Once upon a time

Published 11:30 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

You may have noticed that my column is no longer weekly. In the past, I was hands-on with many of my cases and being one-on-one with my kids made telling their stories easier. I just don’t have the time or the strength to do that anymore so I designate where I can. I still handle man of the minor cases, which oftentimes will stave off a major case. I have said in the past, “My funds are low on purpose.”  

I received a call a week ago from a lady who was on a fixed disability income. Haley, her one-and-a-half-year-old black cat, had swallowed some string.  

“I couldn’t get it out,” I was told. “She’s vomiting her food and has not used her litter box. Could you help?” 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Take her down to Landrum Vet and tell them she’s one of Lennie’s Kids, and we’ll see if we can help the poor girl,” I said.

The next day, I met her and little Haley at the vet. X-rays had already been taken, and the problem was extensive. I was told the fee would be from 3 to 5 thousand dollars. I okayed it and went in to see Haley. The poor thing put her head in my hand and let out a soft meow.

“Hang in there, sweetheart,” I said. We’re going to try to make things better.”

The procedure was set for the next day (a Thursday), and I went in to settle up and see how things went on Friday after dialysis. I had learned that the owner had waited three weeks before asking for help. The string was wrapped around Haley’s tongue and all her intestines. After 6 hours of intensive surgery by two vets, Haley made it through, but her temperature was 104 degrees. I was asked to come back the next day; meanwhile, they would hold Haley to try and bring the fever down.  

On Saturday, when I went back to settle up and check on her, I learned that Haley didn’t make it; she was just too weak. I paid the fee of $4,359 after discounts and went to sit in my car.  

I began to weep for the suffering the poor girl went through. I prayed to the Lord, “I’m sure You did what was best for Haley. I promise I will not lose faith.”

Two days later, the bill came in for Lexi, the Chihuahua who was sent Upstate for knee surgery. The procedure was successful, and I sent off $4,274 for little Lexi. As soon as this heals, the other knee will be worked on.

I’ve already spent $3,000 on Scratch, my boy at Dogwood Farms. I was told there is a good rescue for him at the end of this month.

I’ve asked Upstate to please look into some discounts for my non-profit so I can help other animals in need. We’ve done dozens of animals over the past 18 years; hopefully, the powers that be will make an exception.

I said earlier, my funds are low on purpose; money raised is for animals in need. Well, dear readers, ‘on purpose’ is here.

I’m asking any of my super angels to reach out and give my funds a boost. As for the rescues that call on me for help, perhaps a GoFundMe for the animals I helped will help ease the pressure on Lennie’s Kids fund.

God bless you all, and thank you for helping me take care of the least of these.

Thanks for listening.

Leonard Rizzo is the founder of Lennie’s Kids, a non-profit organization that helps sick and injured animals in the foothills, promotes animal welfare and works to find homes for pets.