As canine parents, we are enamored by the thoughts of having a new family member. We look forward to the days when we can take our little one for a walk, cuddle them on the couch or play catch with your best friend when you get home from work. Unfortunately, we as humans, outlive our furry companions. Depending on the breed you adopt, canines get sick as they get older.
Their long road to recovery means thousands of dollars spent from your pocket. For me, the last 1.5 years have been a battle over funds. This year, I came across six charities (angels) that pledged for my little Harley to get her diagnosis, treatment, and medication for Cushing’s:
- BWBF (Bow Wow Buddies Foundation)
- AALOC (Animal Assistance League of Orange County)
- OCSPCA (Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
- SCAF (Starfleet Canine Aid Foundation)
- SVHS (Saddleback Valley Humane Society)
- VFTA (Voice for the Animals Foundation)
The Cost of Saving Your Dog
When my Harley got sick, I opened Care Credit. When that maxed, I opened two other credit cards in order to pay her vet bills. I was able to pay the cards until I too became ill.
Her pet insurance reimbursement went to more treatments, medicine and doctor appointments, not to mention her food. The pile of vet bills overlooking my kitchen became a daily reminder of the debt I had accumulated.
When my vet visits reached an unpaid balance of $3000, the hospital could no longer see Harley unless I paid upfront or paid the bill entirely. Rightly so– I understood they had tried all they could. I realized they were in a position where no money was coming in and treatment was going out. Harley was getting sicker and sicker and Cushing’s was the suspect.
Desperate, I reached out to many charities in order to cover x-rays, medications, ultrasounds, diagnosis, and more. I was relentless and did not stop going down the list of charities I came across. Of those I reached out to, six pledged for my little Harley. Two of them pledged for me twice despite Harley’s age.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude and as such, I’d like to point out these charities that do great work every day to help canine parents seek help for their little ones.
A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans
Bow Wow Buddies Foundation
The Bow Wow Buddies Foundation (BWBF) is a nonprofit known for providing urgent medical care funds to sick and injured dogs in need.
BWBF was the first charity organization to offer their hand to me and pledge the largest monetary amount towards my Harley’s treatment and recovery.
Just like their logo states, “Lending a paw to dogs in need”, this amazing charity reached out to me and paid for Harley’s testing which resulted in her diagnosis of Cushing’s and an ear infection. I was also able to get her medication and treat her for both medical conditions.
The Bow Wow Buddies Foundation is an extension of Camp Bow Wow, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides assistance in the health and happiness of furry loved ones. Moreover, the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation offers dog parents a second chance to treat their sick and injured dogs in need. They provide funds for urgent medical care to those canines who are homeless and or whose parents are not able to afford to pay their dog’s vet bills.
Bow Wow Buddies Foundation also provides grants to animal shelters, rescue groups, and doggie parents that need assistance in providing imperative medical treatments for sick or injured dogs awaiting adoption.
The Foundation has the capacity to award grants up to $2,500 for dogs who need imperative medical treatment. The foundation extends its need across North America. Necessary medical treatments include but are not limited to broken bones, abdominal obstruction, heart-worm, enucleation, parvovirus, cancer, and emergency services.
Those individuals struggling to cover their dog’s vet costs, and/or a shelter or rescue group may apply for a grant. Grants are also given to dogs who are awaiting adoption pending the care of a veterinarian.
The first time BWBF helped my little Harley, she had severe stomach issues and had hurt her little paw. The Bow Wow Buddies Foundation came to her rescue. Harley’s vet at Newport Harbor Animal Hospital was able to treat my little baby and make her well.
AALOC (Animal Assistance League of Orange County)
The Animal Assistance League of Orange County is a non-profit humane society that promotes a no kill mandate and is dedicated to aiding lost and homeless pets. They also help people with pet related problems, promoting responsible pet-ownership and pet population control. The promotion of preventing cruelty to animals is done through educational programs.
The AALOC and OSPCA were two charities that reached out to me and worked together to get me the funds my Harley needed. I extend my gratitude to Cyndie from AALOC. Knowing how urgent the Cushing’s testing was, her immediate assistance allowed my little one to get her exams.
In addition to providing financial assistance for struggling pet parents, the Animal Assistance League of Orange County dedicates its services to aiding those pets who are lost and/or homeless, folks with problems related to their pet. The foundation also promotes responsible pet-ownership, control of pet population, and educating people to prevent animal cruelty.
The AALOC provides dog and cat adoptions. According to the AALOC, an adoption is only approved when you and AAL agree the dog and/or cat of your choice is a good match.
OCSPCA (Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
The OCSPCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on the aid of as many animals as possible. OCSPCA’s mission is to foster the humane treatment of animals through:
- Public education
- Financial support to relieve animal suffering
- Promoting the bond between animals and humans
- Preventing cruelty to animals
The OSPCA and AALOC were two charities that reached out to me and worked together to get me the funds my Harley needed. I extend my gratitude to Kevin from OCSPCA. Knowing how urgent the Cushing’s testing was, his immediate assistance allowed my little one to get her exams.
Contrary to belief, the Orange County SPCA is not affiliated with any other SPCA or national organization. They are not a parent or sister chapter of the ASPCA. Instead, the OCSPCA is a local group that serves Orange County residents only.
The OSPCA offers several community service programs:
- Animal Relief Fund: This program provides aid to low-income pet owners with emergency veterinary care. It also provides subsidized spay/neuter assistance for residents.
- Animal Safe House: This program offers a temporary haven for pets whose owners are victims of domestic violence.
- Cruelty Intervention: When animal cruelty is reported, this program refers people to the proper authorities and works with those authorities to stop it.
- Home Again Pet Networking (HAPN): This program helps find homes for animals in need.
- No Empty Bowls: This program assists homeless pet owners who cannot carry large supplies of food. OSPCA volunteers bag and distribute one week’s food portion for your pet. Food is distributed every Monday. Pet owners in need of food can call the office to get help.
A Dog’s Way Home: A Novel
SCAF (Starfleet Canine Aid Foundation)
The Starfleet Canine Aid Foundation (SCAF) is a federal and state non-profit organization created to provide financial assistance to dog owners unable to afford medical treatment for their canine companion. Medical treatment includes but is not limited to a treatable disease or an injury sustained by a canine companion.
SCAF’s prime directive is to help save the lives of as many canine fur babies as possible. This enables those who need their canine companion to remain with their loving owner.
True to their word, SCAF was the fourth organization to reach out to me and help me with my little Harley. As my service dog, Harley has been with me for 14 years helping me and taking care of my needs. I am very grateful to Mickey for her immediate assistance to help with Harley’s Cushing’s necessities.
Starfleet operates solely via volunteers and onations from canine oriented fund-raising events in order to remain successful. If your canine has a good prognosis for recovery, they will help you bring your furry one to recovery.
Saddleback Valley Humane Society
The Saddleback Valley Humane Society (SVHS) operates via donations and dedicated volunteers. They do not receive any funding from the National ASPCA or HSUS.
This organization is totally dependent on donations that have enabled well-established programs to continue. Saddleback’s programs offer assistance for sick and injured pets in need of veterinary care.
SVHS was the 5th charity to help my Harley. Their assistance enabled me to pay for Harley’s Cushing’s medications which runs over $100/a month.
Saddleback Valley Humane Society’s concept embraces the aid of companion animals in need. Since their origin, the organization has endeavored in providing help to those animals in the most need.
If you live in Central and South Orange County California, SVHS will provide you with the following assistance:
- General Medical: Prior to offering financial assistance, Saddleback requires you speak with one of their volunteers to determine the nature of the injury/illness, recommended diagnostic tests, prescribed treatment, prognosis and estimated cost. These factors enable the organization to determine what type of assistance they can give your pet.
- Spay/Neuter: Financial assistance for spay and neuter only.
- Lower Cost Veterinarian: When you call the vet office representative, inform him/her that you need financial assistance from the Saddleback Valley Humane Society. The representative will handle the details and set you up with a low-cost veterinarian.
Saddleback Valley Humane Society & SPCA offer their Quarterly Newsletter full of useful tips and information so you can take care of your furry one.
Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs
VFTA (Voice for the Animals)
Voice for the Animals (VFTA) foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to create respect and empathy for animals through their various programs. They were the final charity to reach out to Harley and I. With their assistance, I was able to pay for Harley’s third month of medication.
VFTA is known for their excellence, significance and community leadership. They were founded on their belief that all life is sacred. The organization seeks to eliminate situations where animals are neglected or destroyed.
In 2010, VFTA received the Commendation of Excellence and Certificate of Appreciation from the City Council (1996)from the City of Los Angeles for their “tireless work on behalf of the animals in the city of Los Angeles.”
In addition to financial assistance, VFTA’s provides foster and adoption programs. Their OfficialVFTA YouTube channel provides a plethora of information. Other services include but are not limited to:
- Abuse prevention
- Feral colonies
- Helping friends
- Humane education
- Working cats
- Elephants in captivity awareness campaign
- VFTA worldwide
- Animal films
- Farm animal rescue
At ScoutKnows, we appreciate organizations that help dog parents and their canines. We bring attention to those organizations that benefit the lives of canines and their parents. I chose to write about these six charities as a personal note of gratitude for the pledges I received to safe my little Harley’s life.
If you have the ability to donate to any of these fine organizations, please do so. As a doggie parent, I appreciate their kindness and human compassion. These organizations reached out to me despite Harley’s 14-year status.
My little Harley can’t be helped anymore and I will soon need to put her to sleep. The closer I get to the time I will need to say goodbye to my little service dog, companion and love, the stronger I’ve had to be for her. She has bounced back to her happy self these last few weeks but I know this is only temporary.
Once I am more financially stable, I will make donations to all these charities that helped my Harley enjoy her last year in peace and painless. In the meantime, my way to pay it forward is to bring recognition to these amazing organizations.