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San Antonio Pets Alive!: Emergency Medical Grant Report

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

San Antonio Pets Alive! used the funds generously donated by the Petfinder Foundation to provide treatment for Charlie, a dog rescued from the euthanasia list at the San Antonio city shelter. The cost to SAPA! of saving any dog from euthanasia is at least $150. Charlie’s special medical needs meant that his care cost much more. The Petfinder Foundation grant allowed SAPA! to consult with an outside specialist. At this clinic, Charlie received x-rays and blood tests and underwent an in-depth physical exam. This cost $544. It was determined that Charlie would need heartworm treatment, medication to reduce arthritis inflammation, pain medication, and a special diet. Charlie was placed with a medical foster who additionally provided physical and hydrotherapy. Over the next several months, Charlie’s cost of care was an additional $1,000.

SAPA! is grateful to the Petfinder Foundation because the support allowed us to give Charlie every possible chance at rehabilitation. We know we did everything we could for Charlie, thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, and Charlie's suffering was eased during his last months of life. He also was very loved and cared for, which is important to any animal's overall health. If Charlie could, he would thank you all in a big way for what you were able to help him accomplish and for the love he received.

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

Poor Charlie was surrendered by his owner, and was also a victim of chronic neglect at his owner’s hands. Charlie suffered from severe obesity, untreated parasites, and painful arthritis that made any movement difficult. Many times, people think of neglectful animal ownership leading to an animal not being fed, but it can be just as neglectful to overfeed until an animal is suffering. Charlie showed us that neglect can have many faces.

Soon after his rescue, Charlie underwent diagnostic testing that showed he had various health problems, and SAPA! set to work to help him get better. After quickly finding placement with a devoted medical-specialist foster, Charlie was put on a careful diet and exercise plan. The goal was to help Charlie feel better and move better, which would help him lose weight. The program had to be slow because of Charlie’s cholesterol and health problems that put his heart at risk. Charlie also received arthritis medications to make the exercise process easier.

Over the next few months, Charlie, already a senior at over 6 years old, was making slow and steady improvement. However, Charlie’s medical interventions were sadly started too late in his life, and his neglectful past had already started to make permanent changes to his health. He passed away of a suspected heart attack not quite a year after his rescue.

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