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Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon: Grant Report

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

The money was used to offset adoption fees.

The grant made it possible for more senior citizens and veterans to adopt senior dogs. It was also used to waive fees for hard-to-place dogs who had extensive medical needs.

How many pets did this grant help?

The grant allowed us to offer reduced adoption fees for 90 dogs, and waived fees for another five dogs from the time the grant was received until the present time.

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

Freckles was a very elderly sweet Australian shepherd who came to us because his human had passed away. He needed love and stability, and, as it turned out, a whole lot of medical care. Freckles was obese, and his nasal passages were raw and ulcerated. Our vet diagnosed Freckles with discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), a canine version of lupus that caused sores in his nasal tissues, and a thyroid condition, which contributed to his obesity.

We found a wonderful foster for Freckles and he soon settled into their home, made friends with their terrier, and began to adjust to his new life. And then something awful happened: Freckles tore the canid cruciate ligament in his back leg (the dog equivalent of an ACL tear in a human knee), a painful and debilitating injury. The combination of his excessive weight, atrophied muscles, and the steroid treatment he was taking for his lupus proved too much for his knee. Without the surgery, Freckles would be in too much pain to have a decent quality of life. But the surgery cost thousands of dollars. SDRO is funded exclusively through donations and the hard work of volunteers. With the money it would take to fix Freckles’ knee, SDRO could help many, many other dogs who also needed love, care, and new homes.

But we weren’t ready to give up on Freckles. Freckles’ foster family started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for Freckles’ surgery, and shared it on Facebook. Friends, colleagues, and even a few strangers donated to help Freckles. When we reached $1,000 after three days, we were able to go ahead with surgery.

Repairing a torn CCL requires reconstructing the knee by inserting a wedge into the bone of the lower femur. It is an invasive surgery with a long recovery, made even longer for Freckles by the side effects of the medication to treat his lupus. After surgery, Freckles needed round-the-clock care, which his foster family lovingly provided, until the wedge healed into the bone.

They told us, “Through the winter, Freckles healed. Week by week, he needed less and less assistance walking. His mood brightened; his energy increased. The lesions in his nose turned from red to healthy pink. His weight went down. He became more present in his eyes, more trusting and bonded to our family. At Christmas, he was unable to move anywhere on his own, but by January, he could get up and down on his own. In February, when it snowed Freckles stood in the yard and wagged his tail as our children built a snowman. And by March he was walking around the garden, exploring the flowers sprouting from the earth.” Freckles was ready for adoption.

After nursing Freckles through so much trauma, and growing to love him, Freckles’ foster family gave him the ultimate gift of love: a forever home of his own! From the moment his new mom sat down on the floor with Freckles, it was clear that they were meant to be together and that Freckles would be adored and thriving in their care. However, he would continue to need medical care throughout his life. With the aid of the Petfinder Foundation New Year, New Home Pet Adoption grant, Senior Dog Rescue was able to waive the adoption fee for Freckles.