yes, death... imagine yourself a senior dog, you have a huge tumor on your butt, surgery is not an option cause of its location, cauliflower ear probably from trauma, which will certainly lead to ear infections, dribbling urine from kidney disease, a horrible, painful urinary tract infection, arthritis IN YOUR SPINE, you're homeless, have not had any medical treatment and now you have just been put in an animal shelter, in a cage, to sleep on a concrete floor that will make all your pain intensify. Someone gives you meds to help but doesn't really have the time to make sure you're actually eating them because they are overwhelmed with more of those like you... so you don't... and over the course of just 3 weeks, your health declines so badly that you have lost all quality of life and are now put on death row at the animal shelter.. after all, who wants to adopt a worn out old dog that will cost hundreds if not thousands to keep alive?
I do... that's who. Husky Halfway's House main mission is to get these animals off death row and into a foster home where they can be rehabilitated, brought back to quality of life and then placed in a home or hospice where they can live and grow or retire and die peacefully in the arms and care of someone who understands that they feel and hurt like we do. No animal deserves to be dragged into a room where a doctor will give him a shot and he will never wake up and get the chance to be loved.
Last Wednesday, a friend of mine tagged me on FB with a post about a couple of dogs that are on death row at the Martinez shelter in California. Ari was one of them.. There was no way I was going to let this boy die.. no way.. I see hope and light in those husky eyes, in all of the eyes in this picture, even though I see pain and sorrow too. I knew right away that even though I am in Oklahoma, I had to do whatever I could to save this husky.
Post notes... ARI, BELLA LUNA, BIZMARK, GIGI AND MEADOW ARE SCHEDULED FOR EUTHANASIA IF THEY DO NOT HAVE FIRM PLANS BY 5/23.
ARI, BIZMARK AND MEADOW ARE SENIOR DOGS WHOSE HEALTH IS FAILING IN THE SHELTER. BELLA LUNA AND GIGI ARE YOUNG, STRESSED OUT DOGS WHO ARE HAVING A HARD TIME ADJUSTING TO SHELTER LIFE.
At this point it hit me that I could do something.. Rob, my husband, was in Bakersfield and heading home within a few days. I immediately jumped onto every FB post I could to get the attention of those that could help. This was my first death row rescue and long distance at that so I was unsure if I was going to be able to pull this off. I needed a rescue team who could get him out of the shelter and down to Bakersfield where he can hitch a ride home. There was no way I was letting this boy die in a cold room.. sadly, I knew he was going to die and honestly didn't know if he would make the trip but dying in our arms with lots of love at a nearby vet would have been better than dying there in the shelter.
What happens next is something that I still blown away by. Over the course of the next two days, Ari's story had become a massive FB community effort to spring this boy from death row and get him to Bakersfield.. At least 10 people I have never met or even spoke with stepped up to help the physical rescue. Aaron from Memories of Besa Rescue sent over some paperwork so his rescue could formally pull Ari and have him transferred to Husky Halfway House where we would take medical and financial responsibility for him. The plans were set for his release to happen on Saturday morning. For a few hours we were all happy and content.. then came the email from the shelter than Ari's health is declining by the minute and he needed to be pulled out or he would be euthanized by that Friday at 11am. We are now out of time when we thought we had another 24 hours... but in all honestly I am glad he was sprung a day early, that's one less day of pain and torture for his old, tired out body.
Insert HEROES... Wendy, Laura, Marie, Jennifer, Corinne, Heather, April, April's amazing neighbors, Robert, Jessica and Matthew to name a few. Keep in mind that most of us have never met in person or even know about each other except through our rescue efforts on our own FB pages. Other rescues stepped in to offer help and of course the hundreds of FB friends jumping in offer support and encouragement and to pledge money to help with Ari's medical care.
I would like to take this time to recognize the formal rescue from the HEROES that stepped up to physically care for Ari.
April took him home that evening and gave him a ton of love and a soft bed to lay on and did her best to get him to eat and take his meds. April's amazing neighbors came by to throw some extra love in there and help show Ari that there are people who care about him.
At his point, Ari is too weak to move so he urinates all over his bed but at least gets those old bones off the concrete floor... and let me just add that healthy Huskies love cold concrete floors..
Everyone wishes they can hug Ari because we all know that he might not make it through the night. I spent hours that evening worrying about him and hoping he crosses over peacefully and so damn grateful that he will not have to die in the shelter. We were very worried about his quality of life and in the morning would start to think about taking him to a vet so that he can be euthanized in one of our arms. GOD BLESS that one that would have been willing to do that. It is something I know I will have to do someday soon in my rescue work and certainly not something I am looking forward to.
The next morning holds happiness as we all see that he did in fact make it through the night but what can we do to bring back his quality of life so that we can give him the option of having a loving family?
At this point I decide I am not giving up and that if I can find someone who can keep Ari until he is up for traveling then I wanted to find this person and beg for their help. I didn't have to look far..
Jessica from PALS EAST BAY not only steps up to save Meadow, pictured above with the others on death row, but also agrees to take Ari into her rescue and offers her love and any medical care, hospice or ongoing, that he might need. Jessica is fortunate enough to have a vet that is helping with Meadow and knew that Ari could benefit as well. Her gigantic heart also offered to keep him as long as he wants. I'll leave it completely up to her if she decides someday that Ari can in fact make the trip to Oklahoma where he can retire and cross the bridge with a family that will spend every second making up for the love and care that he has missed all his years.
Through the help and love of strangers who share the same passion and a treatment plan in place.. sure enough, between April and Jessica's caring arms, getting him out of the shelter environment and forcing pills into his body, the rescue seems to have done the trick! We are now seeing a shine in his eyes that we thought was gone forever!!!
Take that Martinez shelter!!!!!
Ari is awake, happy, eating and beginning his much needed new treatment plan thanks to Jessica and the team at PALS East Bay and all of us who stepped in to rescue him with just a few short hours left to live.
Here is how you can help..
PLEASE.. don't give up on your animals.. they would never give up on you!!!! Do what you can to keep your pets out of the shelter and if you need help doing so, know that there are so many out there that can and will help. You do not have to sentence your pet to die because its no longer convenient or possible for you to keep them. They are living, breathing souls who love and honor you like no human ever will. You will not come across a better friend. Dont throw that away..
PLEASE help those who help them! We cannot do this without your support! Please pledge anything you can to Jessica's rescue efforts for both Meadow and Ari. Both will need ongoing medical care, special diets etc and are on a long road to recovery. The most important thing? They are on that road and not sentenced to die by the hands of a city shelter.
PLEASE help out Meadow and Ari by donating anything you can to PALS EastBay
PAYPAL AT: Palseastbay@gmail.com OR
VENMO AT: @palseastbay
Please spread the word about Husky Halfway House on FB and like our page. Not so that we can get famous, but because the more people that see our posts the higher the chance that our fosters get a home. It could be a friend of a friend of a friend so please be a friend and help support our work. Search FB @huskyhalfwayhouse
We are a not for profit 501c3 corporation so your donation is tax deductible. Please considering donating anything you can to our efforts. %100 of every penny goes to saving animals.
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