ECPR’s Clinic Staff Works Wonders With An Injured Dog

At Emerald City Pet Rescue, we are blessed with an amazing staff that all work together with passion, commitment, and unconditional love for our rescue animals. As we continue to expand at a fast pace so we can help more pets in need, we have had the good fortune to be able to bring a wonderful veterinary team on board. In just the short time that we have had our in-house clinic, the team has already come across triumphs, challenges, and even some heartbreak.
Today, we’d love to share a wonderful story about an incredible little dog with more heart and spirit than we can possibly imagine, and everything our veterinary team has done, and continues to do, in order to support this pup through her rough time. Their efforts are creative and compassionate, and we are proud and blessed to have them on board as an integral part of our rescue effort.
Little Gingersnap was found by a good Samaritan by the side of the road in California on June 17, 2017, and taken to Marysville Veterinary Hospital. Because of her extensive injuries, she was quickly transferred to a 24-hour speciality hospital, Valley Oak VCA in Chico.
Gingersnap had been hit by a car and her injuries were found to be quite severe. This poor, sweet girl had extensive amounts of skin torn off of her paws and both hind legs because the car that hit her dragged her across the pavement. So much skin was missing that her bones, tendons, and muscles were all exposed. Wounds that extensive can be quite painful and the road to healing from them comes with the risk of infection. Healing requires a LOT of patience from the dog while the wounds are cleaned, sterilised, and re-bandaged daily. I can’t imagine how painful that must be for her!

***TRIGGER WARNING, please be advised that these photos linked below are of Gingersnap’s initial leg injuries and they are very graphic in nature, click at your own risk!

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Thanks to our amazing veterinary team, Gingersnap did not need to have skin grafts to help heal her wounds. Instead, they decided on the innovative choice to use Manuka honey to keep her safe through her healing process. Manuka honey has been found to destroy bacteria that could otherwise infect open wounds. It also has bioactivities that help to boost the immune response, which helps new tissue grow and repair wounds. It also suppresses inflammation. How incredible is that!? Nature is its own miracle!
If that injury wasn’t bad enough, Gingersnap was also found to have a fractured bone in her hind foot, and the scariest part of all – she was pregnant. She was instantly put on pain relief medications, antibiotics, and fluids to help ease her suffering and keep her calm. An ultrasound was performed to check on the state of the puppies, and by the grace of nature; the pups had strong heartbeats and seemed okay! Amazing!
But, Gingersnap’s mammary glands were bruised, and one had to be removed. There were still some tough, scary decisions for the vets to make. Should they perform a c-section and deliver the pups immediately, or should they wait until they were born naturally in order to fix Gingersnap’s wounds? They decided to wait. Fortunately, they didn’t have to wait long!
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Gingersnap’s first puppy was delivered June 20th at 9:30 PM. Despite all of her injuries, she managed to then give birth to 4 healthy puppies who immediately began to nurse on her already wounded mammary glands. The poor girl had to undergo surgery to remove the severely damaged glands, but she was determined to use the ones she had left to continue nursing her pups. There was a concern at first that her puppies may have to be human-raised and bottle fed, but to everyone’s surprise, Gingersnap was determined to care for her puppies no matter what. One of our dedicated techs, Destiny, took Gingersnap home for a long weekend to monitor her progress and make sure she able to care for her pups.
Most dogs need to undergo anaesthesia to have wounds as extensive as hers cleaned and dressed daily, but Gingersnap wags her tail and patiently allows her wounds to be cleaned and re-dressed; a perfect little angel. Our staff began to dress her wounds with “designer bandages” with bright colors and fun designs, and she doesn’t even need a cone because she doesn’t try to chew on them at all, despite the itching and burning of her healing skin underneath.
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Gingersnap’s legs have healed up and the wounds are now closed. She has some scarring on her belly where some of her mammaries were removed. Her puppies are healthy, happy, and doing very well.
Gingersnap3A dog like Gingersnap is a true treasure, a walking, talking reminder of why we are all a part of this rescue. The courage, heart, and trust she has shown has blown us all away and touched us deeply in a way that none of us will ever forget. Every day she amazes us, every moment her kind eyes and wagging tail brings a smile to our faces. She will make the most wonderful pet once her puppies are grown and she is healed enough to be available for adoption, and the fact that her happy ending is at least within sight is such a rare miracle considering the condition she was found in.
Our veterinary staff pulled through for this dog by not only being creative and innovative on how to best heal her wounds, but the dedication, kindness, and love they have shown her is a level of commitment and compassion that we are beyond honored to have here at the rescue. They deserve credit for pulling together so quickly and giving Gingersnap the best chance possible to heal and succeed.
Gingersnap is a great example of why we do what we do. With compassion and dedication, our slogan reigns true; Love Can Save Lives!

Deena’s Happy Ending

Deena_PF2Deena is a sweet, wonderful Yorkie that has been with us here at Emerald City Pet Rescue for a handful of months. She came to us very fearful, but we could tell that more than anything, she desperately wanted to love and be loved. She needed to learn through positive daily interactions that she was now safe forever and our staff worked hard to show her that there was nothing to be afraid of. Slowly we watched this timid girl come out of her shell and begin to take treats from us, tolerate human touch, and then ask for pets. She went from cowering when approached to approaching those she learned that she could trust and asking them for attention.

Our staff does such wonderful work with the challenges some of our pets present when they first arrive, whether it be medical challenges, or behavioural/emotional. Our behavioralists guide our staff to work with our animals and help them gain confidence using practices by Sophia Yin using positive reinforcement, the “learn to earn” program, and more. We cater specific training plans to the animal’s individual needs, and with Deena, what she needed most from us was time, patience, and the gentle touch of kindness.

IMG_5151.JPGA potential adopter approached us with a lot of interest in adopting Deena. Because Deena is a flight risk as well as a climber/jumper, we had concerns that her potential adopter’s backyard fence simply wasn’t high enough for Deena to be safe in while romping in the backyard, but the adopter felt a special bond with Deena and very much wanted her. She hired a contractor to build her fence up higher so that Deena would be safe, and came in to visit with Deena in order to build a bond. When her home was ready, Deena was still available so she was able to then move forward with the adoption.

IMG_5154Our behavioralist Farrah took Deena to her new mom’s home for the home check. She was very touched by how relieved the adopter was, and she told us that Deena’s mom looked at her new dog and said, “She’s staying? She’s really mine?” Then she looked at Deena and said, “You’re finally home!”

We can’t express enough how much it meant to us that someone loved Deena enough to literally build her a safe yard, and to come and visit her regularly to build that crucial bond between them. Working in rescue can be tough on our hearts. We all bond with the animals that we care for and when we work extra hard to help an animal, seeing them find a home is both an amazing moment of triumph, and just a touch of sadness because although we know this is what we’ve been helping them work toward, we will still miss them. It helps so much to know that a special dog like Deena has an amazing adopter who has already gone above and beyond to meet her needs, we know that Deena is in safe and loving hands for the rest of her life. We’re so grateful to Deena’s new mom. Happy endings like this remind us of why we do what we do. Love can save lives!

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Girl Scout Troop Donates $300!

IMG_8778The wonderful thing about rescue is that there are so many ways to help out and get involved, and we feel very blessed to be a part of such a supportive and enthusiastic community.

Yesterday, we had a visit from Girl Scout Troop #45302, and they gave us an amazingly generous donation of $300! What a wonderful gift from young people, who already feel compassion for our animals and the desire to help.

Like this troop, there are so many ways for people to get involved and help our animals. If you can adopt, wonderful! If you cannot adopt, foster. If you cannot foster, our animals always need supplies and funds to help them on their way to finding their forever homes, and there’s no age limit on the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of these amazing rescue pets.

Thank you so much, Girl Scouts, for your wonderful and generous donation, and for caring about our animals and working hard to help them out. You’re making a difference in their lives and they know it!

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ECPR Offers Humane Education Curriculum to Elementary Students

IMG_8738One thing that we feel very strongly about here at Emerald City Pet Rescue is reaching out to the public. Recently our Education and Outreach Specialist, Bethany, has developed a Humane Education curriculum for elementary students and we recently had the first opportunity to visit the students enrolled in Dearborn Park International School’s Summer Staircase Program for three sessions. The students were split into three groups ranging from Kindergarten to fourth grade. Bethany designed a program that would encourage the students to think about compassion and empathy in regards to both animals and to the other people in their lives.

IMG_8736The first day of our visit, we taught “Intro to Rescue.” We discussed The Three R’s (Rescuing, Rehoming, Rehabilitating), we discussed some of our adoptable animals and their special needs, and then led into what it takes to care for those animals and to have compassion for them.

On our second visit, we introduced the students to some activities in regards to empathy and engaged them in a conversation and Q and A about understanding a person’s basic needs, an animal’s basic needs, and to compare what a human needs vs what an animal needs (and allowing them to discover that many of our needs are all the same!). We then provided them with hypothetical situations / scenarios and asked for their feedback on how they should respond to those things with empathy in mind, a word we incorporated deeply into the lessons with the hope that the students would take with them an understanding of how to identify and have compassion for the feelings of others. Some of the hypothetical scenarios we gave them were, “If you see someone on the playground making fun of or picking on someone else, what can you do to make that person feel better?” The kids responded with answers like, “Tell a teacher” and “ask that kid to play with me so they won’t feel sad and left out!” Hooray – they were understanding empathy!
We then moved on to animals. “What if you see a mama cat out searching for food so she can care for her kittens, and someone is throwing rocks at her? How do you think that cat would feel, and what can you do to help her and make her feel better?” The kids responded with, tell the person to stop, give the mama cat some food, etc. They were understanding that an animal has feelings too. Success!

At ECPR, we firmly believe that helping young people understand empathy and compassion for both their fellow human and animals alike, they will grow up to be happy, healthy, helpful, kind adults. Animals need our empathy and compassion, especially when they cannot speak for themselves.

Our third visit was the most fun for the students, we brought some dogs for them to meet! We taught them about properly approaching a dog, about always asking permission before trying to pet a dog, and how to be gentle and respectful of the dogs and their space. We got them into smaller groups and allowed them to meet and pet our dogs.

IMG_8731Although the students were young, I watched them light up when they understood something, I saw them connecting the importance of caring for an animal’s needs by realizing their basic needs are the same as our own (food, water, shelter, LOVE, being safe, etc.) and I feel confident that the lessons we did will help these students grow into adults that are compassionate toward animals.

We are fortunate enough to have more schools lined up for this lesson plan, and we also plan on expanding and developing more lessons for all ages. We understand that as a rescue, we strive to help the animals in our care of course, but the best way we can help ALL animals is to be involved in our surrounding community and to help educate people about the awesome responsibility of caring for animal’s needs and what it takes to keep them healthy and happy. The more confident and knowledgeable a person can be about animals, the more equipped they will be to decide if owning a pet is right for them, what kind of pet might best fit their lifestyle, and what an animals needs are.

IMG_8740If you are involved in a school or program and you think Humane Education would be a great fit for your students, please don’t hesitate to contact our Education and Outreach specialist at bethany@emeraldcitypetrescue.org 

We’re happy to work with you and design a curriculum that best fits your school and/or program! IMG_8745 IMG_8750 (1)

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Visit from the Bridges Program

IMG_8479Today, Emerald City Pet Rescue had the privilege of welcoming some wonderful members of Seattle Public School’s Swedish First Hill branch of the Bridges Program into our facility for an educational visit.

The Bridges program is designed for students with disabilities between the ages of 18-21. The vision of the program is to create a world where these young adults are given the tools to live their adult lives as independent, productive, and engaged community members. They aim to provide opportunities for them to build vocational, social, and independent living skills.

Our Education and Outreach Specialist, Bethany, along with our Volunteer Coordinator Austin, created a learning environment for these students that included “Intro to Rescue” where we discussed who we are as a unique rescue, where we rescue our animals from, and the steps we go through to rehabilitate them and to help them find safe, happy forever homes. Our wonderful trainer Skye then joined the lesson to do a training demo with a focus on respect and responsibility, with adoptable pup Barry, and the students were given the opportunity to join in and participate actively with the dog. The lesson ended with another adoptable dog Yuki being brought in for them to meet, as well as a few staff dogs (Emerald City Pet Rescue Ambassadors) Athena and Lily.

IMG_8485We are proud as a rescue to have had the opportunity to meet these wonderful young adults and to educate them about animal rescue. There is nothing more inspiring to us than young people having a passion for animals, and for us to be given the chance to hopefully inspire them to advocate for those in need.

A special shout-out and thank you to the teachers and the students of the Bridges Program who participated in today’s educational visit. We were happy to meet each and every one of you!

If you have a group or a class that would enjoy an educational visit to our rescue to learn about animal rescue, compassion-based training, and more, OR if you would like US to come to YOUR school or facility, please contact our Education and Outreach Specialist, Bethany, at bethany@emeraldcitypetrescue.org to arrange a visit!

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Pet Owners Appreciation Day : An Editorial

IMG_8092I’m not a huge fan of the word “owner.” I own my clothes, I own my phone, but do I own my pets? If anything, they own me! But in all seriousness, I prefer the term pet-parents, or even just parents. After all, I raised my pets, I care for my pets, I assume responsibility for my pets, and I love them. They are family.

Being a pet parent can be a roller-coaster ride. The “baby” months are often a lot of work. If you have a puppy, you’re constantly preoccupied with crate-training and/or potty training, teaching them what is okay to chew on and what is not, building trust as their pet-parent as well as making sure they have plenty of socialization with other people and other animals so they grow to be healthy, happy, safe, trusting adults, and so much more!  If you have a kitten, your hands will look like you got in a fight with a scalpel for a good few months while teaching Kitty that your body is NOT a scratching post! RIP curtains until kitty learns the appropriate places to scratch, and that toys are not the same as body parts. The truth is, every young animal relies on you to dedicate the time, love, and patience it takes to guide them.

IMG_8125Like a parent of tiny humans, your “job” as a pet-parent is never over. That animal will need you to care for them consistently and dependably every day of their life, but as a pet-parent, I can honestly say that the love and appreciation they give you back is worth every “accident” on the floor, every accidentally ruined curtain, and even the minutes of sleep you lose because you have to get up early and make sure your dog gets a short walk to poo and pee, or morning play sessions with kitty so they are not a bundle of mischievous energy while you are at work.

Being a pet parent can be inevitably heartbreaking. I got my first cat at eleven years old, and she was my best friend. Tinkerbelle and I had a bond that I struggle to find words to describe. One summer, I went to camp for four weeks and Tinkerbelle was left in my father’s care. An indoor kitty, she escaped past my father one day and hid under our gazebo. My dad was quite worried, and daily he would sit out there and try to coax her out, but she would not come to him no matter what he did. He left food and water for her every day, and sat by the gazebo every night faithfully until I arrived home. Immediately I went to the gazebo and called her, and she shot out from her tiny hiding place and right into my arms in five seconds. The look on my father’s face was priceless!

IMG_8139When I was in my twenties, Tinkerbelle started having many health problems and those problems extended to her kidneys. She got very sick, and to my horror, it was suddenly up to me to make a decision for Tinkerbelle; life without quality, or to end her pain and let her move on. That was one of the hardest choices I ever had to make. I saw with her and held her paw as she was put to sleep and I tried to be silent and supportive to her, but tears were streaming down my cheeks. She looked up at me moments before her life ended, and I knew she understood what was happening, and she wasn’t angry with me.

There was a part of me that was so hurt and empty that I didn’t know if I should ever get another pet, but as empty as I felt from Tinkerbelle’s passing, I felt just as empty not having pets because I knew so many animals out there deserve to be loved as much as I had loved her. When I felt the time was right, I went to a rescue with the intention of adopting another cat, but I ended up coming home with my first dog, Lily.

Taking that leap into being a pet-parent again after I lost my first best friend took a lot of courage on my end. I know that it’s quite likely I will outlive all of the pets in my home right now, and even though the thought of having to go through that pain again terrifies me, I have no regrets about having them with me now and loving and caring for them like they deserve. I admire every pet-parent who has faced loss, who has gone above and beyond to meet their pet’s needs, and who, despite all of those things, can’t imagine life being any other way.

Please take a moment, if you are a pet-parent, to remind yourself what an amazing gift you are giving your pets. If you are not a pet-parent, but you have a family member or a friend who is, tell them that it is Pet Owner’s Appreciation Day, and remind them that their pets love them very much.

So many pets are in need of forever homes. If you’re thinking about expanding your family, please consider adopting a rescue. The gift you give them is priceless, immeasurable, and so very worth it. Stop by your local shelter, or contact a rescue near you today :).

Last note : I may be biased, but here at Emerald City Pet Rescue, we have PLENTY of extremely wonderful pets waiting to find their forever homes! Check out our website at http://www.emeraldcitypetrescue.org

 

Community Outreach : Hilltop House Visit

IMG_7915A few months ago, Emerald City Pet Rescue began bringing dogs to a low-income senior housing center, Providence House at Pike Place Market. This type of outreach is near and dear to our hearts, it means a lot to us that we can help bring joy to people’s lives by giving them the opportunity to visit with some of our dogs, and it’s also wonderful for the dogs to meet new people, as well.

We were so pleased, in fact, with how our visits at Providence House have been going, that when we were approached by Karen Carlos, previous ECPR adopter and Services Coordinator for Hilltop House in First Hill about bringing some dogs for a visit, we were more than happy to set something up.

Today we brought seven dogs to Hilltop House for a visit. Three of the dogs that came with us are available for adoption, as well as a group of “alumni” dogs that have been adopted by a few of our staff members that came along for the visit. On the car-ride back to the rescue, we couldn’t help but discuss among each other how powerful and positive these visits are for everyone; the residents at the housing communities, the dogs, and even us; the staff! The therapeutic aspects of visiting with dogs is evident. Faces light up the moment a dog curls up into their laps, laughter, and smiles ensue when a dog wags their tail and asks to be petted. For the rescue dogs, positive interactions with new people in a new environment helps to build their confidence, and that makes them all the more adoptable. For the staff, it warms our hearts to look around and see human and animal making such an amazing, positive connection, and knowing that we had a part in making that happen. We are all devout animal-lovers and we feel it is our personal responsibility to advocate for our rescue animals. It means the world to us that we are able to share the joy these animals bring to our daily lives with others in the community, and we hope to continue to do more and more of these visits in order to spread joy and educate others on how amazingly appreciative and therapeutic adopting a rescue pet can be.

IMG_7917Thank you to Hilltop House for inviting Emerald City Pet Rescue into your residence and allowing us to share our wonderful pets with you. We hope to come back on a regular basis!

If you help organize a living community and you’d like to give your residents the opportunity to meet some rescue dogs, please contact us at 206 557 4661. We would love to do more and more outreach in our Seattle communities!

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