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Ark-Valley Humane Society, Inc.: Emergency Medical Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The $1,000 in grant funds were used for medical expenses incurred on behalf of Dakota (formerly Coffee on intake) and Willow (formerly Lilly on intake), two dogs who were received as a result of a cruelty seizure. Expenses for Dakota included metronidazole, Clavamox, probiotics, glucosamine/chondroitin, sub-q fluids, bloodwork, veterinary diet of canned I/D food, and routine veterinary examinations and monitoring for six weeks. Expenses for Willow are ongoing, as she continues to require metronidazole, probiotics, and prescription food as well as routine veterinary monitoring. Additionally, her expenses included sub-q fluids, bloodwork, Rimadyl, cephalexin, Endosorb, and glucosamine/chondroitin.

As a small shelter, taking on eight dogs from a cruelty case from a neighboring county was a lot. This grant helped our organization provide necessary medical care to the two most emaciated and sick dogs of the group. As a result, both dogs have been rehabilitated and became available for adoption. Dakota has been adopted and Willow will remain available for adoption until she finds her forever home.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Sometimes animals come to us having little and needing a lot. This rang true for eight dogs transferred to our small rural shelter on a cold Wednesday afternoon in January. All husky mixes, Gypsy, Dakota, Zola, Elway, Jenna, Balto, Nana, and Willow came to us as a result of a cruelty seizure in a nearby Colorado county. We had heard prior to them coming that they were in pretty bad shape, but nothing can really prepare you for something like this. After several weeks of total neglect and abandonment, without a consistent food source or clean water in frigid mountain temperatures, these dogs were in bad shape. As soon as the dogs got here, our team went right to work on getting them vaccinated and set up in kennels with water, while tending to any immediate health needs. Some dogs were definitely worse off than others. Dakota and Willow were in the worst shape. Scared and frail, their bones easily visible from weeks without food, these dogs were slow to trust and scared of everything. We knew we had our work cut out for us in order to heal these special dogs from the inside out.

But from the very first time we all had the chance to meet these eight dogs, and despite what they had been through, not one of them was ever aggressive towards us. They were just, simply put, scared. We believe they associated humans with abandonment and possibly harm, not love and nurturing. Knowing that, we prepared for the long road ahead of patience, love, and caring to be shown daily towards these wonderful dogs. With the help of our shelter veterinarian, we formulated a plan of medicines, special diets, handling, and exercise for each individual dog based on their own conditions and needs.

Unsure if Willow (first and second photos) and Dakota (third and fourth photos) would even survive the first night, we paid special attention to their medical needs. It wasn’t long before all eight dogs started to come around, both physically and emotionally. According to some of our animal care techs, these dogs have become some of the most tender and loving animals they’ve ever known. While some are still unsure about going outside and new places, they are all physically in a good place now and are so sweet. With their health where it should be, they truly have a new outlook on life. Dakota, who on arrival had to be carried in, now plays and runs outside like a puppy! You’d never guess his age or his story.

These eight dogs have been through some horrible things. They have been starved and some have even faced death. They’ve survived freezing temperatures and snowy conditions with no shelter or relief. But through the efforts of the staff at Ark-Valley Humane Society, support from the Petfinder Foundation, and the inner strength of these eight incredible dogs to not give up, they made a remarkable recovery and were made available for adoption. Dakota was adopted in February as an only dog by a young woman who fell in love with him. Willow is still up for adoption and can be viewed on Petfinder at

Meet the other rescue husky mixes still awaiting their forever homes:

UPDATE: All the sled dogs have been adopted!

Further Reading