When we take a dog out of the shelter or from a private party, we make a commitment to that dog. A commitment that lasts as long as they do, regardless of what happens in between. Any reputable rescue operates that way. Rescue isn’t just getting the dog out of the shelter. What most people don’t think about is that we often take on dogs that have issues that makes them un-adoptable. But, because we took responsibility for that dog, we honor that commitment. For a lot of our dogs that means hospice care or sanctuary care. We pay all the medical expenses for the rest of their lives. Our followers and supporters often don’t even know we have these dogs. We may post coming out of the shelter, but then we find out they are terminally ill and they never make it to the adoptable dog page.
Several of our dogs have heart issues. We have Nikolas who has an enlarged heart and a significant murmur. He is on two types of meds, twice a day. We have Joe who also has heart problems and is on three meds, twice a day, not to mention carprofen for his spinal arthritis. We have a dog on medication for Cushings Disease, Precious is on special kidney food and gallaprant for arthritis, Molly who has a bad trachea, and several others on meds for arthritis. Sonia on special kidney and gastrointestional food. All these ‘unadoptable’ dogs still need to be taken care of, and that includes the medications and special foods they all need. Poppy who has cancer and we know it will return because by the time we got her, it had infiltrated her muscles and we couldn’t possibly remove it all. Then there are the dogs who have non-medical issues that need medication to help them with their fear and anxiety. That can take years to take the edge off and make them adoptable. We want them to live as much of their life as possible and as long as they are still comfortable and doing well, we are good. Once quality of life has diminished, we are with them when it’s time. The medication for one dog on heart meds can be well over $100/month. Prescription food can be $100 for a 17 pound bag. We have tumors biopsied and you would be floored to know how much that cost, but we need to know what we are dealing with.
All these dogs, and many more, will continue to live the best lives we can possibly give them.
The shelters often don’t know about a dogs problems because they just simply don’t have the resources to run blood tests, etc. They turn to rescue to take the dogs on and we have a 50/50 chance of getting one with a life shortening medical problem. We think some owners turn their dogs in when they find out the dog has a problem and they don’t want the expense of dealing with it. Or like sweet Bailey who has kidney stones and her person just doesn’t have the resources to deal with it. Once her surgery is done, she will be on prescription food for the rest of her life to try and prevent a recurrence of stones, but she will be adoptable! Stones can be resolved, heart issues, Cushings Disease, collapsed trachea and arthritis do not resolve, they are more managed.
There are many hidden costs to doing rescue. From transporters getting the dogs out of the shelter and delivered to us, to the medical cases that the rescue pays the expenses on even though they will never be adopted. We buy microchips for the dogs that don’t have them, we buy flea/tick preventative, we buy collars and the list goes on.
People sometimes comment on adoption fees. We hope you all understand the enormous expense we bear trying to get these dogs healthy, groomed, and ready for adoption. A dental alone cost more than most of our adoption fees.
Without our supporters/donors none of this would be possible. So we thank all our rescue family and our volunteers who help transport, foster and love our dogs. We thank our vets who have also cried rivers of tears with us and work tirelessly to help save one of our dogs, who work until 9:00 pm on an emergency dog and never complain. You all are the true heartbeat of our rescue and we are sincerely thankful for your generosity.
Now, let’s save some more lives!