My brother Rich and his wife were pretty busy with their four kids and an aging Golden (Retriever) they had unofficially dubbed kid #5. That's when they ended up doing something they swore up and down they'd never do - adopting another dog, a beagle who had essentially been found wandering the streets by one of their kids. A short time later, after taking the beagle to their vet for a routine check-up, they found out their new rescue actually had cancer, which my brother theorized was probably the reason why his owner (or owners) had let him loose to roam. The good news is that my brother and his wife got treatment for the dog (Yes, they brought him for chemo.) and he is now doing well. Unfortunately, however, people having to surrender, or even euthanize, their dog or cat because they can't afford the treatment is a major issue facing so many RI pet owners. (For the record, I could never put my head on the pillow at night if I kicked my dog, or cat, out of the house because he/she had cancer. That's seriously cold hearted stuff.)
Enter Russ Shabo of Friend Of Animals RI (or FAN).
I sat down with Russ for coffee recently and he told me all about the North Kingstown based, non-profit organization he helped found. It's mission? To aid pets and pet owners who are struggling financially in staying together in the face of serious illness or injury. (They also partner with other local animal charities and retailers to get pet food out to pets and owners in need - another pressing issue here in the Ocean State btw.)
After chatting with Russ, and stalking the FAN web site and FB Page, I will tell you that he works diligently to assist as many people and pets as possible - all with virtually no overhead of any kind. So, rest assured that your donations, and the grants they receive, go toward life saving treatments and/or meds and definitely NOT salaries (Everyone is strictly volunteer status.), office space (Russ works out of his house.), or even a company cell phone. Good to know, right? (I mean we've all heard those stories about charities where a huge chunk of the donations don't end up ever reaching those that the money was intended for.)
Even More About Friends Of Animals
Sick of seeing sad stories about animal cruelty in your Facebook News Feed? Me too! Check out this sampling of some of the happy stories about animals on the road to recovery, thanks in large part to a helping hand from FAN:
Quote: "Saving one pet won't change the world, but surely the world will change for that one pet..."
November Initiative: This month, Pet Valu of East Greenwich is holding a pet food drive - Their annual Thanks For Giving: You buy, they donate. - to support FAN's efforts to get it to those pets and owners who sadly cannot afford to purchase. You'll find displays of different foods to buy/donate at their registers.
Find Them Online: FriendsOfAnimalsInNeedRI.com
Like Them On Facebook: Facebook.com/animalsinneedri
Ciao For Now,
Photo Credits: Picture of my brother and his wife's rescue dog (in the thumbnail) is courtesy of his daughter. All other pictures are courtesy of Friends Of Animals In Need RI.