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Dog Star Rescue, Inc.: COVID-19 Operation Grant Report

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

The grant money was used for medical services we provide to our dogs. Every dog who arrives from out of state requires a Connecticut health certificate verifying that the dog is healthy. Each dog is seen by a veterinarian who checks the dog for overall health and wellness. Such services require that Dog Star retain supplies such as flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives in addition to frequently needed medications, such as those for ear and skin infections and various antibiotics.

Without grants like this one, Dog Star would have to significantly reduce the number of dogs we are able to take into rescue each year; needless to say, this would be detrimental to our shelter partners in the South from whom many of our dogs are rescued, and the negative effects would cascade out.

How many pets did this grant help?

We assume a deeply discounted average of $100 per hour for our veterinarian's time. We can see at least four dogs per hour, so at a minimum, this grant helped eight dogs.

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

Prior to his transport to Connecticut, McClain had been heartworm-positive and was treated, but also suffered from severe skin issues. In addition, he had infections in both eyes and both ears that required treatment. Upon his arrival, he was evaluated by a local veterinarian and testing was performed on a suspicious lump on his foot. Unfortunately, the news wasn’t positive. The lump was revealed to be a mast-cell tumor. Surgeons removed the tumor as well as part of McClain’s foot and, miraculously, he is now cancer-free. Luckily, a similar lump on his back turned out to be benign. As if that wasn’t enough, McClain began to have grand mal seizures in his Connecticut foster home. With a new diagnosis of epilepsy, he was started on medications to control the seizures.

With support from Dog Star’s medical coordinator, Sue Zeppa, his adoption coordinator, Hayley Haspeslagh, and his wonderful foster mom, Nicole Aronson, McClain’s story does have a happy ending. Or in his case, a new beginning!

McClain’s new mom, Kelly, fell in love with McClain despite his imperfections. “Every dog comes with hidden issues. McClain comes with a clear warning label. No need to wonder what problems might arise,” said Kelly. McClain is now thriving in his forever home. He’s described as a big lovebug who loves playing with his dog friends and has settled into the life he has always deserved.

Our veterinarian, who recognized these and other concerns upon examining McClain, recommended a course of action that included various medications which soon resulted in a much happier McClain. Unfortunately, our vet also took note of a growth on McClain’s foot that she thought we should biopsy. After we gave McClain a week to adjust to foster care — and to see how he’d respond to the meds the vet prescribed him — he came back to see the vet for that biopsy, which eventually revealed this suspicious growth to be a mast-cell tumor.

Because “once a Dog Star, always a Dog Star,” we were dedicated to not only finding McClain the perfect home, but also ensuring his health care was prioritized. Without grants such as this that support our veterinary services, McClain’s growth might have gone unnoticed. Instead, we were able to help guide McClain to a brighter life. McClain was adopted this past week and everyone involved could not be happier!

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