Spay/Neuter: A National Initiative

Spay/Neuter: A National Initiative

Pet overpopulation isn’t a “local” problem! Across the United States shelters, rescues and animal control agencies fight with and try to deal with the overabundance of animals that need help. Because of this comedian Rebecca Corry created the Standup for Pits Foundation and hosts the national initiative “Spay/Neuter Angel Day” named in honor of her departed pit bull, friend and advocate, Angel. On April 2, the anniversary of Angel’s passing, SUFP organizes shelter and rescue organizations across the country to hold free spay/neuter clinics on the same day. SUFP shells out thousands of dollars to pay for this national event.

This year we were honored to receive a grant from SUFP to host a clinic in Minneapolis as part of Spay/Neuter Angel Day. Across the country, 22 cities held clinics with the goal to spay/neuter 868 dogs. With the need for these services in the Twin Cities growing and growing, it was extra special to be able to add this seventh clinic to our schedule!

For Corry, who knows the sad facts of shelter overpopulation in America, this is a vital day for protecting the future of all homeless animals. According to Corry, one unaltered female dog and her puppies can create 67,000 dogs in six years, if none of the dogs are spayed or neutered. “So if we are fixing 600, you do the math on that. That’s the potential to save millions of lives,” she adds.

Corry hopes efforts like this open animal lovers’ eyes to the importance of spay/neuter efforts. While donating to a vital initiative like spay/neuter clinics may not be as cute as giving funds to the care of one rescue dog, these donations will go on to change countless lives.

“The best way to save dogs from the shelter is not letting them get in there to begin with,” sums up Corry.[1]

 We couldn’t agree more, and that the entire basis for our Fix Your Pit program. On April 2 we saw 16 dogs; 16 more than we would have been able to without this extra clinic. The Stand Up for Pits Foundation footed the entire bill, for us and for the 21 other cities, totaling more than $70,000.

Supporting spay/neuter initiatives is the best way to stop the cycle of homeless, abused, unwanted and euthanized animals. Please give today!

 

[1] https://people.com/pets/stand-up-for-pits-angel-spay-neuter-day/

More Than We Bargained For; Blue’s Day

More Than We Bargained For; Blue’s Day

Our October spay/neuter clinic started out like every other clinic. We opened doors at 7:30am and began the mad dash of welcoming and checking in our clients. They filled out and sign some forms, then trustingly hand their dogs over to us. We weighed each one, and got them settled in a kennel to wait their turn for surgery. Vet staff sorted paperwork, vaccinations, microchips and got everything in order to begin. It was business as usual.

Throughout the day, we had a few procedures that went a little longer than expected so we had dogs like Blue, patiently waiting his turn. Finally, it was Blue was prepped for surgery and everything went according to plan: from the administration of the anesthesia, to the actual neuter procedure, then his move to the recovery area were our Save-a-Bull volunteer team keeps the pups warm and assists with waking them up.

Just like all of the dogs before him, Blue awoke on his own and became alert. But within seconds that all changed and Blue was gasping for air. The volunteer sitting with Blue immediately alerted the veterinarian team, who jumped into action and began assisting Blue to breathe. They were able to stabilize him, but he kept lapsing and struggling to breath. The AHS veterinarian team recommended that Blue go to the nearby emergency vet and stay the night for observation and testing to determine what was happening.

Every surgery comes with risks, and while unexpected and extended situations are not part of the Fix Your Pit program, we knew emergency care was going to be really expensive. We told Blue’s family that we would cover the costs of his night at the e-vet.

At the e-vet Blue received a chest xray, it was discovered that Blue had a birth defect that has resulted in an enlarged heart. This is what made the surgery very hard for him and caused him to crash in recovery. Since Blue is only four months old and had never been to the vet, no one had any idea of his condition. Now, his family had very few options: they could transfer him to the U of M for a consult with a specialist (which is very expensive); or they could make the decision to euthanize him (the severity of his condition will continue to progress as he grows older and he could pass at any time); or, they could just take him home, limit his exercise, and see how he does. Blue went home with is family the following day. He’s currently happy and doing well with restricted exercise, and is hoping to see a cardiac specialist for further recommendations.

If Blue’s family had not had the opportunity for the free spay/neuter clinic, they may never have known about his heart condition. With too much exercise, Blue could have died of heart failure with no warning. While there may not be anything that can be done for Blue’s heart, his family is aware of his limitations and is living every day to the fullest and loving him like crazy for whatever time he has.

While Blue’s “surprise” is the most severe we’ve encountered at a clinic, we often see dogs that require a little extended care beyond the spay/neuter services we offer. From hernias, to tooth extractions, to minor skin and ear infections, we do our best to send each dog home with everything he or she needs. This of course goes above and beyond our budget for the Fix Your Pit program, but how can we say no? Your donations make this possible and there are many, many dogs like Blue who are so very grateful for your generosity. For many it’s not only a free spay/neuter, but a chance to be seen by a vet and get much needed care for the very first time. Thank you!

Going the Distance: It’s All About Teamwork

Going the Distance: It’s All About Teamwork

Technology, we all rely heavily on it to help manage our busy lives, and our rescue is no different. Each of us has experienced a time when technology let us down and that’s exactly what happened during our registration process for the June spay/neuter clinic. Somehow our registration system, which had one job to do, failed to turn off access when the spots at our clinic were filled. Instead of the typical 15-18 appointments, we had almost 40 registrations! There was NO way we could physically accommodate that many surgeries in one day, but we didn’t want to let anyone down. So, with the help of the admin staff at the Animal Humane Society we were able to reschedule some of the appointments to a different date, and we still covered the costs of the surgeries for those who could reschedule.

But we still had 24 dogs to see at the June clinic, which was really going to stress the AHS veterinary team. We are lucky to have a great relationship with the AHS – from the admin team to the veterinarians, they all worked so hard to make sure every dog got the time and attention and quality care they deserved. Our volunteer team really stepped up too, helping with every aspect of care and recovery for the dogs at the clinic. The team finished for the day and sent the last dog home at close to 4:00pm, more than three hours later than usual, making it an incredibly long day. But it was all worth it to look back at the work we did as a team and the additional impact we were able to make on this one, crazy-busy day.

Our Fix Your Pit program could not be as successful as it has been this year without support from the Animal Humane Society’s Veterinarian and admin teams and without the financial backing from donors like you during Give to the Max Day. Thank you for being apart of this team!

A Tribute to Carmen

A Tribute to Carmen

In August of this year, a family contact us in need of help with two pit bulls. A recent death in their family left Carmen (13) and Pearl (10) without a place to call home. We know taking in an older dog is hard, but two? We were blessed to have a wonderful couple step up and agree to foster both of them!

As with any older dog, Pearl and Carmen needed special care. We took them to our vet, had them checked out, and made sure they had everything they needed to start looking for their next homes. Pearl was healthy, so we began looking for the perfect home for her. Carmen needed a little more time. It was discovered that she had a failing heart so we put her on medications to try and slow that process. She lounged happily at her foster home as we watched her progress.

While we kept an eye on Carmen, we found the perfect match for Pearl’s elder bull needs and she was adopted! It was amazing that in only two months she was going home for good and we couldn’t have been happier for her. Carmen unfortunately was declining, and it became clear that she would never leave rescue.

While the end-of-life is heartbreaking with any dog, it’s even more so with a dog in rescue who has no home or family. But Carmen’s fosters were not going to let that happen and they quickly adopter her as their own. They worked hard to keep her comfortable, happy and very loved in the time she had left.

Since Carmen and Pearl had spent their whole lives together, Pearl’s new owner brought her over to spend some time with her failing mother. It was a sweet reunion and only fitting that Carmen spent her last days surrounded by real and new family. In her final hours, she cuddled with her favorite elephant toy, and peacefully left us.

As we mourn the end of Carmen’s life, we celebrate that we had the opportunity to know her. We are thankful to the family that trusted us with her care in a time of need, and are incredibly grateful to the fosters who took her and Pearl in and gave them the love and dignity they deserve.

Sweet Carmen, run happy and free, and know that you were loved by so many.

Update on Alex

Update on Alex

Adopted: October, 2017 

Dog’s former name: Alex 

What are the best things about your dog?
His love for toys, zoomies & his crazy attitude.

Tell us about your dogs favorite activities, sports or training:
Racing around his backyard & hunting predators that he feels should not be in his yard.

Do you have any extraordinary adventures or accomplishments?
For Alex, we celebrate the little things; such as meeting new people.

How do people react to your “pit bull”?
Accepting, as he’s really the 4th Pittie we’ve owned.

Does your dog have any nicknames?
Pups – which stuck, given that’s what we always called him when we fostered him.

 

FAST FIVE with Alex

  1. Food: Piggy or picky? Piggy & a known bacon thief
  2. Dog beds: Sleep on or unstuff? Now, sleep. Originally it was unstuff
  3. Travel: Car rides or car sick? Car rides, but a big talker at everything he sees.
  4. Water: No way or splash all day? No way! Can’t even handle the rain.
  5. Seasons: A day in the sun or a day in the snow? Both

 

Submitted by Steve & Jolene

 

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