Networking to save lives

Published 5:54pm Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nearly seven years ago, when I first prayed on this mission I’m on, the task seemed insurmountable.

Others who came before me put up a valiant fight saving as many lives as they could.  Nothing can be more disheartening then putting in all the effort you can and then watching a perfectly viable and beautiful animal succumb because of a lack of funds, space or some other reason. Over the years, I’ve come to know and admire many of them and a sort of network of like-minded people has been established. The information and assistance passed between us saves hundreds of animals that years ago would not have made it.

Last week, I received a call about a 7-year-old Beagle that spent her life in a cage making babies. She should have been 12 to 14 pounds, but she weighed twice that much from just laying in a cage. When I received the call, my heart sank, for this story is all too familiar.  I thanked the rescuer for saving her and had her brought to Landrum vet to be spayed and give her whatever she needs. Dr. Raines thought she may be pregnant, but she was merely in heat again. She had lots of dental work done and a few teeth were extracted. She turned out to be the sweetest girl and all the staff loved her.

On Saturday when I went to pay her bill, her rescuer was there with the sweet girl in a cage.

“I can’t thank you enough Mr. Rizzo,” the young lady said, “I may have a home for her, but if not she’ll stay with me and I promise she’ll never have another bad day.”

“God bless you dear lady, you have made my day.”

Sophie the little Chihuahua, who was attacked by a Jack Russell, is walking better and full of herself being spoiled by myself and Landrum vet’s staff. This sweet girl is ready for a foster or forever home. Please check her out. She’s a beauty, again rescued from an impossible situation.

You all know of Lil’ Bear, the golden pup born with deformities that only seem to make him cuter. A responsible breeder, a great rescuer and an awesome foster home are all giving him a better chance at life. The network will branch out to Upstate Veterinary Specialists (UVS) in a few months to close the circle before some super lucky people receive this bundle of joy.

Today I brought Lil’ Bear to visit Dr. Joe Picone and sweet Holly.

Holly is a prime example, like Lil’ Bear a beautiful viable pure bred who would not have had a chance in the past. Holly is a 4-month-old West German Shepherd, whose bloodline borders on royalty. Holly has a deformity where her left front leg dangles sideways as she walks. Bones are missing in one toe and the dew claw is large and misshapen.

She does not belong to Dr. Picone but to a friend and breeder who said if she can be helped there’s a good home for her in Connecticut. Joe contacted me and I spoke with Nadia on the phone and we had x-rays sent to Dr. Allen at UVS, who is at the top of my network pyramid. I’ll take Holly up to see my friend Keith on Wednesday morning and place her in his magical hands. I am always anxious to spend some time with my good friend and I can’t tell you how many of my precious kids he’s made whole. Joe Picone will foster Holly through her recovery and my network grows.

While Lil’ Bear was visiting with Holly and big sweet Zambo, Dr. Picone and I spoke.  “Joe, you’re responsible for me having the first painless night of sleep in years, but I’m doing this for Holly, not for you.”

The sweet man just gave me a nod of understanding that told me all I needed to know. I love being around people whose heart is in the right place, it is very, very good for my psyche, not to mention what it means for my kids.

Thanks for listening.

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