Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Help Homer!

I just wanted to take a moment to respond to a recent comment on this blog. "Alexis" writes:

Hey. I was wondering what would be the vet cost of the treatment for a dog like Homer? How much does it cost to treat all his health issues? How does this compare to the cost for doing the same for the average sato? When I move to Puerto Rico I want to help save satos but I don't know much about the cost involved. Thanks!

The cost of vet treatments vary depending on the health of the dog when we rescue him or her, as you can imagine. For Homer, we are looking at a vet bill of approximately $1000, possible more. For a relatively healthy sato, the vet bill can be anywhere from $100 (which is rare) to $300. Another issue is space to keep the rescued satos. ADLA does not have a shelter; instead, we use foster homes (if available) and/or board our rescued animals at a vet, which is also quite expensive. Some vets we have worked with, like Dr. Ramos, have been generous enough to allow us to board satos at a discounted rate. Still, if an animal has a contagious ailment and has to be boarded for, let's say, one month, boarding costs alone may amount to $200-300. Needless to say, rescuing animals in need is not cost-efficient. Without donations/grants and regular contributors, the satos of Puerto Rico would be helpless.

On that note, we are still desperately seeking donations for Homer. To refresh your memory, Homer was rescued in the beginning of June. He was a long-time resident of Los Machos Beach; he was also the "one I left behind," or so I felt when I left Puerto Rico back in September 2008. Homer is a gentle, submissive, and sad black lab mix that miraculously still has the ability to trust and love.

During my second encounter with Homer, I had to cut and remove pieces of an old leather collar from his neck; that is, whoever abandoned him did not remove or loosen his collar during his growth spurt as a puppy, causing the collar to literally grow under his skin. Homer simply sat in place while I removed chunks of leather from his neck, licking the air in submission, and hoping that my intentions weren't to harm him more than he had already been harmed. This dog had made me cry on several occasions, partly because of what the dog had evidently been through before we met and his pathetic demeanor, but primarily out of anger. This dog has been treated like a rodent for most, if not all of his life, but he still retains the ability to be the unconditional lover that we seek in animal companions. I could have done anything I wanted to Homer when I was removing his skin-engulfed collar, but he showed no aggression. This animal is amazing and warrants our help and support to start a life. He is approximately five years old, leaving a lot of time to love and be loved.

Thanks to Olivia Burris, his first sponsor, we were finally able to remove Homer from Los Machos Beach. He is currently recovering from several health problems, including heartworm, anaplasmosis, ehrlichia, entropic eyes, and sarcoptic and demodectic mange. We knew Homer was going to be a "doozie" of a rescue, but he is destined for greatness. I'm working on finding Homer a home in my neck of the woods (possibly for selfish reasons...can you blame me?). Let's get this boy on his feet and out to San Diego.
Please, donate what you can.
Thank you so much for reading,