family and continues to be a patient of Middletown Animal Hospital. He had major dental issues and infection and needed extensive dental care and several extractions which we performed last week at MAH free of cost. We neutered and microchipped him and have continued his follow up burn care free of charge under our Valley Fire Pet Fund. His paws have healed well although he still has a limp on his front paw when he walks, but he is otherwise extremely happy and healthy.
Raja has adjusted well to his new home and family (who love him like crazy) and one thing about this guy is no matter what has happened to him, he is happy, purring and extremely easy going. Raja doesn't let anything get him down and he is a great example of the resilience of the Valley Fire community.
We have included follow up photos of him taken by photographer Melania Mahoney who has been taking some great photos of Middletown Animal Hospital as well as Valley Fire Pet portraits for the upcoming HALTER Year of Recovery & Remembrance calendar that will benefit the MAH Valley Fire Animal Fund. Thank you Melania for the many hours you have spent working on this photo project supporting our work.
Thank you all for every kind word and donation you have given to us and for supporting our work and community. We hope these stories of the pets you have provided for inspire continued support towards this effort. Please share the Valley Fire Pet's stories of courage and recovery. We think they are heroes and they inspire us every single day.
We just experienced the one month anniversary of the fire. I count that as a positive, because we can see the earth as well as the animals, healing—or at least starting to heal. It is still hard not to believe this area is wrecked or dead or unfixable. What we can see is the insides of people shining out—whether victim or helper —truly an instance of people being at their very best when things are at their very worst. We are still just taking the first few steps of a thousand mile journey, but we now do have some steps behind us—and that, my friends, is progress!
Dr. Sonders came and helped for another full day, so a special shout out to her and to UCDavis and to the CEH. I cannot think of anybody I would rather take care of my horse or have my back in a time of need. One of the hidden blessings of the fire was getting a chance to reconnect and work with Dr. Sonders.
Dr. Hinkle also submitted herself to another day of sacrifice and service. She is likewise a star in the world of veterinarians and one of my new best friends!
Doctor to be Stephanie Klein (WU 2017)—our summer extern—came back for 3 days and was immensely helpful! We love Stephanie and would love to have her back here when she graduates! Thanks a million Stephanie!
We continue to battle the propaganda that LCACC/ASPCA was willing to shelter animals or was in any way involved (despite repeated requests to them) in our disaster response for the first 5 days (until Thursday). Even then their involvement centered more on de-authorizing our efforts then on aiding them. And to give final judgement on their helpfulness, they were unable or unwilling to provide shelter for Red Cross evacuees’ pets at the Twin Pine’s Evacuation Center 10 days after the fire—Petaluma Animal Services had to do that! I mention this because the facts are definitely different than some versions of events being put forth by others.
Fencing effort: We have some limited items at the Hospital. Kathy Walton is a contact for donated fencing supplies that she has stored in Middletown on Hwy 175. Redwood Credit Union also has a grant for up to $1000 per property for fencing supplies but that will not be available for at least another week. Once that is set up the contact person will be Brenna Sullivan and this ail be very helpful to those rebuilding pastures for livestock.
Trees: I anticipate that a huge effort to fell and remove dead trees will be needed in the coming months, so perhaps those looking for more ways to contribute can consider this need. It is animal related because many pastures and fences are either damaged or dangerous from these down or dead trees. A second concern will be drainage becoming blocked with burn debris and then causing flooding—another worry for our pets and livestock.
Change in our outside donation operation: We plan to end the outside donation operation as of 10/31. This is because of declining need and increasing logistical strain. We are looking at other local venues for a scaled back version of what we are doing. Katie Moore and CHANGE have taken on helping us manage those supplies, and we are deeply appreciative of that help.
Pro Bono Policy: We are continuing to treat all fire related injuries for free —even those non-burn problems that involve lost pets. We are also treating human fire victims’ (lost their house or business) pets for free —basics like vaccines, heart worm medicine, flea and tick medicine, and any health problems. We are considering asking for a small co-payment for any elective procedures like dentals or OFA x-rays. Today we had 12 Fire Victim appointments and 7 regular client appointments, so we are still charting a new path to hospital sustainability.
A sad Good Bye to Bruce. Bruce Martin volunteered his time at Middletown Animal Hospital managing the donation supplies and ended up taking home a stray kitten as a gift for his 9 year old daughter, Ali. See the photo —They are so cute together! Bruce was incredibly helpful managing the donations.
The Cat Man (AKA Ron—from Oakland) drove all the way here to pass out envelopes of money to staff for all of their hard work over the last few weeks. He came 2 weeks ago and did the same. He knew all of our staff by name be looking on our website middletownvet.net ahead of time. Our staff really appreciated this personal reward and the fact that a total stranger would offer such a thoughtful gesture. Thank you CatMan for recognizing the hard work of our incredible staff!
Welcome to Middletown signs: There are several folks working on this project and I will forward updates as I receive them.
A Great GoFundMe Story: We received $108.00 from Olivia Cooper who wrote us the sweetest note that said: "My name is Olivia Cooper. I am donating $108. I love animals and love what you guys are doing. I just turned 13 and I am having a Bat Mitzvah next week and in this process I have chose to help an organization and I am raising money for you guys by selling art. I really hope one day I can see the animals or help physically. Love, Olivia." Olivia thank you so much for your care and compassion for the Valley Fire animals and your words were very touching. Thank you so much.
Kerri from The Meadows of Napa Valley Assisted Living sent a box of soft blankets for our furry patients. The blankets were hand made by the lovely ladies at The Meadows. Thank you so much for thinking of them. We know they will be put to good use. Thank you ladies!!!
KZYZ (Johanna) did a nice post-fire interview this morning with Drs. Madigan, Grant, and Smith, plus Julie Atwood from HALTER and Katie Moore from CHANGE. The program emphasized what we learned and what others should do to prepare for similar scenarios. Podcasts of the most recent programs are also available right after the program airs at http://jukebox.kzyx.org/
Those programs will be available there for about two months following broadcast. Please support your public radio station.
That’s a pretty good overview of the last several days. We will continue to post updates like this every few days and you can follow us on Twitter at @MiddletownPet https://twitter.com/MiddletownPet and like us on Facebook Page: Middletown Animal Hospital: The Vets Your Pets Would Choose https://www.facebook.com/MiddletownAnimalHosp where we update daily with individual stories.
Once more, we want to express our deep thanks for everyone’s help and support.
Jeff and Sheri
Yesterday, we saw a dog who was stuck at home during the fire. The owners heard about the fire and tried to get back to their house, but both sides of the road were on fire. So…they were forced to evacuate, but the dog was left at home. When they were able to return, the dog was walking strangely in the hind end as if there were a spinal injury. Dr. Smith performed a full examination and found a piece of bone that the dog had eaten logged in the rectum. One enema, and a few medications later, he was well!
Yesterday we took in 22 puppies to spay/neuter for our partners over at Orphandog. In a better world we would have been able to spread these procedures over a larger number of days, but since they will soon be going to the Bay Area Pet Fair to find their forever families, our doctors will be doing surgery non-stop for 3 days. These are the types of extra challenges we are facing, but are committed to overcoming!
We took measurements and ordered Micklo’s (the dog with gunshot injury) brace to support his leg from OrthoPets. He has tibial nerve paralysis—hopefully temporary. The purpose of the brace is so that he can try to regain function of the limb because he cannot feel or use his foot properly. He is continuing laser therapy and bandage changes each day along with several medications.
Dr. Shackelton did mechanical dentistry and vaccines on 2 horses in Kelseyville, along with removing sutures on the black miniature stallion that had the eye enucleation.
We received a box of donated pet quilts today via Pam Ingalls at Wine Country Animal Lovers. Thank you so much to the ladies making quilts for the animal victims of the Valley Fire. We will be passing them out to the pets in need. Pam also gave us Visa gift cards donated by Meow Mix so we have the pleasure of giving them out to fire victims in need as well.
Little kitty #42 (Our tiny little girl) is doing well and is finally gaining weight. She was so dehydrated and emaciated when she was found after being in the fire zone for 3 weeks. We are still hoping to find her owner however several people have come and no one turned out to be her owner yet.
Lee Miller of Sonoma County CHANGE Program reports that the 2 older horses that were some of the first to be evacuated after the fire are doing well. The grey has put on close to 100 lbs.
Dr. Smith accepted a $1000 donation from Craig Hartshorn (a coworker in the Therapy Laser business) to be given to kids he knows in need—for groceries, bicycles, some new clothes or whatever seems important. Please let us know if you have a deserving child in mind.
Dr. Claudia Sonders joined us again on Thursday and followed up on a horse with internal abscesses out in the field. We were very happy that she volunteered her time as we were fully booked in the hospital. Dr. Kathryn Hinkle and her husband also joined us and took over all of the neuters while Dr. Holtz worked on all of the spays. (22 dogs total!)
The donation supply is still available although the need seems to be diminishing as time goes on. We saw a total of 21 people yesterday that needed supplies and we are still seeing people that have just found their animal and need immediate supplies because everything is gone. Again, Bruce Martin has been instrumental in managing this whole operation and we are so thankful to him for donating 2 weeks of his time.
Again, our deep gratitude,
Jeff, Sheri, Joanna, and Dana
I expected more comments than 6. Why? Because what you are doing has come to the attention of hundreds of people. Because what you are doing is enormous. Thank you. You are all AMAZING.