UPDATE: Four Paws Lifeline has released a book of pet stories, told from the point of view of the pet. This lovely book will help raise funds for this organization which provides help for vet expenses. Four Paws and 31 Tales is available from Amazon for only $10 — pick up your copy today and support this wonderful organization.
My guilty pleasure is my love of cats. I have two that I spoil (Jenny and Rameses); I also spend time watching live kitten cams and chatting with other cat lovers. I grew up with dogs and love them too.
Along with the pleasure of their company is the responsibility for their well-being. What happens when your beloved pet is struck with a catastrophic medical emergency? What do you do if the lifesaving procedure your pet needs costs more than you can afford?
It used to be that you would have no choice but to euthanize your pet. I had to do that with my cat Milo many years ago. We could not afford the operation he needed. It was devastating; I was heartbroken and felt guilty.
Help is available
So you can imagine my reaction when I discovered Four Paws Lifeline, a non-profit dedicated to helping pet owners with this difficult problem. Their mission is simple: provide funds to pet owners who cannot afford the medical treatment needed for their pet.
Founded by Karen and David Brothers, Four Paws Lifeline solicits donations from animal lovers thus creating a pool whereby financial assistance can then be granted.
The website states
Four Paws Lifeline is a Washington State registered non-profit organization. Our goal is to provide financial assistance to those pet owners who are not able to afford critical emergency veterinary care for their furry loved ones. Rushing a beloved pet to the emergency vet is stressful and full of fear. To delay treatment because of an inability to afford the treatment leads to pets suffering. Often animals are surrendered or euthanized as a result of not being able to afford treatment. We are working towards a future where decisions about companion animal medical care need never be made on the basis of cost. Four Paws Lifeline was started to assist and to take the worry about money out of the equation.
Contributions are directed towards the veterinary hospital where the pet is being treated. Applicants are asked to fill out a simple form stating their need.
First success story
Kayleigh was the first beneficiary of Four Paws Lifeline. Injured in a fall onto glass, Kayleigh’s paw required immediate attention as a toe was partially amputated. The website reports that ‘She was taken to the vet to have the remainder of the amputation done in surgery. She got her stitches out and is doing extremely with a full recovery. Her awesome owner Christina Probst contacted us and we were able to help.”
A cat rescued by the Brothers is credited with birthing Four Paws. Here is her story:
Dora, my newest rescue, swallowed a small piece of rubber and had to have emergency surgery. I was able to take care of this large vet bill with Carecredit. But it occurred to me that there are those that would have had to have their pets euthanized because they wouldn’t have been able to afford this. So, I once again started thinking about what could I do. I started talking to people and got very encouraging responses. I mentioned it to a couple of my twitter friends and they quickly volunteered to help. So, I started the process of find out what I needed to do to start a Non-profit.
Visit the website
I invite you to visit Four Paws Lifeline at http://www.fourpawslifeline.org/ and learn more about this organization–how you can help, and how Four Paws can help you.
Knowing that Four Paws Lifeline exists makes me feel better knowing there will be pet owners who will be spared the terrible decision of putting down their dog or cat because finances.
Good people are out there and organizations like these are a constant reminder.
Karen shares that “Four Paws Lifeline has been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS. Letter arrived yesterday with our 501 (c)(3) status.” Congratulations Four Paws Lifeline!
All photos are courtesy of Four Paws Lifeline.
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