Rayne’s Story

Sheila  ·  Jun. 10, 2021

The hard part about fundraising, for me, is to give a clear message of what SAINTS does and make it sound new rather than recycled. That is hard because what we do and why we do it has not changed in the 16 years we have existed. So this year I am stepping in and telling the story of one of the SAINTS I took home because Rayne’s story explains the type of medically challenged animals that come to SAINTS and how expensive some of these guys can become. It is not a makes you cry kind of story but is a hard reality kind of story.

Rayne and Leila

Rayne came to SAINTS March of 2017. He was young 14 month old who had uncontrolled diabetes. His guardians had found out 5 months ago that he was diabetic and they could not afford the vet bills to deal with his diabetes. Rayne could not go to a traditional shelter because he would need his insulin shots every 12 hours and because his diabetes was not under control he would need to be monitored constantly. Two month later Rayne came home to live with my sister and myself.

Rayne and bed

I quickly learned what I thought was just purchasing insulin every six weeks was much more complicated than that. In the first year of being diagnosed trying to get the blood sugar levels right can be a process. Humans are lucky - they can test themselves everyday with a prick to a finger. That is not so easy with an animal because they don’t understand the prick. Rayne was very uncooperative. This meant we had to take him into the vets monthly and that he needed to stay there for the day so that the vets could get a reading at the point of taking the insulin, at a 1/2 point and towards the end of the day. Every appointment costed $300 to $400. If his blood sugar levels did not look good the vet would adjust his insulin and we would return in a week rather than a month later. At times, because the insulin dosage quickly changed to a too large dose, Rayne would have what would look like epileptic attacks. He had them 4 times in the first year - twice when he was not at home. Both my sister and I carry a bottle of fast acting liquid glucose in our car in case Rayne has an overdose of insulin. Three weeks after we brought him home we discovered Rayne was slowly going blind and he required surgery - that was $5,000 (total including the follow up vet visits and many eye drops that were required ). We had to teach Rayne how to tolerate the eye drops before the surgery by using a pen as a substitute for the bottle and lots of chicken. At the beginning he was taking up to 4 different drops twice a day and he was on the last eye drop for 6 months.

Rayne tracking

Four years later Rayne is stabilized and has gone from taking a dose of 23 units to 13 units. He is on a special high fibre low-fat diet. The fibre slows the entrance of glucose into the bloodstream and helps Rayne feel full. It is important that Rayne stay trim. A trim Rayne helps his cells better use insulin which keeps his blood sugar levels in check.

Rayne Nose Work

I have to mention I do not give Rayne his insulin shots. I cannot give shots so if my sister is out of town I search for a person who will give him his shots. Even if that means getting Rayne in the car and driving an hour from Surrey to SAINTS in Mission. COVID restrictions has made my life easier and my sister’s because she did not appreciate my few panic calls (over the years) while she was out and I feared that she would get home too late and Rayne would die without his shot.

Rayne does lead a normal life. When asked to speak about SAINTS I will take Rayne with me and tell his story, he also does BC SPCA humane education with me, does nose work and tracking and lives with 3 other dogs and 4 cats (one being SAINTS alumni Lotus).

Rayne on sofa

Rayne got very lucky and was adopted by myself and my sister and the burden of his vet bills were transferred to us. Most of the ongoing medically challenged dogs and cats at SAINTS do not get that lucky because taking on a pet companion that has ongoing medical issues is not only a financial burden but also can be an emotional rollercoaster. Rayne’s story is not unique for a SAINTS resident. That is why in the first 5 months of this year our vet costs were just over $130,000. Whatever dollars we have left over of our The Amazing Raise Campaign (after covering the generator, flooring, and various other repairs and maintenance requirements) will go towards any outstanding vet bills. For the sake of all the Rayne’s still at SAINTS please consider donating to our annual campaign.

Team Barn

Team House

Team MP Room

Team Shop

PS. Rayne taught me how important pet insurance can be. His guardians loved him but could not keep him because of the costs attached to diabetes.

In This Article