During these hard economic times, many Long Island pet owners are forced to surrender or euthanize beloved pets because they cannot afford necessary or emergency veterinary procedures. The Banfield Foundation recently gave Last Hope Animal Rescue in Wantagh a $10,000 grant to assist pet owners facing financial woes with veterinary expenses, and to help them keep their pets.
Last Hope is a nonprofit organization striving to save death-due, abandoned and stray animals. The all-volunteer group cares for dogs from municipal shelters, and cats from shelters as well as off the streets before seeking approved adopters. Last year, Last Hope placed 620 cats and 245 dogs in loving, responsible homes, and with the new grant, the organization hopes to help even more.
“The Banfield Foundation grant helps our rescue to be more proactive,” said Linda Stuurman, president of Last Hope, “We can now intervene in special needs cases with veterinary aid; and, hopefully, prevent people from making the heart-breaking decision to give up their pets, or worse, be forced to euthanize four-legged family members because of financial distress.”
Community outreach, including a Fix-A- Feral program and free rabies vaccine clinics, is part of Last Hope’s mission, whereas assisting individuals with their owned pets occurs infrequently.
“Most of the donation money we work so hard to raise must be spent on the animals in our care. In the past we’ve been able to help a limited number of desperate, owned pets,” said Stuurman. “Because of the Banfield Foundation, Last Hope responded in two recent cases—Nelly, a young Sheltie who needed her cardiac ailment diagnosed, then a hole in her heart repaired surgically and Oreo an 8-year-old cat suffering from a urinary tract infection.”
Nelly and Oreo were given help and saved, with the hopes that many more pets can follow in their pawprints.
For more information on Last Hope Animal Rescue, visit www.lasthopeanimalrescue.org.
—Submitted by Last Hope Animal Shelter