Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Puppy Pandemic!

As some of you may remember, I was the loving gay uncle to John's dog, Oscar, who we picked out at the Washington Animal Rescue League. Somehow, I ended up on their email list and ocassionally get requests for donations.

If I have some spare pennies, I try to give. I mean, really, they provided a safe, loving space for Oscar, the Demondog Puppy from Hell. They can use all the help they can get.

This morning, they sent a request:

I’m writing you today with a real sense of urgency. There’s a disease outbreak plaguing dogs on the Eastern Seaboard, and our Medical Center has found itself right on the front lines of the battle.

The disease is called parvovirus. It’s truly frightening, especially for puppies, for whom the disease is always fatal without treatment. Since the beginning of the year, every single litter of puppies we have taken in has been suffering from parvovirus.

The good news is that, so far, we have managed to keep ahead of the disease. But we barely managed this, and it is taking a huge toll on our staff.The problem is that all puppies suffering with parvovirus need to be on continual IV medications. But we have only two IV pumps. That means that most of the parvo dogs — not to mention our other surgery patients, cats and dogs with renal failure, and animals in our hospital on pain medication — need to be on manual drips. At one point, we had 11 puppies with parvo, two surgery patients, and a dog who had been shot and needed pain meds. And that’s around the clock.

To make matters even more critical, the expansion of our shelter and Medical Center has greatly increased the number of animals who need veterinary care. We are still committed to treating sick and injured animals, such as dogs with parvovirus. At most shelters, parvovirus is an automatic death sentence. Our ShARE partners, however, contact WARL for puppies with the disease knowing that we have a 100% save rate. But this has become much more labor-intensive since the expansion.We cannot keep this up. Already we have to shuttle the two pumps back and forth between animals who need them. I fear that we may start losing animals – and that is absolutely unacceptable.

Dr. Gary Weitzman, our Medical Director, has asked me if I can find money in the budget for five additional IV pumps. They cost $1,380 each, so the total amount we need to raise is $6,900. I realize that is a lot of money, but I also know that, when precious lives are at stake, WARL’s friends always come through for the animals.

If you have a couple of dollars, take some time and donate to your local animal shelter. Or, donate to WARL by using this convenient form [You can select "IV Pumps," if you want].

I thank you. Oscar thanks you. Isabella thanks you. And all the puppies on America's Cutest Puppy thank you.


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