The 37 dogs that were seized in a raid on a home in Grand Rapids, Michigan have needed a lot of help along the way to their forever homes. Yes, there have been adoptions, but things like medications and grooming cost money. In some cases, quite a bit more than others.
In an effort to ease cost, and some pain and suffering too, a large group of veterinarians, groomers and pet lovers from all over the area are donating their time and services to make sure that these dogs have the best chance possible to have a happy life with a loving forever family.
Tracy Brandt is a groomer with Green Paws Unlimited which is in Plainfield Township. She’s been witness to exactly what these poor dogs have had to go through since being taken from dismal conditions in a puppy mill.
“They are in terrible condition,” she said.
Brandt has spent hours washing and combing through the gnarled and matted hair on several of the dogs. The breeds are very diverse, which creates an issue. With so many different kinds of dogs brings so many different kinds of coats.
Brandt said, “I get them, and it’s hard to know where to start.”
If just looking at the state of some of the dogs wasn’t evidence enough, the Kent County Animal Control investigators say they found the dogs being kept in undersized containers, meant for travel and not long term confinement. Brandt says she’s seen everything from urine-stained hair and skin, to damaged toenails and paw pads from standing in urine for far too long.
As all pet owners should know, matted fur is very uncomfortable for any pet. Imagine how you would feel if every time you moved it felt like someone was pulling your hair.
“After they’re groomed, they are just so happy,” Brandt said. “I’m so glad they got them out of that place.”
After their rescue and removal from the horrid conditions they were found in, they were brought to a shelter for evaluations. When one of the vets at the shelter, Laurie Wright, saw the state of the dogs, she knew this was going to take a monumental effort by every available and willing vet she could talk into helping out.
“I put out a call for vets to ‘adopt’ a dog to provide care,” Wright said. “Within minutes I had veterinarians offering to care for these struggling pets. They wanted to make a difference in the lives of these dogs.”
It was also clear to vets that one of the most difficult types of care when it comes to dogs would come into play. Dental care. That usually requires dogs to be fully sedated to carry things out. So far, volunteer vets specializing in doggy dental care have donated over $3,500 worth of time and care to ease the pain of these dogs.
“If these dogs were being treated at cost, our tab would be over $10,000 at this point, not to mention all of the costs associated with boarding, vaccinating and caring for the dogs since June,” according to Kent County Animal Shelter Supervisor Carly Luttmann. “We’ve received not only the generosity of area veterinarians, groomers and their staffs, but also from the general public, including a recent gift of $1,200 worth of food and toys. We are so incredibly fortunate to have such a caring community.”