I want to thank you for caring about pets in need in our communities—and our mission at Paws for Hope Animal Foundation to ‘Improve the lives of pets in BC.’
As we look forward to 2019, I am writing you to give you my heartfelt thanks and to share with you some pretty exciting news! I also want to invite you, on behalf of all of us at Paws for Hope and the many pets and people we serve, to give generously to continue to make our work possible.
First, I would like to share the story of Angel and Erin, I hope their story is a powerful reminder of the impact of your generosity and how we are so grateful that we can work together to make such a positive difference.
Angel is a sweet young kitty. Angel lives with her mom Erin and six-year-old son who love her to pieces. When Angel had fleas, her mom searched online and read about using tea tree oil topically as a natural treatment for fleas. Unfortunately, anyone can post advice online, and Angel and her family have paid the price for this misleading advice as tea tree oil is highly toxic to cats. Many essential oils are toxic to animals.
Within an hour of bathing with the tea tree oil, Erin saw that Angel was shivering and had stopped moving. Erin desperately rushed Angel to Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital where they saw her immediately and then reached out to us for funding support to save Angel. When Angel had arrived at the animal hospital, she was unconscious, hypothermic (too cold for a thermometer to read), her blood pressure too low to read and her heart barely beating.
The hospital team jumped into action bathing Angel to remove the toxin, resuscitating her with intravenous fluids and emergency drugs, and aggressively rewarming her. Within two hours her pulse was detectable and her temperature and blood pressure were up to measurable values. But Angel remained unconscious. When the clinic was closing for the day Angel had improved but was still unconscious and unstable. Hospital staff volunteered to drive her to the emergency animal clinic for overnight care.
By the next day Angel had improved although still unable to stand or eat on her own, and was now blind from damage to her brain from the toxin. Her breathing and heart rate had elevated. Over the course of the day Angel continued to improve and we are hopeful that her strength and vision will return to normal over time. She was also given a safe, non-toxic, veterinary prescription treatment for her fleas.
There is no antidote for tea tree oil toxicity. All that can be done is to remove the substance from the skin and gastrointestinal tract and medically support the animal as the body tries to heal. Some cases take three days or more of intensive care in hospital—Angel one was of those cases. Angel spent two nights in the emergency hospital and by day three she was able to walk on her own and had regained partial vision. She is now back home with her family, who, after this terrifying incident, are so very grateful that Paws for Hope was able to provide the funding support required to safe Angel’s life.
Angel’s life was saved because of you! And because of you, every year more and more pets receive the lifesaving veterinary care they need to remain with their families—where they belong.
Stories like Angel’s happen every day and we are committed to continue keeping pets at home with their families and out of the shelter and rescue system. Like you, we understand that the bond between people and their pets is significant, and for individuals who are isolated and marginalized—the bond with their pet can be the most important, sometimes only, loving relationship they have.
I share this story for a reason—it reminds me of how day after day, you, as a Paws for Hope donor you make Angel’s story possible.
In October, I was talking with Patricia, a passionate supporter who told me exactly why she gives. Patricia told me – “I grew up in a challenging low-income environment. My pets were helpful to me to help me manage my own anxiety. So now, I wish to support a team that realizes the importance of not only pets but also their profound impact on people. I know many people who believe their pets saved them – that’s why I love to give!”
For me personally, it is a privilege to hear this story and to see the generosity of our donors come full circle as we do our work helping pets and people.
Angel was very fortunate. Sadly, there are hundreds more like her that simply will not get the help they need. That is the difficult reality—we receive too many phone calls and emails with requests that we simply cannot meet. That is the most difficult part of our days at Paws for Hope.
But, there is good news I want to share with you. I see the loving bond between pets and their guardians at every free Roxy’s Relief animal health clinic and I see how we really do make a big impact preserving that bond because of you.
For many homeless and low-income pet guardians, our animal health clinics are the only opportunity they have to get their pet a vet check-up, vaccinations, and safe flea and deworming treatments. Last year, we held six clinics, which saw a total of almost 240 pets—many of whom also received follow-up veterinary care. Again, this work happens because of you. This year we hope to hold eight animal health clinics which will help out an additional 40 – 60 pets. As always, we will continue to support these vulnerable pets and their people in any way we can.
Last month, I received an email that made my day—a generous Paws for Hope supporter offered to make a matching gift for this year’s annual Paws Up appeal to help make these two additional clinics possible! This gift will match donations up to $25,000! This supporter cares deeply about pets and vulnerable people and we are honoured that they chose us to continue to make a difference and, by example invite all of us to do the same.
Please join us and give generously at www.pawsforhope.org —let’s match that generous gift so we can raise $150,000 by January 31st of the new year. This matching offer, along with your generosity and with all of us working together—we can make it happen.
The story of Angel is proof that you and I can indeed make a big impact. Thank you for your consideration and on behalf of all of us at Paws for Hope, I wish you and your pets a very special Christmas holiday and 2019.
Paws for Hope Animal Foundation
P.S. Thank you again for the difference you have made by contributing to our mission of helping people and their pets. Thank you for helping much-loved pets like sweet Angel and your consideration for helping Paws for Hope offer additional clinics in 2019 by matching this major gift by the end of January.