Twelve-year-old, English Cocker Spaniels Ruthie and Katie are getting a second chance at life via The Greener Side Haven’s “Seniors Helping Seniors Forever Foster Program,” made possible thanks to a generous grant award from The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. These senior girls are the inaugural members of The Greener Side Haven’s new program initiated to address the identified needs of (1) decreasing pet abandonment, and (2) increasing service to the community by meeting the need of underserved senior citizens for companionship and unconditional love from a pet without the worry about cost of care.
Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, Ruthie and Katie may never have gotten this second chance. They were the much loved pets of a husband and wife who were stricken by cancer. First, the wife contracted pancreatic cancer. She was in remission when her husband was diagnosed with cancer, but while she was taking care of him, her cancer returned. Her husband did not survive his battle with cancer, and after his passing she was faced with returning to the cancer center in Arizona where she was originally treated. Believing her own prognosis to be grim, and seeing no other alternative for Ruthie and Katie, the wife made the heart-wrenching decision to have them euthanized by the vet who had cared for them for years. Despite both Ruthie and Katie having a number of health issues– including, for Ruthie, glaucoma and dry eye; for Katie, bilateral ear infection and open sores from papilloma tumors; and for both, allergies, multiple lipomas (benign fatty tumors), and horrible teeth – the vet believed that these older girls could have many good years ahead of them and talked the owner into relinquishing ownership instead of having them “put to sleep.” Knowing Julianne Jackson and The Greener Side Haven for years, the vet then transferred Ruthie and Katie into the care of The Greener Side Haven. Ruthie and Katie were matched with a wonderful “Forever Foster” couple who live in Crystal River, and both girls have settled happily and comfortably into their new “forever” home.
Ruthie and Katie have received their rabies shot, a heartworm test, and allergy shots, and have had bloodwork done to ensure that they are able to undergo dentistries (under anesthesia). They are getting weekly medicated baths for their skin conditions and are on a very expensive prescription diet. Their new “Forever Foster” parents do not have to worry about any costs, however, because The Greener Side Haven will be paying those costs.
The budget for the inaugural year of the “Seniors Helping Seniors Forever Foster Program” is $43,400, but only one-third of that amount has been raised so far. The rescues and volunteers at The Greener Side Haven are hopeful that The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay’s financial support and vision will inspire other philanthropists and philanthropic organizations to support this lifesaving endeavor as well.
Two Rescued 12-Year-Old English Cocker Spaniels, Ruthie (in foreground; black, white, and grey) and Katie (cream colored), are the inaugural members of The Greener Side Haven’s new “Seniors Helping Seniors Forever Foster Program;” their rescue and placement in the program was made possible thanks to a generous grant award from The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.