When Fernando and his family found themselves facing housing insecurity in the fall of 2020, they made the difficult decision to surrender Morphy, their two-year-old husky, to Dane County Humane Society (DCHS). They hoped it would be temporary, just until they could find a house that would allow dogs. But even when they found a residence that did, they still worried about financially supporting Morphy.
At the shelter, Morphy deteriorated quickly. He was stressed and worried without his family. But after some quick research, DCHS found a solution: Fernando lived in a neighborhood that qualified him for Pets for Life.
DCHS believes everyone should get to enjoy the love of a pet, regardless of income or other difficulties. DCHS’s Pets for Life program provides animal resources and information to families at no cost to help them to keep caring for the animals they love. Through door-to-door outreach, the Pets for Life team connects with people to provide support and create long-lasting relationships, meeting community members where they are, rather than waiting for them to find Pets for Life.
Since Fernando lived in the neighborhood served by Pets for Life, he could receive supplies and services for Morphy free of charge, like a neuter surgery, free wellness care, vaccines, flea and tick treatment, and even food and other supplies. With this assistance, Fernando could bring his beloved family member home. A week later, Morphy was reunited with his family.
But the family’s struggles weren’t over yet. Morphy, with his boundless energy, frequently escaped his yard and chased small animals around the neighborhood. Fernando once again found himself considering surrendering Morphy to DCHS.
Morphy’s surrender appointment at DCHS came, but Fernando couldn’t bear to part with his furry family member. With the help of Pets for Life, Fernando was able to better secure Morphy’s yard, and he continued to receive food and supplies for Morphy.
A year after Morphy was first surrendered to DCHS, he returned, but not to stay. Instead, he and Fernando attended Community Dog Day, an opportunity for families in pet resource deserts to get much-needed services for their pets, like lifesaving vaccines, microchips, ID tags, flea and tick prevention, and other pet supplies – all at no cost.
A few weeks later, Fernando decided to act on an idea he’d had for managing Morphy’s energy: getting Morphy a friend and playmate. Fernando couldn’t have been more correct that a friend and playmate could help Morphy! He contacted Pets for Life for help adopting a puppy from DCHS, and not long after, he and his family welcomed little Sneezy, who’s been renamed Rocky, into their home.
Morphy took on the role of big brother like a pro, and he and Rocky quickly became inseparable. Fernando says Morphy is a changed dog and is happier than ever.
Thanks to the incredible support of our generous community, Pets for Life can help animals like Morphy remain with the families that love them. Together with you, we can keep families whole. Thank you.
Angie Darbyson was the Pets for Life Program Coordinator.
2021 Annual Report
Pets for Life
Keeping Pets in Their Homes
Community Dog and Cat Days