Saturday, November 29, 2008

St. Lucie Humane Society started fund for special-needs animals

The St. Lucie County Humane Society started a new fund to help special-needs animals brought to the shelter by families facing financing difficulties.

The Buddy's Special Need Fund all started with Buddy, a 3-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, after his family turned him into the shelter when they were moving and could no longer afford the medication for his seizures.

"There's a 10 percent spike of family's turning in their pets because they can no longer afford them," said Frank Andrews, the society's executive director. "The biggest thing is families relocating having to find jobs and haven't lined up accommodations for their pets."

The fund is designed for families who come to the shelter saying they can't afford their pet's care any longer because of a special condition. The fund will help pay for the animal care so the pet can stay with its family, Andrews said.

The fund also will help pay for the animals in the Humane Society's care that have special conditions, Andrews said.

Skin conditions, heartworms, seizures, joint problems and more all fall under the umbrella of special-needs problems.

The fund initially started when a donor gave $250 to start the fund after meeting Buddy and hearing his story.

"As the fund grows, we can do bigger and better things," Andrews said.

Cartographic specialist for the County's Property Appraisers Office, Joyce Ingersoll, who has been doing the pet calendars for the Humane Society of St. Lucie County for the past five years, asked Property Appraiser Jeff Furst if the 2009 calendar proceeds can go toward the fund.

With Furst's approval, the fund now has an additional $1,500.

The most surprising donation thus far has been an older car.

Fortunately, Buddy was adopted Tuesday afternoon after spending seven weeks at the shelter with no seizures. A veterinarian from West Palm Beach adopted him and the Humane Society will pay for the first three months of Buddy's seizure medication thanks to the fund that was started in Buddy's name, said David Robertson, spokesperson for the Humane Society of St. Lucie County.


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