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Harley’s Hope Foundation Winter 2016 Newsletter
It’s been a very busy start to 2016 with 14 veterinary cases, 8 applications pending at this time and more coming in every day, and 4 cats remaining in emergency foster care.
One case that broke our hearts involves Jackson, a Puggle who lost an eye last year to an injury, and had to have his second eye removed in January because his immune system was attacking the eye. As humans, we tend to react to situations like this and imagine how our own lives would be affected by this type of disability. Fortunately, animals are far more adaptable and more focused on whether they will survive than how their day-to-day life might change. Jackson’s mom, Shawn, felt so bad that this was happening to Jackson, but was committed to giving him as good a life as possible. She purchased a clicker to start working with Jackson on identifying where she is based on sound and is committed to helping him adjust to his new normal. While we are always sad to see an animal lose a limb, or, in this case, an eye, we are always glad to help an animal survive to live another day with the people who love them.
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As always, we can't thank our donors enough for their supporting of keeping pets and their people together.
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Thank you for keeping
pets and their people together.
We hope you have liked our Facebook page so you can read all about the cases your support makes possible. In case you haven’t, we’d like to share a couple cases that really grabbed our heartstrings.
Saying goodbye to a beloved member of the family is always heart wrenching, but struggling with the question of whether “the time has come” can affect a pet parent’s psyche indefinitely. Shortly after New Year’s, my family said goodbye to our dog, Diamond. Diamond, who was fostered then adopted as a puppy (shown here with David Bullock), was just months shy of her 14th birthday when we made the painful decision to let her go. Diamond had multiple health issues, none life-threatening, but collectively, her quality of life was seriously impacted. At 90 lbs., Diamond struggled to stand and walk as her hind legs frequently failed her. We had to assist and coax out the door to do her business. On Christmas Day, one of her front legs began giving out on her and she began falling more frequently. Add to this arthritis throughout her body, failing eyesight, and having to live life in a drugged up state, and we realized that we were holding onto her for ourselves, not for her.
Peaceful Partings, a local at-home euthanasia service, sent a veterinarian and two vet techs to our home in Black Forest. I had spent the entire day saying goodbye, so I took our other dog, Gracie, to our bedroom while David held Diamond’s head in his lap. Diamond’s passing was fairly quick and painless and rather than her being stressed out by being bundled into the car and driven to a clinic, she was comforted by familiar sights, sounds, and smells. We thank the staff at Peaceful Partings for their compassion and sensitivity and take comfort in knowing that Diamond has reunited with Harley, Kodiak, Daisy, and many, many other animals we’ve loved and lost over the years.
Did we make the right decision at the right time? We’ll never know for certain, but we do know that easing our loved ones’ pain and ushering them over the Rainbow Bridge is one of the most important and loving things a pet parent can do.
For additional information on pet loss and the grieving process, please visit http://www.petlosshelp.org/10commonquestions.html or any number of wonderful sites on the topic available on the Internet.
- A Look Back/Forward
Thank you to everyone who supported Harley’s Hope Foundation in 2015. Whether it be money, time, or product, we appreciate all donations and all of our contributors. During 2015, 159 animals received help with major/emergency/specialty veterinary care, behavioral training, and emergency foster care. Hundreds more received preventative services through the 4th annual Because We Care Pet and several microchip clinics held throughout the year. You made all of this possible, so here’s to you!
Last year also saw huge growth in our social enterprise, Colorado Kitty Pot. This high-grade catnip with the adorably mellow cat on the logo was sold in over 180 retail locations in 29 states and online - more than 15,000 bags! Funding from CKP helped us increase the number of animals helped through our direct assistance programs from 93 in 2014, to 159 in 2015 - an increase of 66 additional animals and the people who love them!
Looking forward to 2016, we anticipate more significant growth for our social enterprise, which means more animals helped. CKP has already made its way into gift bags at the Sundance Film Festival, and will be included in gift bags at this month’s Latino Film Industry post-Oscar party. Our PR team, Kim and Josh, have been hard at work lining up media coverage for HHF and Colorado Kitty Pot, and have us booked to appear on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy Nelson (Washington DC) in March and while we’re there, we’ll be doing a magazine interview, too.
As always, we’re looking for additional foster homes in which to place animals whose people are incapacitated - most often due to their own medical issues, but sometimes due to domestic violence or temporary homelessness. Emergency foster care is our fastest growing service, but we can’t even begin to meet the need in our community without more homes in which to place these animals. Keep in mind, these animals have homes, so there is no danger of you ending up with an extra pet at home! HHF will provide all supplies - food, litter, crates, carriers, and veterinary care. We simply need people to open their homes to provide shelter and love to animals going through a temporary rough patch in life.
And, we’ll be celebrating a milestone for the Because We Care Pet Fair - 5 years of providing wellness exams, vaccinations, low-cost spay/neuter vouchers and microchips - for animals who otherwise might not receive these all-important routine, but life-saving measures. Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 5th. Our friends at Intermountain Coach will once again allow us free use of their RV warehouse to host the clinic and dog-wash fundraiser. And, of course we couldn’t present the fair without our wonderful partners, the Colorado Springs Area Veterinary Society. We’re looking for sponsors to help offset the cost of hosting this event, so if you know of any business that might like to get involved, please let us know. As in previous years, leftover vaccines will be donated to Street Petz, another local nonprofit that vaccinates animals living with the homeless.
As my husband and co-founder, David, is fond of saying, Onward and Upward! Here’s to an amazing 2016 and helping more pets and people stay together.
To Say Goodbye
Did you know that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 3? Just like with humans, the presence of periodontal disease can spread to other organs and cause major health issues if left untreated. Chewing on bones or eating crunchy, dry food cannot take the place of routine dental care!
Harley’s Hope Foundation no longer handles pet dental care because periodontal disease is so prevalent. We were literally receiving applications and referrals for extractions on a weekly basis! Because we consider dental care part of routine health care for pets, we prefer to put our limited funding towards treating conditions that are not preventable such as trauma, cancer, foreign bodies, etc. We will, though, continue to handle dental cases involving trauma to the mouth or suspicious growths.
Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems:
• bad breath
• broken or loose teeth
• extra teeth or retained baby teeth
• teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
• abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
• reduced appetite or refusal to eat
• pain in or around the mouth
• bleeding from the mouth
• swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
Before you complain that veterinary dental care is too expensive, just think about the cost of multiple extractions or treating cardiovascular disease that occurs due to untreated periodontal disease. Preventive care is almost always less expensive than treating the diseases that occur when minor problems are allowed to go unchecked. And, many veterinarians offer special discounts on dental care during the month of February. If your pet hasn’t had their teeth checked or cleaned in over a year, consider getting them in to see your veterinarian this month!
"When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul."
- A.D. Williams
CO Kitty Pot
Buy 100% organic catnip and more for your feline friend and the proceeds benefit Harley's Hope Foundation!
To read about the animals we've helped, please visit our Facebook & Twitter pages.