Rescue Journal

if reality sucks, make a new one.

Carol  ·  Dec. 6, 2016

new dog in..her name was Dog..ok that had to go so the staff named her Ruby which is much more personal. apparently she is 3 years old, an unspayed female who started seizuring about a year and a half ago. today she ended up at our vets after a seizure last night and a 5 minute long one this morning but her family could not afford any vet care. the vets called to see if we could help. i asked to speak to her owner, he has had her since she was a tiny pup that fit into his hand, she has never seen a vet for her seizures, he thought they would go away on their own.

funny thing about seizures..every time they seizure the brain creates more seizure pathways. this means their seizure threshold lowers and they seizure more and more frequently. ignoring them doesn't help them at all..just makes it worse but medical treatment can usually help them quite a bit.

so i asked the gentleman what he was looking for, he said someone to pay the vet bill today. i said this was a lifelong condition and what about the ongoing costs of anti-seizure meds, blood work every 6 months or so for the rest of her life to check not only her therapeutic medication levels so she is not getting too much or too little but also her kidney and liver functions because phenobarb is hard on both. he said he couldn't afford that, which didn't surprise me because she has been seizuring for a year and a half without seeing a vet.
i said he had a few options..he could re-home her to someone who could afford her medical care, he could somehow save up his money so he could pay for her ongoing much needed vet care, or he could sign her over to rescue. he chose rescue.

the clinic staff told me he was a really nice man who really loved his dog. but as i have said again and again..loving someone is not enough.
animals deserve to have medical care when they need it. so here is my bottom line take on this...if even $10 a month had been put away for her when she first started to seizure to eventually get her some when she really needed it, there would have been $180 available for some bloodwork and a couple of months worth of meds.

i know that sometimes folks think i am hard and uncaring but truly i am not. i do however advocate for common sense, esp concerning having and owning pets. Pets cost money, pets sometimes need to see a vet. If families live on a limited income and they want to have pets, then i do believe they should be willing to without fail invest $50 a month, every month for the life of the pet in pet medical insurence so their pet does get medical care when it needs.
if the $50 a month is too much to financially bear, then is not a good time to be aquiring a pet.
to me it is that simple. end of story.

we see dogs and cats severely anemic..their blood is sucked dry because families cannot afford a decent and regular flea treatment.
we see dogs, most of their hair gone, their bodies covered in bacteria and yeast and the dogs out of their minds with unbearable itchiness...and it all started with a simple but untreated long term flea infestation.
we have heard every story, every excuse known to man on why it is not someones fault that their animal suffers from lack of care.
and i am so tired, i no longer care.

so i am tired..bone weary tired of living in the rescue world, watching all around me, every day, year after year, the lengths that people go to not to accept responsibility for the choice they do or don't make.... lets try forgoing the illusions, the deceptions, the poor me tales of woe...and accepting responsibility for their unnecessarily suffering animal.

animals are living, breathing, feeling creatures and they need more than love..they need care.

we can be their problem or we can be their solution.

it is our choice to make.

my choice part of the animal's solution..and... i really believe that love means giving them proper care.


Linda Lemire

Such a sweet girl. I have an 18 1/2 yr old diabetic cat who did not qualify for pet insurance because of his condition. Few months after he started treatment became very ill and between vet & emerg clinic was $3,600. That was just about 5 yrs ago and now his meds and supplies are approx 150 month. But when you obtain an animal you need to make sure there needs are met even if you go without yourself.


You always say it like it is...Carol. Thank you for speaking the Truth about "empty love" for animals. Love without "love in action" doesn't benefit anyone or anything.


Maybe animal cruelty laws need to be changed, because causing an animal undo suffering because of poor excuses is not acceptable. I am a nurse too Carol and my dogs are part of my family. When Mishu and Suzie became seniors I gave them the best of care all of their lives and was an advocate for them like I am for my human patients. Dogs are sentient beings and deserve no less!


I agree with the pet insurance. I was able to sign my 13 year old cat (Sam) up on Pet plan. Six months later I had to start putting in claims, they paid with no issues or questions. For the last year of his life I made regular claims with Pet plan and when I did lose him they were very kind. They even made a donation to The Morris Foundation in his name. Pet insurance is a great peace of mind. I've used other pet insurers but Pet plan has been the best I've dealt with. I was able to focus on Sam and not worry about anything else.


Absolutely agree with you Carol.Sometimes love just isn't enough,our babe (JRT) had epilepsy for 11 yrs of his 15yrs and it was a constant worry,seizures,vet visits(blood work early on every 3 months and then 6 months,liver and kidney panels also at those times to check his levels and some side effects that needed other treatment,I could go on & on...) A huge commitment to keeping him medicated and as healthy as possible.Thankfully we could pay for his medical issues and or we did without.It is not an easy disease to live through emotionally or financially but it is worth it. <3


I agree 1 million %. So many people think it's just the cost of food, toys and the yearly vet check ups and vaccines but it so much more than that!
Our baby was diagnosed with diabetes just about 3 1/2 years ago. It was never something that we thought could happen but it did. We have the added cost of needles, insulin and fructososmine tests and dental which is especially important with a diabetic(it is important with all animals). Daddy joked that he'd just worked all day to pay for Harleys last visit ( he got a tummy bug and wouldn't eat which means no insulin). It was only 1 meal he missed and 1 injection but we took him to the vet because we know how dangerous it can be. While I hate spending lots of $$$ at the vet I had the idea of my baby hurting in any way! It's what responsible pet parents do!


Yes, yes, Maggie's congenital heart condition cost us about $300 a month in medications and then when she started retaining fluid, she had to be drained every 10 to 14 days, at about $150, plus we tried her on plasma, which is hugely expensive, about $500 plus the administration of it. How could I do anything else but pay for it...she was one of my very favourite beings in the entire world. I lost her in April...and I miss her face every day. So, bless you Carol and SAINTS. And, everyone else...get pet insurance. I will next time.


Ruby's a beautiful dog. To bad her condition was left untreated.
I think a lot of people don't think of when they get a dog or cat that there will be health issues weather they show up early or for sure later with an older aging animal. Cost is a big factor in owning an animal and if your not going to be prepared for this please think twice or have a plan in place. It's hard on animals to be replaced. Anxiety and confusion along with feelings their experiencing. Talk to your vet and see if you can work out a payment plan with them and if they know your financial situation they'll help where they can. I have a older dog with a liver condition and yes her meds are expensive but she's my little girl I love unconditionally and will do what I have to no matter what and will be with me right to the end.


I've never had insurance for my pets cause I just figured I'd pay the larger bills as they came even if it meant going into debt... after reading this I think I will look into pet insurance after all


I agree with you wholeheartedly Carol. I used to pay for pet insurance for my 2 cats but when the insurance refused to pay any more for one of them who had ongoing intestinal concerns and froze the account saying I couldn't claim for the same thing within 6 months and then, in that 6 month window, when she got sick with something else, they denied her for that too, just 'cos - I made a conscious choice then and there. I would cancel the pet insurance and instead put that same monthly amount on one side in a money box so that, if I needed it, I'd at least have some $ saved towards veterinary bills. And I did need it....and you know what, because I did that every month, there was almost always enough to cover the next bill. In fact I started adding a little extra if/whenever I could and now, at the end of each year, depending how much I've been able to save, I take a chunk of the money to make donations - to Saints and a couple of my other favourite animal charities. If the money hasn't been used up to help my own pets (and thank heavens if it hasn't) then it's only fair to still help others. There are always times when Life gets in the way and there are too many bills at the end of the pay cheque, but when you have a life companion that relies on you to help them in good times and in bad, it's just what you do. It's part of the commitment. Goes with the territory. All that and more. You do it because you care, REALLY care. And, unfortunately, there are too many who simply don't and find a million excuses before they really try harder to do the right thing. One part of me says, well at least he didn't just abandon this poor little girl in the middle of nowhere, although he still abandoned her nevertheless. But mostly I cannot forgive that lack of genuine and honest devotion. When the chips were down, he shirked his responsibility as an owner when his beloved pet needed him most. That, in my mind too, is unforgivable.


i am soooo glad you had insurence for tux..that bill was brutal! feel free to share.

Lisa Wagner

Honestly Carol, how could anyone interpret this as anything but you having compassion for animals?

I agree with you wholeheartedly and in my case opt for pet insurance versus a bank account (I am terrible at saving money). It saved my ass 3 months ago when Tux was paralyzed.

Please everyone, heed Carol's message and come up with a financial plan for your pets.

*Carol may I share your message to FB?*