Animals We've Helped
The services provided by PetAid Colorado often mean the difference between life and death for the companion animals we help. The generous support of community donors, as well as the expertise of program staff and Colorado's veterinary professionals, is the thread with which we weave our healthcare safety net.
Shadow is an 11-year-old Australian Shepherd who came with his owner to a PetAid Home Outreach Wellness and Vaccine Clinic in May -- a program that provides pet healthcare to vulnerable populations unable to access in-clinic care. The veterinarian who examined Shadow discovered a mass in his abdomen -- likely the worst news Shadow's owner could have heard. With limited funds and barriers to obtaining veterinary care already in place, follow-up care seemed beyond reach.
As part of the PetAid Home Outreach Program, Shadow was scheduled for follow-up care at PetAid Animal Hospital. Once diagnostic bloodwork and x-rays confirmed that Shadow was a good candidate for surgical intervention, he underwent surgery at the animal hospital to remove a mass on his spleen, as well as several bladder stones. PetAid Home Outreach was able to cover the cost of Shadow's veterinary care, both the initial exam and the follow-up care at PetAid Animal Hospital.
PetAid Home Outreach and PetAid Animal Hospital work closely together when a need is identified to provide healthcare to underprivileged and at-risk pets. Their collaboration allowed Shadow to undergo lifesaving surgery. Medical staff also performed in-home follow up care, which will continue until Shadow's recovery is complete.
When you donate to PetAid Colorado, you help us to maintain the always important, but sometimes fragile, human-animal bond for vulnerable pets and their families. Shadow and his owner have been together since Shadow was 5 weeks of age, and it has been our privilege to help maintain the special connection they have.
Five-year-old Big Shug Love is a Rottweiler who came to PetAid Animal Hospital and parked himself in the lobby. Big Shug was panting heavily and had difficulty moving due to ruptured ligaments in his knees. When he tried to walk, he whimpered in agony from the pain. He is a service dog for his owner, Jemma, who has a disability and relies heavily on Big Shug for her daily tasks. Whether he is assisting her out of bed, helping her recover from a fall, or dialing 911 for her (no kidding, it's true!) she cannot live without him. Jemma relies on Big Shug's support -- physically and emotionally.
Big Shug underwent knee surgery in early January. His second knee surgery will take place soon. Now that he has gotten a little help himself, he can live a pain-free life and continue to provide that much-needed support to his owner.
PetAid Animal Hospital provides subsidized veterinary care to vulnerable populations, subsidies possible only because of the generosity of donors who support our urgent-need cases. These are pets in critical need of care -- like Big Shug -- with no time to wait for financial resources to be found.
More and more frequently, the animals that are brought to PetAid Animal Hospital are here because their financially strapped owners do not have the resources to provide for urgent, unexpected medical care in instances of severe injury or illness. Without assistance, many of these beloved pets would have to be euthanized or relinquished. PetAid Animal Hospital has funding set aside specifically for these situations, but we need your assistance to keep funding levels adequate.
Our goal is to prevent relinquishment and suffering of pets in need.
PetAid Animal Hospital had a Mercy case recently who won over all of our hearts. His name is Hugh, and he is a big, goofy goldendoodle. His owner came home one day to find Hugh on the wrong side of the fence. He was sore, but she couldn’t find anything obviously wrong. After a few days, Hugh’s front left leg was swollen and he had a large bruise on his chest. We aren’t sure exactly what happened, but we think it may have been a bite wound that got infected. He required several surgeries to remove necrotic skin from his leg and his chest and provide temporary repairs until the final close, and many bandage changes while everything was healing. He was a trooper throughout the entire ordeal. We thought he and his mom, Holly, may be good candidates for Mutts and Models next year...Hugh’s hair will steal the show!
Zander is a seven year old, friendly, tail wagging black lab. Nothing could keep him down. Zander lives in Leadville, and in the beginning of December, he neglected the safety rules of the road. He did not heed warning and was hit by a car, which badly injured his front leg.
Zander was unable to put any weight on his broken leg, but that wagging tail of his was still working full force. Radiographs revealed a serious fracture that had no chance of healing without surgical repair. Surgery was not a financial option for Zander’s family – especially with the even lessened chance of healing due to the time that had passed since the initial injury. Amputation was the only humane option. But, still – the problem of not enough funds to cover even this surgery loomed over Zander’s future. Because of donations to Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital, we were able to help fund Zander’s amputation.
Zander returned for his suture removal two weeks after the surgery. His happy tail continued to relay his enthusiasm for love and play. As they left and his young owner gratefully led her dog out, it really seemed like Zander himself turned to give us one more sloppy grin of “thanks!”
Lil Boy was thrown away as a kitten and somehow found his way into John’s garage. This started the bond that has grown for 17 years, abond even more important to John since his wife passed away. One Sunday morning John noticed Lil Boy was outside his window and couldn’t get up. He quickly realized Lil Boy had been hit by a car. John took him to Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital and that’s when he says the first miracle happened. John was told that Lil Boy’s injuries were orthopedic and he had no untreatable internal damage. They put John’s precious Lil Boy back together for him. John was told when Lil Boy was sent home from the hospital that he probably wouldn’t make it past 9 or 10 because of his health. He is now almost 17 and still John’s precious Lil Boy. I have had so much more time with him than I expected and I feel that is another true miracle that Harrison Memorial provided. John knows that Lil Boy is growing close to the end of the big miracle that Harrison Memorial provided, but he is forever grateful for what Harrison Memorial has done for him, Lil Boy, and all the others that they have helped.
Winston is an eight year old Corgi that Nancy rescued from a puppy mill about three years ago. Nancy had been touched by how sad Winston was when she first adopted him. Their bond has grown incredibly and even more last year when his “back” gave out. And just last week, became critically ill. Winston’s back worsened even more too where he couldn’t even walk at all now. With his liver values continuing to creep up, marked anemia developing, his appetite zero for days, the week of hospitalization was obviously not helping him. Euthanasia (if he didn’t pass away on his own) seemed like the looming end for Winston. During what was going to be a final visit, Nancy looked sadly into Winston’s eyes. He looked back. “Not yet. Not yet,” she felt he was telling her. Nancy needed one more night with her precious Winston. So she took him home, heavy with the thought of his likely passing. But, Winston had different ideas. The next morning he started eating and his attitude perked up. Winston still can’t walk, but, his doting mother, Nancy, places him in a baby carriage to take him for walks in the neighborhood. Nancy tells Harrison Memorial veterinarian, Dr. Karrh, “I told him that ‘There are only two people that I would do this for, my daughters – and you.’”
Tigs is a seven year old "dingo" mix female dog that was brought to HarrisonMemorialAnimalHospital in November. Unfortunately, Tigs was previously diagnosed with an infection of the uterus causing her to suffer severe abdominal pain and eventually die if left untreated. Even with the pain and discomfort, Tigs marched into Harrison Memorial strong and alert.
Tigs' owner, Mr. Phillips, a disabled veteran living on a fixed income, was faced with the common problem of having a pet in need of urgent veterinary care without the funds to save her. Tigs had become more than a companion animal. She was now his service dog as well and Mr. Phillips could not imagine his life without her.
With a small deposit from Mr. Phillips, Harrison Memorial was able to provide the surgery and care that Tigs needed because of our donors' generous gifts to the Mercy Fund. This fund paid for the majority of Tigs' treatment, offsetting the cost that Mr. Phillips was unable to provide.
Mr. Phillips could not express his gratitude when he picked up his beloved dog that same afternoon. His appreciation for the hospital staff as well as our donors was beyond words.
Perhaps the most powerful recollection I have involves a man and his dog, Kiki. He had called our clinic, after his dog had cut a paw, hearing we might be able to help. He was just able to pull together the last of his money to get enough gasoline to drive his four-footed friend the twenty miles to our clinic. I walked into the exam room to find the man waiting quietly on the corner bench with his baseball cap pulled deliberately low over his face. The cap only partially hid the severe disfigurement of his young face—scars and distortions of terrible injuries and burns. I listened to his story and found myself with a lump forming in my throat. Here in front of me sat one of our unsung heroes, a survivor of an explosion in a battle in the Middle East, a brave U.S. Marine.
Back in Colorado, his courage did not stop, when this still-recovering soldier happened by a burning building. A dog trapped in a kennel on the first floor was frantically whining and barking as the flames grew around him. Unable to stand by, our hero broke past the authorities, rescuing the dog from the blaze. Both suffered serious burns, but a deep bond formed and he was able to keep Kiki as his companion. That was a year ago, but, unfortunately, all his disabilities and medical expenses continued to keep this young man in financial ruin. In the exam room with me, Kiki calmly yet intently watched his beloved owner, while the young man calmly, yet intently, watched me—hoping that this time, I could help him.
As a current student, he had very little resources for things beyond his daily needs; but thanks to the generosity of donors through the establishment of the Mercy Fund, which subsidizes our veterinary services for those most in need, our unsung hero and his companion were able to receive the veterinary medical care sorely needed.
Even with the donor-subsidized veterinary care offered at Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital, it is possible that, due to an owner’s total lack of financial resources, the only options to relieve an animal’s suffering are euthanasia or relinquishment to a humane organization. It is a primary goal of the Mercy Fund to keep the human-animal bond intact in the face of an acute medical issue that, when resolved, will restore the animal’s health. Picture here is Meowie, who came to Harrison Memorial for severe dental disease affecting her ability to eat. Mercy Fund dollars provided the care needed preventing euthanasia as an option.
Harrison Memorial serves clients and animals that face special circumstances every day, and one such case is Sam, a one-year-old male Husky. Sam was hit by a vehicle outside his home; severely damaging his back left leg. His owner, a disabled war veteran, brought Sam to Harrison Memorial, where Sam’s leg had to be amputated—but Sam made a quick recovery and was able to return to home with a very grateful owner shortly thereafter. Because of the donor subsidies offered at Harrison Memorial, we are able to keep animals such as Sam with their owners. There is nothing as special as the bond between a human and his or her animal. Every day at CVMF, through our many programs such as Harrison Memorial, we strive to help preserve the human-animal bond for thousands of clients in need each year.
Odis, an 8 month old American Bulldog, came in to Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital having swallowed a sock. He appeared quite stable, happy and wagging his tail and the prognosis seemed great. Well, surgery showed a different story entirely. He did, indeed, have a sock in the stomach, but also a string foreign body throughout his intestines. Parts of his intestine ruptured and had to be removed.
Recovery became a touch-and-go situation, with Harrison Memorial staff fearing that they might lose him. But Odis pulled through and was discharged a day later, doing very well!
Odis is a great pup with great owners. His family consists of a young couple with two young kids. Odis means everything to them. He is part of their family.
It is in situations like these that Harrison Memorial is able to serve its community best. This family had to go above and beyond an unexpected cost to care for Odis’ medical needs, and through the generosity of our donors, Harrison Memorial was able to help offset the veterinary medical cost for Odis.
Diego is a two-year-old domestic long hair kitty that was brought because he had been vomiting for five days. He was depressed and dehydrated, but lovingly wrapped in a beautifully crocheted blanket his owner had made. Hospital staff suspected an intestinal foreign body, and, despite the hospital preparing to close for the day, rallied together and rushed Diego into surgery. Sure enough, after exploring the stomach and three additional places in the intestines, the surgical team removed the yarn Diego had swallowed from his GI tract. Although Harrison Memorial generally does not hospitalize over the weekend, staff volunteered to look after Diego to make sure he was doing okay after his ordeal. Happily, Diego recovered well over the weekend, and was ready to go home the following Monday morning.
Because of the initial diagnosis and expense of surgery, Diego’s owner was faced with the difficult reality of euthanizing her beloved pet because she just could not afford the immediate and necessary care Diego needed. With the help of donor-subsidized funds that covered well over half of the medical cost, Diego was afforded the care he desperately needed and can now continue to live a happy life with his loving owner.
Evelyn recently lost her husband so her son decided she needed a companion and purchased a cat from the local pet store. Evelyn was thrilled to have a new friend in the house with her and named the cat, Samson. However, she noticed that Samson was having trouble walking and was favoring his right hind leg. Evelyn’s son heard about the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation’s Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital and scheduled an appointment for Evelyn and Samson. The Harrison Memorial medical team discovered Samson had an orthopedic problem stemming from a previous injury. Evelyn wanted to make sure her new companion had the proper treatment for his injury, even though she is a senior and living on a fixed income. Evelyn certainly loved her cat, but she could not afford to provide the type of veterinary care Samson needed. Harrison Memorial was able to supplement Samson’s veterinary cost through donor-subsidies that were provided to Harrison Memorial. Our medical team was able to perform a femoral head osteotomy, a common veterinary procedure, to alleviate joint pain and Samson was able to make a full recovery and be the companion Evelyn needed.
Candy, a 16-year-old shitzu, lived in the home of a man who was neglecting her. Rick, a neighbor to the dog’s owner, offered to take Candy in when he saw that she needed a new, loving home. Rick brought Candy to Harrison Memorial to have her health checked. Due to the neglect, some severe medical problems were diagnosed: severe dental disease, a heart murmur, and maggots, impacting her ability to eat and properly digest her food. Rick, like many of our clients, took on the care of an animal in need, despite lacking the financial resources to pay for the full cost of veterinary care. Harrison Memorial’s staff was able to provide donor subsidized dollars to help meet the cost of Candy’s medical care. Thanks to the generous donations from our donors and everyday heroes like Rick, Candy, is well on her way to being able to eat and digest her food again.
Shannon is a recent high school graduate who lives with her older sister and younger brother on a limited income. Kat von Kitty, a seven-month-old black domestic shorthair, was found tangled in Shannon’s screen door and needed immediate attention. Shannon took Kat von Kitty to Harrison Memorial, where medical staff diagnosed Kat von Kitty with a fractured distal epiphysis of right femur, or a severe broken leg. Kat von Kitty’s medical condition was severe and treatment costs were estimated at over $1,000. Because of her circumstances, Shannon qualified for Harrison Memorial’s services—donor subsidized veterinary services for economically disadvantaged clients. During the amputation surgery, Harrison Memorial medical staff was able to accurately and effectively keep Kat von Kitty comfortable and safe as well as during her recovery.
Worthy took in a dog in need of a home. Worthy’s neighbor had a dog named Saucey, a twelve year old dachshund. When his neighbor passed away, the family couldn’t take care of Saucey. Fearing he might have to be euthanized, Worthy adopted him. Worthy brought Saucey to Harrison Memorial for a dental examination and was diagnosed with severe oral disease, symptoms of which include yellow and brown build-up of tartar along the gum line, inflamed gums and persistent bad breath. While simple measures such as teeth brushing and regular dental visits help prevent oral disease, Saucey’s medical condition was severe and treatment would be costly. Worthy is a retiree and living on a fixed income, so he qualified for Harrison Memorial’s veterinary services offered at a reduced rate because of generous donors and community support. Saucey was treated and is living a happy and healthy life.