Rescue steps in to help save dog when family can’t afford to treat him

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Luke, a 10-month-old puppy, was struck by a car earlier this month. His owners couldn’t afford to treat Luke’s injuries and were planning to have him humanely euthanized. Then a local rescue group intervened to change Luke’s fate.

On Saturday, October 13th Luke escaped through the front door of his family’s Oklahoma City home when he saw another dog in their yard. Before his owners could get to him he was struck by a car. His owners rushed him to a veterinary clinic. Luke suffered severe lacerations to his hind legs, but Luke’s family could not afford the treatment Luke needed. They only were able to get his legs bandaged up at the time and pay for some pain medication. They took Luke home hoping they could raise the funds necessary. A week later when they still did not have the funds the family had to make the difficult decision to have him euthanized.

When Luke was brought to the shelter to be euthanized, Cailin Phillips and Stephanie Scheiern with Safe Haven Animal Rescue were there and wanted to help Luke. They contacted the Bella Foundation to see if they could help save Luke. The Bella Foundation works to assist low income, elderly or terminally ill pet owners with the cost of veterinary care when they can’t afford it. The Oklahoma City Animal Shelter agreed to release Luke to the Bella Foundation.

The Bella Foundation worked with one of their partner veterinarian clinics, the Animal Emergency Center of Oklahoma City, to arrange treatment for Luke through a Low Income Assistance Program. Luke is now receiving the necessary treatment. The Bella Foundation contacted Luke’s owners and gave them the wonderful news that Luke was not to be euthanized  and would return home to them in a few days.

The Bella Foundation said, “We are very happy to reunite this family. The Bella Foundation’s primary mission is to assist pet owners when they need it and this is a perfect example of that mission. Luke’s family did not ask for help but we knew giving it was the right thing to do. There are already too many animals in shelters from people who do not want them, but Luke’s family did and now he gets to go home.”

19 thoughts on “Rescue steps in to help save dog when family can’t afford to treat him”

  1. Its a nice story and all but, the family is the problem. If they cannot afford to take care of their adopted family members, then the need to put the dog bag into a responsible forever home.
    Luke is in a place to stay, not a home, because as long as he dosnt cost them anything other than his food, for now, he can stay. If the family cannot 1) look after a puppy properly. 2) be able to handle the financial responsibility of caring for a pet , then they are not equipped for this responsibility.
    The vet was wrong to give the dog back to them.

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    • Do you feel the same way about humans? Medical expenses are one of the biggest reasons for bankruptcy in this country. Should you rehome your child if they are hit by a car and you can’t afford treatment? Shame on you for being so cold. There are not enough loving homes for pets and your answer is to put more pets into the system because, in your eyes, they didn’t love them ENOUGH to be independently wealthy.

      It’s better to languish at a rescue or a shelter than to stay in the loving home they already had? Please.

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  2. The family was ready to wave goodbye and put him to sleep rather than care for a few lacerations. That is not responsible behavior. What happens when they leave the house for a few days – they put the dog in garage w no food, or they rather buy Christmas presents than dog food?

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  3. The family took him to the vet instead of shooting the dog as some people I know would have….They tried raising the funds for the dog…. THEY COULDN’T AFFORD THE SURGERY…..YOU can’t put dogs ahead of people. The family did what they had to do…..Shame on anyone who would try and put the family to shame….what, would it have been better to put the dog to sleep instead of giving it back to the family?

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  4. Always those with the “if they can’t afford”. What is the dollar amount in the bank at which one is deemed “able to afford”? According to the article the dog bolted out the door. Happens to a lot of dog owners, rich and poor alike. They immediately sought medical attention for the injured dog. They didn’t leave him to lay and suffer for days. Seems responsible to me. I’m sorry they didn’t have the funds right that second to pay 100% of treatment. They did spend a week trying to raise them though, rather than immediately putting the dog down. Sounds like they cared very deeply about their pup.

    Kudos to Safe Haven and Bella Foundation for stepping up.

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  5. Ok so ur saying that because they didn’t have money at that time they are bad owners?!? Who says that they didn’t just lost a job, or just jad another financial emergency?!? How much dors their local vet charge?!? As I know that I definitely can’t afford mine…a small laceration is well over 400$ to treat at their clinic…on the other hand if I drive an hour away to another clinic she is affordable and understanding but not everyone knows about her so they go to the local one and freak out at the price…I had 5 cats and 2 dogs and had mo problem giving them good vet care when needed, but then I lost my job and had to make the hard decision to move away into another city but the most I could bring with me was 3 cats and 1 dog, so had to give some…hardest decision I had to make but at the point I was I couldn’t even put food properly on the table for my own family let alone my pets…shit happens

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  6. Wow I hope neither of you are in a position that you can’t afford something. The article doesn’t explain why the family couldn’t afford care at this time. Maybe they were just in between jobs right now. Most people with dogs couldn’t afford vet care after a car accident, that is why credit cards like care credit and pet insurance exist. No its much better to let the dog suffer in the shelter before they just euthanize him because of over crowding. Obviously you have no heart and have never worked in rescue and I hope you never do. Just go play with all your money you must have and leave the work to us that have hearts.

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    • I, for one, volunteer at a shelter. I do not fault a family for not being able to afford medical care, but I do take exception for people bringing a dog in to have him euthanized. He could have been brought to a shelter for adoption, or given to a rescue, which would have taken care of medical needs, and gotten him adopted. The article states they brought him in to be put to sleep. That I DO abhor.

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      • If the shelter or rescue could help with medical needs, then why not help the owners instead of gambling on not finding the dog a home?

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        • That would be something the shelter would have to offer, if it could, but it does not negate the owner asking that they simply euthanize the dog. They could have asked for help with expenses, they could have said they could not afford care, and asked if the dog could be adopted by someone who could afford the care, but they brought the dog in to have it put to sleep.

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          • you can’t make that judgement based on this story. it says they brought him to the shelter to be put to sleep – it doesn’t say if they were given any other option. for all we know, they were denied help with medical expenses and *told*, as so many other owners are, that their only option is to have the dog put to sleep since it’s not in an adoptable condition and has a history of bolting.

  7. Part of having pets is that you take care of them no matter what. if they could not afford to take there pet to the vet to make him/her better they should never own one. pets are part of a family my family and i would do everything we had to just so our dog would get to the vet for what ever reason she needed to be there. there is always help out there you just have to take the time to find it. I am glad that their dog was able to get the help he needed but i do not thank he should go back to that family.

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    • Again…Do you feel the same way about humans? Medical expenses are one of the biggest reasons for bankruptcy in this country. Should you rehome your child if they are hit by a car and you can’t afford treatment? Shame on you for being so cold. There are not enough loving homes for pets and your answer is to put more pets into the system because, in your eyes, they didn’t love them ENOUGH to be independently wealthy.

      It’s better to languish at a rescue or a shelter than to stay in the loving home they already had? Please.

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    • bollocks. with all this yack-yack, about being “responsible” about medical care for pets and spaying etc, why is nobody questioning why it costs $503 to get my dog neutered (which i wouldn’t do anyway – the health consequences are shocking)? why are the vets not required to be reasonable about the amounts they charge – just for me to get Advantage or Revolution or Frontline, i have to pay $89 exam fee plus the $100 plus for the medication. i can’t just head over to Canadian Tire and buy the stuff off the shelf.

      Reply

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