Thanks to support like yours, DCHS is still an essential community resource. You are helping us keep people and their pets together even during times of uncertainty, supporting families just like Rhonda’s.
The human-animal bond is undeniable. Rhonda, her husband and children, consider their three-year-old bulldog Remi part of their family. But the financial hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to break that bond.
“When we first got Remi, we put a bunch of money in savings for her care. Then back to back bad stuff started happening to our family. My husband’s hours at work were cut due to the pandemic, and Remi got behind on her shots and started having eye problems,” said Rhonda.
Looking for resources online, Rhonda discovered DCHS’s Pets for Life program. Pets for Life keeps pets with their families by addressing the critical need for accessible and affordable pet care. Through door-to-door outreach, Pets for Life provides free pet care services and removes barriers like transportation and cost so families can provide care to the animals they love.
Pets for Life serves areas that are known as resource deserts because of their lack of pet supply stores and veterinary clinics. Pets for Life currently serves 411 clients living in the 53713-zip code and the Allied Drive neighborhood, where 27% of residents live below the poverty level and rely heavily on public transportation. Our service area has expanded beyond these areas because of the urgent need in our community.
Rhonda first reached out to our Pets for Life team to get dog food for her family’s beloved Remi. Soon after, Rhonda contacted us again with concerns that Remi was also suffering from an eye infection. Remi came in to see the DCHS veterinary team the following week. Despite her cheerful attitude, we soon discovered Remi had several medical issues causing her discomfort.
Remi has more than an eye infection. Remi has entropion, a condition where her eyelids flip inward and they constantly irritate her eyes. Our veterinarians also found infections around her deformed tail, which will keep happening until her tail is surgically corrected.
Our veterinarians also found that Remi was still suffering from a severe umbilical hernia. This wasn’t a new issue, as Rhonda first discovered Remi’s hernia shortly after they brought her home as a puppy. When Remi was spayed, they corrected the hernia at the same time. Unfortunately, Remi’s hernia returned only a month later. After yet another surgery, they believed the hernia was finally resolved, but unfortunately it came back again.
Remi’s conditions are not due to a lack of care and love. Instead, they are most likely the result of bad genetics. Without the assistance of DCHS and our Pets for Life program, Remi’s family may have had to make a difficult decision to give Remi up as they were unable to afford additional surgeries.
“DCHS providing these services has put our minds at ease,” says Rhonda. “We don’t have to choose between feeding our family or taking care of our pets. We love Remi and we want her to be as healthy as possible.”
Remi will soon have surgery at DCHS to fix her eyelids, hernia and tail, so she can continue to live a happy life with the family she already knows and loves. Our Pets for Life team will continue supporting Remi after surgery so she recovers successfully.
DCHS believes that no loving pet owner should miss out on the joy and comfort that comes from the human-animal bond, especially in difficult times like these. Your generous support of DCHS ensures programs just like Pets for Life can continue providing care and comfort to both shelter animals and pets in our community like Remi. Please continue your generosity with a gift today.