Swift Cur­rent SPCA ask­ing for sup­port to re­build the Hope Fund

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG mlieben­[email protected]

Home­less pets some­times need ad­di­tional care af­ter they ar­rive at the Swift Cur­rent SPCA, but the fund for these ex­tra ex­penses have been de­pleted and the an­i­mal shel­ter is ask­ing for help to re­build the Hope Fund.

Teresa Cole, the Swift Cur­rent SPCA's de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, said the Hope Fund is used to cover ex­traor­di­nary med­i­cal, den­tal and health costs for some an­i­mals taken in by the shel­ter.

“We've al­ways had a lit­tle bit of money in it,” she noted. “I think some fundrais­ing was done a few years ago, and just in the last year or two es­pe­cially we've had more pets pass­ing through the shel­ter with larger health con­di­tions.”

Due to the more fre­quent use of money from the Hope Fund in re­cent times, the SPCA felt it was time to do some spe­cific fundrais­ing to in­crease the amount avail­able in this fund for fu­ture use.

“We're at the end of the year now and our Hope Fund is fairly de­pleted,” she said. “I think we only got about $ 900 or so in there and we've just been hav­ing some dis­cus­sions that as we get into the new year there's likely to be more of these pets com­ing to us. So we thought we'll do a lit­tle bit of tar­geted fundrais­ing around the end of the year when peo­ple are think­ing so gen­er­ously of us al­ready and some­times would like do­nate to some­thing very spe­cific to see if we can re­plen­ish the fund for 2019.”

An­i­mals are care­fully eval­u­ated when they ar­rive at the shel­ter to de­ter­mine their health con­di­tion and to iden­tify any is­sues that need at­ten­tion be­fore they are ready for adop­tion. The Hope Fund is not used for ex­penses re­lated to rou­tine ex­am­i­na­tions, vac­ci­na­tions, and to spay or neuter an an­i­mal.

“We bud­get for those type of ex­penses over the course of the year as best we can, based on our es­ti­mates of how many pets will be com­ing to us,” she said.

Shel­ter staff will ob­tain quotes from vet­eri­nar­i­ans when they re­ceive an an­i­mal that ap­pears to re­quire ad­di­tional med­i­cal at­ten­tion and that in­for­ma­tion will then be used to de­ter­mine if it will be nec­es­sary to use the Hope Fund.

“I do want to men­tion too that the vets we work with in town here do give us dis­counts for the ser­vices that we use, which is pretty much ev­ery­thing in­volv­ing surgery and diagnostics,” she said.

“So once we have a sense of these larger cases and what the bill might be, then our man­ager will take the facts to our board for de­ci­sion about whether we want to go ahead with full treat­ment or what the course will be from there, and as part of that de­ci­sion then we would look at whether we're go­ing to ac­cess the Hope Fund in or­der to pay for that.”

This fund might be used to cover the cost of treat­ing a va­ri­ety of more sig­nif­i­cant health is­sues or chronic con­di­tions, for ex­am­ple ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome in cats or prostate is­sues in spe­cific an­i­mals.

“Den­tal work seems to be some­thing that we see quite fre­quently where there's been maybe ne­glect and not the right den­tal care for a long pe­riod of time,” she men­tioned.

“So by the time the pet comes to us, then it's pretty ex­ten­sive work that we have to do usu­ally just to get them to a place where they can eat com­fort­ably. ... We've seen lots of ear in­fec­tions that come in on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and some of those might re­quire longer term treat­ment to get the pet back to where they need to be, but usu­ally it's a larger set of is­sues, more than one thing go­ing on.”

Paris, a six- year- old Mal­tese Poo­dle cross, is a re­cent suc­cess story at the Swift Cur­rent SPCA. Some money from the Hope Fund was used to fund the med­i­cal treat­ment that al­lowed her to re­cover and to be adopted.

She was found next to the high­way in the Chap­lin area and brought to the SPCA, but no­body re­claimed her.

Shel­ter staff soon dis­cov­ered she was suf­fer­ing from a va­ri­ety of se­ri­ous health is­sues. She had a mum­mi­fied lit­ter in­side her and she un­der­went an emer­gency spay.

She had ear in­fec­tions in both ears and al­most all her teeth were de­cayed, which caused se­ri­ous and con­tin­u­ous dis­com­fort.

The cost to treat her was too high for the avail­able funds in the Hope Fund, and a GoFundMe cam­paign was started that raised al­most $ 2,000 to help cover the cost of med­i­cal ex­penses.

Paris made a full re­cov­ery and she was adopted by a fam­ily in Swift Cur­rent, where she is en­joy­ing her new life with two other ca­nine mem­bers of the house­hold.

While vet­eri­nar­i­ans pro­vide their ser­vices at a dis­counted rate to the SPCA, these spe­cial­ized pro­ce­dures are still costly.

“It seems es­pe­cially surg­eries can be ex­pen­sive ob­vi­ously, be­cause there's the surgery it­self and then what­ever con­va­les­cent and med­i­ca­tion that come af­ter­ward and the den­tal costs are quite hefty too,” Cole said.

“We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate those part­ner­ships and we don't have an in- house vet of our own, al­though we do have a vet tech. So we can do early di­ag­no­sis and a num­ber of rou­tine treat­ments and that kind of thing our­selves, but we're re­ally de­pen­dent on work­ing with our vets for the larger cases like this.”

The ad­di­tional treat­ment costs for an an­i­mal can­not be re­cov­ered through the adop­tion fee. That fee re­mains the same for all an­i­mals, re­gard­less of the cost of care that was re­quired to pre­pare a pet for adop­tion.

“We ab­sorb the costs,” she ex­plained.

“Our fees are set. So whether it's a pet that comes to us maybe al­ready spayed or neutered and re­ally doesn't re­quire much if any med­i­cal care, or it's a ma­jor case like these, we don't pass that cost along specif­i­cally to the adopter.”

The Swift Cur­rent SPCA's goal is to boost the Hope Fund to about $ 5,000 through this tar­geted cam­paign to en­sure there are funds avail­able dur­ing 2019 for spe­cial cases such as Paris.

“We never know when the next big case will walk in the door or how much it might cost, and it could hap­pen sev­eral times dur­ing the year,” Cole said.

Do­na­tions can be made in per­son at the shel­ter ( 2101 Knight Cres­cent) or at the SPCA Book­store (# 37 1st Ave NE) or by mail.

Do­na­tions can be send to P. O. Box 1163 Stn Main, Swift Cur­rent, SK, S9H 3X3.

An­other op­tion is to make an on­line do­na­tion by Pay­Pal through the SPCA web­site at www. sp­caswiftcur­rent. com.

Please in­di­cate on che­ques or with on­line do­na­tions that the con­tri­bu­tion is made for the Hope Fund.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact the SPCA at 306773- 1806 or send an e- mail to [email protected] sp­caswiftcur­rent.com

Photo sub­mit­ted

Paris shortly af­ter her ar­rival at the Swift Cur­rent SPCA. She was found next to the high­way and re­ceived ex­ten­sive treat­ment for var­i­ous med­i­cal con­di­tions that was par­tially funded from the Hope Fund.

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