Swift Current SPCA asking for support to rebuild the Hope Fund
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 info@ spcaswiftcurrent.com
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.