Blog by Jenessa Taylor, Executive Director Pets Alive Westchester

People often ask why we don’t take in animals from the public, otherwise known as owner surrenders. This is not our primary objective as a no kill rescue, our mission is to reduce the amount of animals killed in shelters each year by pulling those slated for death to safety and giving them another chance at a forever home. However, the truth is that many times we do accept owner surrenders. Ideally we work to promote pet retention and prevent animal surrender by offering the assistance/advice of our staff trainer to those who truly love their pets but are faced with some undesirable behaviors, and we also provide a low cost vaccine and spay/neuter clinic to help keep pets healthy and incur lower veterinary bills. We open up a line of communication to help desperate pet owners talk through the obstacles they are facing in keeping their pets and try to help them find solutions that do not include relinquishing their pet to a shelter.

Sometimes, however, an owner is not willing or able to work towards a solution and must re-home their animal. We try to find out as much information on that animal as possible before bringing them into our facility. This information will help us to determine if our facility is the best option for that animal, and if we are then what type of home will be the best match for them. Yet no matter how many questions we may ask, or the paperwork that may accompany the animal, we still take a risk because we can’t know how accurate the answers are or if there is a problem or issue that perhaps the owner just isn’t aware of.

Scotty is a pure bred 3 year old Yorkshire Terrier and an absolute doll. When we received the email from his owner it was explained that although he loved his dog dearly he was moving and would be unable to take Scotty with him. He was trying to find a place for Scotty, but his local shelter was a kill facility. We quickly advised his owner to please bring him to our facility for an evaluation, and it was hard not to fall in love with his face. Scotty is such a sweetheart. He is so funny and wiggly and loves to play with the other dogs. We accepted Scotty with open arms.

Within a day we noticed that Scotty was having difficulty urinating, although he didn’t appear to be in any pain. We quickly had him assessed by our veterinarian who thought that perhaps he had a slight infection and he was placed on antibiotics to help clear it up.

As the days went by we saw very little improvement for Scotty’s urinating ability and began to notice slight traces of blood. Hopeful that the medication was starting to build up in his bloodstream, we continued with the vet’s treatment prescription. All the while Scotty never showed any signs of being uncomfortable or in pain.

Early last week, however, Scotty had an increase of blood in his urine and we knew that there must be more than an infection. We rushed him to the vet and the x-rays were clear. Scotty had a large stone that required immediate surgery, which he had on Monday. He was also neutered and received a dental cleaning. The cystotomy surgery was successful and has alleviated all urinary problems.

We had also noticed that Scotty sometimes limps or holds up his back leg. The vet determined that he has a luxating patella. The kneecap, or patella, is designed to fit in the center of a groove, and slide evenly within the groove. In small dogs, the kneecap is sometimes pulled towards the outside of the knee. This causes the dog to have a limp because he is no longer able to rely on the leg totally or partially. Although Scotty is now well on his way to full recovery from his urinary tract stones, he will eventually need to undergo an evaluation with an orthopedic specialist to determine if his patella will also need surgery.

Scotty noseCases like these are why it’s so imperative to continue to fund the Critical Care Medical Care Fund. A rescue like ours is constantly hit with unforeseen situations like Scotty’s that can be extremely expensive, frequently requiring consultations with specialists. With your help we can continue to rescue and take in the many unwanted or homeless animals that need our help. We can take on a case like Scotty’s without fear of the medical bills we might incur. With your help we can continue to provide the best level of care to all the animals that enter our doors. Please consider a donation to the Medical Fund today. Happily Scotty has been adopted to his forever home, but Pets Alive Westchester has committed to assisting with any future medical costs that may result from his pre-existing condition. Your contribution will go to help Scotty, and the other animals that will follow him who simply need a little extra care and a little extra love. Thank you for continuing to support us. Thank you for continuing to love our furry friends as much as we do.

Filed in Case Studies by John Sibley on Jan 28, 2013.  There are No Comments

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