In December of 2007, after a couple of months with the shelter, I was inspired to create a program to highlight animals in need of extra medical care. It was something I was sure the people of my community and the fans of Española Valley Humane Society really wanted us to do…. try our very best to give every animal a chance. We tossed out different names and “Make A Difference” became the one that stuck.
This was part of the first email I sent:
“Our kennels and cages are FULL of animals, each special,each deserving of a home.
There are some, every once in a while, that I’ll call misfits.Maybe they have one eye or three legs…. Maybe they need some time to recuperate…. Or lifelong medications…. or just
something more. They are not your healthy bouncy puppy with a bow around its neck (although, make no mistake – we have those too!)
It is wrong to assume that there are no homes for these misfits. There are some people, like you and me, who – when the time is right – feel compelled to rescue an animal with special needs. The bond created is nothing less than pure gold.
But in the shelter world, time is of the essence. These misfits have a very short time and the likelihood of just the right rescuer coming to the shelter to see them is very slim.”
The animal that inspired us all was Bella.
She was a year or so old. A German Shepard Mix. 40 lbs. Found wandering on the road. Bella had a severe case of demodex mange. Half of her body had skin that was raw and scabbed. Demodex is completely treatable and not contagious. It is aggravated by stress… I am sure she had been braving the cold and eating out of trashcans. If she had the luxury of four to six
weeks of TLC, with daily oral treatment to kill the mange mites and manage the skin infection she coud be a new dog.
We found a wonderful foster home who kept her for many months. Take a look at the beauty she became:
Later she found a perfect home who loved her so very much. She was the “co-pilot” who went everywhere with the owner. We were all very saddened to learn that she developed seizures that got worse and worse. In spite of the best of medical care and multiple attempts to control the seizures, it was not possible.
The owners were completely heartbroken…. but they would not have had it any different. They were very glad to have given her what she deserved. A home that loved her until the end.
And that’s why we continue to do what we do……