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Columbus Dog Connection: Sponsor a Pet Grant Report

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

It helped a severely malnourished dog.

It paid for special food and supplements for Ezmerelda.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

Columbus Dog Connection’s main focus is high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter. However, we also foster dogs and cats. In November 2014, we sent our mobile spay/neuter van to rural Ross County, Ohio, to perform 30 spay/neuter operations. During that visit, the Ross County Animal Shelter asked us if we could help them with a dog they had picked up. Her name was Ezmerelda. She was extremely malnourished and missing most of her hair. She needed more care than the rural shelter could provide, so we brought her back to Columbus.

One of our wonderful foster parents, Kathy, agreed to foster Ezmerelda. Kathy said, “She looked terrible. I was always afraid I would wake up and find her dead one day! Despite how she looked, she was very sweet and happy.”

If you know anything about Ohio, you know you do not want to be outside without a coat in the winter, but Ezmerelda had lost most of her fur due to malnutrition. Kathy tried to find a coat for Ezmerelda, but she was so skinny that all of the commercially available coats that were long enough for her wrapped around her twice! So Kathy made her a coat.

After several months, Ezmerelda was gaining weight and starting to grow a new coat. That was when Kimberly entered the picture. Kimberly and her husband, Chad, lived in the Columbus area with their Irish Setter, Liam, and Labs Lola and Lucy. Lucy had recently passed and Lola was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Faced with going from a family of five to a family of three in a very short time, they were thinking of adding another family member after Lola passed.

As Kimberly says, “This is where fate stepped in. I decided to ‘JUST LOOK’ on Petfinder one evening, for the first time for myself in years. (I’m always trying to help people find a match on Petfinder.) We love our setter and wanted to try to find him a rescue setter buddy. I was curious if there were currently any setters up for adoption, as they are usually few and far between. About 20 Irish Setters/mixed breeds populated from the search, the very first being an Irish Setter named Ezmarelda, less than 10 miles away. Oddly enough, her photos were not populating. Normally, I am very impatient and would skip over the post;) However, something (a little nagging voice) made me keep coming back to her, refreshing, waiting, actually being patient. Let me just say, I am not usually a person who believes in fate or little nagging voices. But now I do. Her photos finally populated. I took one look and knew she absolutely needed to be ours! My husband was traveling and I was about to fall asleep. I took a screen shot on my phone and sent it to him with the caption, ‘she needs us.’ He immediately responded with, ‘YES. GO GET HER.’

“We quickly set up a meeting to meet Ez. I was so shocked to see how amazing she looked! The photos showed a quite pathetic, furless, emaciated dog. In Kathy’s care, she had truly flourished. Kathy and CDC brought her back to life. She was running and playing and loving life. She was still gaining weight and fur, but the difference was amazing. We she met me, she immediately sat in my lap and put her paws on my shoulder and kissed my face. {Heart Melt} I was already locked in 🙂 This was our girl.

“Kathy must have worked some really amazing magic. With everything Ezzie went through, she was already so well-adjusted. She settled into her new life seamlessly! In May, we lost our sweet Lola. Today, we are a family of four. I don’t think we could love Ezzie any more than we do. Knowing what adversity she has overcome — she truly has an amazing spirit. She is also a very smart girl. Initially, she had an urge to bolt if she had an opportunity. That was pretty much the extent of her ‘issues.’ We started working with her this spring and she quickly learned to not only recall, but also to walk without a leash, and heel! We have quite a few areas around our home where she can now run like the wind with Liam and enjoy life off-leash! I am so very proud of her!”

Ez, as she is affectionately known, is now enjoying life. She’s traveled several times to Vermont to vacation on Lake Champlain, floating on a raft or sunbathing in the boat. She loves to bark and chase the swallows that come to visit, and one of her favorite things is to golf. She sleeps, perpendicular, on Kimberly and Chad’s pillows and likes to “hug” by wrapping her head around your neck.

Kimberly says that Lucy sent Ez to her because Ez is exactly what Kimberly needed, when she needed it. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for helping these two meet.

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