This year started with a 19 dog rescue from a small shelter in Georgia that was having financial problems. Many of the dogs had medical issues but the most severe was Spicie, who was unable to walk. After x-rays and an MRI, it was determined that Spicie's spinal injury would leave her rear end permanently paralyzed. With this newly gained knowledge about her lifelong condition, we made the decision to purchase her a custom made wheelie cart that allows her almost normal mobility. Little did we know, this rescue was just a sign of things to come.
Next, it was Jeremy, an emaciated, abused dog from Pinellas County Animal Services. Soon after, we were asked to help a shelter in desperate need in Alabama that was operated by a war veteran. Several of Suncoast Animal League's volunteers and staff are military veterans themselves and assisted with the 39 cat and dog rescue.
Within days we were asked by Pasco County Animal Services to assist with the 11 Potato Pup rescue; a group of four month old feral puppies.
Shortly after that were the 5 Lhasa Apso's, rescued from another shelter, that were so badly matted they were almost unrecognizable as dogs.
It seemed as though the more we helped, the more help was needed. In mid March we took in 24 dogs rescued from a severe hoarding situation. The dogs were in such horrific condition that the medical cost averaged over $1,000 per dog.
On the heels of this hoarding case came another rescue from Pasco County Animal Services that involved 17 Xolo/Chinese Crested mixes from a breeder/puppy mill situation. April and May brought us 44 dogs rescued from Alabama, another 21 dogs from Pinellas and Pasco Animal Services and 17 cats from Pasco County Animal Services.
Just recently, we rescued Carl a 12 year old Rottie mix, who was found barely alive along side a rural road in Pasco County. He was malnourished, overheated, had skin infections, a severe eye infection and pieces of metal in his stomach. After surgery to remove his eye, Carl also had a secondary surgery to remove the metal objects in his stomach. Carl survived the entire ordeal and was recently adopted by a family who just adores him.
Soon after Carl arrived, we received a call from Animal Services asking for our help with a 5 year old dog that we named Clementine. She had "elephant skin" and secondary skin infections that almost took her life; she also suffered from a badly infected eye. We were able to save her eye and she is on her way to a full recovery.
And then there is Ralphie. The 6 month old Shar Pei mix was a victim of his former owner's fit of rage and was lifted over the man's head and body slammed to the ground. The incident caused a severe break to his left rear leg, which required extensive orthopedic surgery. A plate and several screws were needed to correct the break, and although mended, Ralphie is still recovering from both the physical and mental damage.
These rescues are just a few from 2017, and are above and beyond the normal, everyday activities that our shelter encounters, including wildlife. We have provided thousands of spay and neuters, treated 21 cases of heart worms, 36 cases of parvo, 72 dental procedures, 16 tumor removals, 3 eye removals, several amputations and 4 major orthopedic surgeries. On average, we go through hundreds of pounds of dog and cat food per week, pounds of treats and enrichment materials for all of our animals at the shelter and in foster, vaccines and medications, which add up to roughly $10,000 per month of basic medical expenses for our non special needs cases.
So far this year, we have been able to assist several shelters and many, many animals. Suncoast Animal League is extremely proud to provide these services that not only saves life but allows cats and dogs to a have better quality of life. But it can take a toll, financially, on an organization. In just 7 months our medical bills have exceeded $ 124,529.00. We want to be able to provide these life saving and life altering services to the cats, dogs and wildlife that need us but at this rate we won't be able to continue these services. Suncoast Animal League needs your help because these animals need our help. We know there are a lot of caring animal lovers out there that want nothing but the best for the homeless animals that we will encounter over the remainder of the year. If you can, please make a donation to help save a life.
- Beth Basehore
- Candace Cobb
- Koren DeRusso
- Geri Willingham
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