More Small Paws Sunday reading.
This month, in memory of Bailey, I am working with Romeo the Cat to raise money for Small Paws Rescue.
Just FOUR days left to our online Bichon Bash for Small Paws!
It’s important that everyone who donates money to our online Bichon Bash fundraiser understands just how much of a difference their donation makes in the lives of these little fluffy dogs. As Bonnie Ferguson (Director of Adoptions for Small Paws) says,
“Small Paws provides care to needy Bichons that would otherwise not be helped. Small Paws has saved the lives of homeless Bichons, Bichons people no longer want for various reasons, puppy mill Bichons, Bichons scheduled to be euthanized at shelters and many more. Small Paws often takes in the ones that other rescues won’t help because of illness or old age… Knowing that we do the best we can each day and have given it our all, in any situation, puts a smile on my face.”
RELIEF FOR PUPPY MILL DOGS
Click to read about Regis, the puppy mill cull.
No matter what position you occupy in the dog world, you know what a puppy mill is. Unscrupulous people wanting to invest the least amount of time or money with the intention of making the maximum amount of dollars house their dogs in disgusting conditions. Their dogs do not receive adequate veterinary care. They breed their dogs indiscriminately without thought of congenital health issues, and at every opportunity. Puppies are sold away, when they should still be nursing. And none of the dogs are socialized.
Small Paws makes a point of rescuing Bichons from puppy mills by purchasing them.
Click to see some example photos
The mighty warriors of Small Paws regularly attend puppy mill auctions—sometimes in disguise. They have developed relationships with some millers, so that they can get the dogs out of the system. Some rescues do not see the value in purchasing dogs that they rescue. But Small Paws members know that pulling the “livestock” out of the puppy mill system might ultimately lead to fewer dogs being bred. It certainly means that the little souls on the auction block will eventually have better lives if Small Paws is there to purchase them. And the membership has never hesitated to contribute money when the word goes out that there’s an auction coming up.
It should also be mentioned that Small Paws has acquired much expertise in the rehabilitation of puppy mill dogs. Their adoption process is a proven success.
Dogs who come into rescue from a puppy mill situation nearly always have health issues because of lack of veterinary care. Their teeth are always bad and in need of a major cleaning. Many times they have congenital issues that require surgery. Sometimes they have heartworms. By far, the biggest bill that Small Paws pays each week is the veterinary bill.
THE VETERINARY BILL
An example of the vet bill
Every week, Small Paws diligently pays the vet bill and then reports the spending to the membership through the Small Paws Newsletter. Each Newsletter includes a detailed accounting of where the veterinary money is going, including a “Transaction Detail By Account” bookkeeping form and an explanatory update on each dog currently receiving medical assistance. The vet bill is (to my knowledge) where most of the money goes that is raised for Small Paws. As an example, for the first 22 days of March Small Paws averaged $1,284.49 per day in veterinary costs.
Click to read about Maggie, in hospice.
Small Paws is a “no-kill” organization and will go the full measure to make sure that any Bichon entering Small Paws Rescue receives the medical help needed. If the health issue can be fixed, it’s done. If the health issue has progressed to the point that it can’t be fixed, the Bichon is placed in “hospice” where it will live comfortably until quality of life dictates that it’s time to cross the rainbow bridge.
Any Small Paws dog up for adoption has been fully vetted and is in the best health possible.
An example of teeth that have not had any dental care.
Why do clean teeth matter?
Teeth grind up food, which make them important in the digestive process. But (as with people) if teeth are not brushed and cared for, plaque builds up which leads to tartar. Tartar builds up below the gums and bacteria grows which causes inflammation. The bacteria causing the inflammation can enter the dog’s bloodstream and cause or aggravate lung, kidney, liver and heart problems.
Nearly every dog that comes into rescue, but especially the Bichons from puppy mills, need a “dental.”
Click to see some heart surgery photos
Click to read about the Small Paws Heart Murmur Fluffs!
Patent Ductus Arteriosus is a congenital heart defect in dogs. Before a puppy is born, it gets it’s oxygen from mom. The fetal heart pumps blood, but the blood is not oxygenated by the fetal lungs so there is an opening called the Ductus Arteriosus that bypasses the lung. After the puppy is born and starts breathing on its own, the Ductus Arteriosus is supposed to close. And when it doesn’t, it causes a heart murmur. There is a really good explanation of this is on the Veterinary Partner web site.
Puppies with PDA heart murmurs don’t live very long. So far, Small Paws has saved the lives of 67 Bichons who were all born in puppy mills and had severe PDA heart murmurs.
EXAMPLES OF SOME OTHER VETERINARY EXPENSES
Click to read about Melody and her hip surgery.
Click to read about Marley, who needed a liver shunt.
Click to read about Elvis, who needed braces!
SO WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
The money goes to the Fluffs–mostly for their vetting. There are some rescues that will not invest money in a dog that needs extreme medical care, but not Small Paws! Saving Fluffs is what it’s all about! Making sure that they have the best possible start on their new life is the goal! What a great investment!