Imagine that your daughter is diagnosed with a debilitating congenital brain malformation that threatens to take her from you at any time. She will never live a normal life and the care that she requires means that employment is not an option. You leave your career and barely scrape by on the $800 a month provided by Social Security. You trade work for food and do whatever it takes to take care of your family. This is the harsh reality for Kay and her daughter, Lilly. Lilly has a rare disorder called Dandy Walker Variant. Her illness causes her to have seizures, developmental delay, breathing complications (including choking), and stunted muscle development. Attempts at getting a therapy dog had been unsuccessful because the right match wasn’t found. And then a miracle happened. A miracle in the form of a boxer mix with a white chest and contagious smile, named Bow. Bow never leaves her side. He is her protector, companion, and best friend. Now Bow is fighting for his life, he has cancer and they have no means to take care of it.
Stories like this one are what Crystal Hammond, owner of Sitter for your Critter, started hearing on a consistent basis. When the economy started to take a turn she noticed that her clients were losing their jobs and in some circumstances losing their pets. Most of the people that she spoke to had said if they just had a little help during that period they would have been able to keep their pets in their own homes. Because it came down to feeding their children or their furry companions they were forced to surrendering their pets. When you are already in that position where you feel like you have lost so much to have to give up the one thing that provides you with unconditional love is heart breaking. Thus Helping People, Helping Pets was born.
Helping People, Helping Pets is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides access to veterinary care, pet medications, and pet food assistance to loving pet owners who are experiencing financial difficulty and are at risk of losing their pets
WHY IT’S NEEDED
According to The National Humane Education Alliance, the cost of the pet maintenance is a top reason why people relinquish their pets to animal shelters. Unexpected and expensive veterinary care further impacts owners’ ability to provide for their animals. Nationally, over 56% of dogs and puppies who enter shelters are euthanized (National Council on Pet Population Study). An estimated 5 million dogs and cats are killed each year in shelters (Humane Society of the United States).
Giving up a pet for financial reasons is a traumatic experience for both the animal and its family. Unnecessary relinquishment also creates an undue burden on local animal shelters and rescues.