In the first days of 2023, Scooter arrived at Española Humane paralyzed in his hind end after a traumatic event broke one of his ribs and displaced his spinal discs. After he was paralyzed, a home “euthanasia” had been attempted with an overdose of fentanyl.

Bridget Lindquist, Española Humane’s long-time Executive Director, said, “This little ten-pound terrier miraculously survived these traumas – he fought to live, and we knew we needed to give him a fighting chance. Our team refused to give up on him.”

After days in ICU, Scooter was placed in medical foster care so he could rest and start to recover in the comfort of a home. Through months of medication, a suite of donated therapies including acupuncture, underwater treadmill, laser, and electric stimulation – plus time and love, the greatest of all healers – Scooter started to recover. “The first movement was in his tail, and ever since then, he’s never stopped wagging it,” Lindquist said.

One day, Scooter stopped scooting: he hoisted himself up and placed one hind foot in front of the other. He was wobbly, but triumphant. Scooter was recently the star of the shelter’s annual gala event, Fur Fest, where he walked – yes, walked – the red carpet.

Scooter’s story highlights the profound lack of resources in this rural community struggling with poverty and drug abuse. “What makes Española Humane special is our ability to provide so many free services, and for that, we are grateful to all of our supporters, partners, and volunteers who make it possible for us to meet the great needs of pets – and people – in Rio Arriba county and the surrounding Pueblos.”

“As an open admission shelter, our doors are always open to our communities in desperate need of help,” Lindquist explained. “Spay and neuter surgeries are free, vaccines and microchips are free, we never charge a fee when pets are surrendered, and we even go door to door in targeted communities, including homeless camps, to offer free care, supplies, and food. And yes, we also offer compassionate end of life services for owned pets, so pets won’t suffer like Scooter did.”

Española Humane has been nicknamed “The Little Shelter That Could,” but the organization makes a huge impact with these free services: in the month of October alone, the clinic team provided 608 free spay/neuter surgeries, and the service also includes free vaccines and microchips, and the team is on target to complete over 7,000 free surgeries for the year of 2023. To manage the high volume of homeless pets, the shelter has had to get creative with innovative initiatives, like the Paws in the Pen program, where shelter underdogs are paired with inmate trainers for an 8-week training program at the Penitentiary of New Mexico; the Puppy Patch adoption center at Ojo Santa Fe resort; the door-to-door Pet Amigos team; a robust transfer program with sister rescues, flying pets from coast to coast and driving vans of pups and kitties to neighboring states; and the shelter’s foster program places over 70% of pets in foster homes before adoption, which increases the capacity of the shelter to care for homeless animals.

To help Española Humane help even more pets, a team of donors has stepped up to match, dollar for dollar, every donation made in the month of November, up to $325k. Donations can be made on the website or email the Director of Giving [email protected]

“Thank you,” Lindquist said. “We are thankful every day for all of you.

ALL DONATIONS MATCHED during the month of November: