Apr 13, 2020

The Need During These Uncharted Times

Spirit
Spirit

During this unprecedented pandemic, we are committed to providing pets that belong to the homeless with emergency veterinary care across the country.

Our mission, for those of you who are not familiar with our national nonprofit:

Feeding Pets of the Homeless believes in the healing power of companion pets and of the human/animal bond, which is very important in the lives of many homeless. They find solace, protection and companionship through their pets. They care for their pets on limited resources so they themselves have less. Our task, nationwide, is to feed and provide basic emergency veterinary care to their pets and thus relieve the anguish and anxiety of the homeless who cannot provide for their pets.

So what is happening to the homeless during the COVID-19 ???

  • With the fear of contracting COVID-19 many homeless have no place to “shelter in place”. 
  • Homeless shelters are not taking in new clients.
  • Larger cities are opening up hotel and motel rooms to the homeless but “no pets”.
  • Homeless are told not to leave their encampments and have no way of getting food or supplies; they rely on the generosity of nonprofits, faith organizations and the public to bring it to them. 
  • Feeding Pets of the Homeless requires verification of homelessness before we can assist with emergency veterinary care.  Most agencies that used to do it are now closed. 
  • Homeless are hearing rumors and are fearful their pet has contracted the virus when the pet is vomiting or has diarrhea. 
  • Homeless have limited access to current news.  
  • Homeless are more stressed than usual when calling for help. 
  • Homeless are more concerned about their pets than themselves.

Here are a couple of examples from callers today that have pets:

Client stated that sometimes when the weather is bad she could stay with a friend, but people are no longer willing to take her in due to the virus. Sometimes a group gets together to pitch in for a hotel, but she isn’t able to find anyone to pitch in with her. Now staying in a tent for the last month.

Client a carpenter/landscaper lost his job and is unable secure any more work, currently living out of his RV for the last 9 months.

This week we have 23 cases that are being treated in CA, WA, OK, OH, MT, CO and NV. We have a network of over 960 hospitals in 50 states.  Most hospitals have new protocols in place that clients and the homeless must call and then wait in the parking lot for staff to come out and take the pet.  People are not allowed in the building.  This causes separation anxiety for the human and the animal. 

Case Managers are working at home and our voice mail is working.  So if you know of homeless in your community, let know we are here to help with emergency veterinary care.  The number is 775-841-7463.

Your support has been and is awesome.  If you are a recurring donor please consider increasing your monthly giving even by $5.

As a reminder. . .  The law allows an above-the-line income tax charitable deduction up to $300 ($600 for a married couple) even if you don’t itemize your 2020 income tax return. The break is available to people who claim the standard deduction, which is $12,400 for singles or $24,800 for married-filing jointly in 2020. This provision was inserted specifically to encourage charitable giving this year.

 With sincerely gratitude, 

Genevieve Frederick, Founder

Links:

Mar 17, 2020

Virus Crisis

With the uncertainty and the rapidly changing issue of the coronavirus, we at Feeding Pets of the Homeless will continue to help the pets of the homeless to the best of our ability.  All of our staff are now working from their homes.

Medical researchers say the people currently homeless across the United States are more susceptible to contracting the disease caused by the coronavirus because of the cramped quarters in shelters, the sharing of utensils and the lack of hand-washing stations on the streets.

Chronically homeless people often have underlying medical conditions and lack reliable health care, meaning that, once infected, they are far more likely to get very sick or die. One study last year found that 30 percent of homeless people had chronic lung disease.

Many of you may have seen news reports concerning a dog living in Hong Kong that was tested positive for COVID-19.  The dog lived with a human who has been ill with confirmed COVID-19.  At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that animals can spread coronavirus or infect humans; however, this situation is being carefully monitored.

January 2020 - Hector lives next to the railroad tracks in San Jose, CA.  He has been homeless for 15 years.  He collects cans to be recycled as his only income. He has a bicycle for transportation.  His dog, Gordy, an 8-month-old female Pit Bull Terrier was crying out in pain and losing weight.  He found Feeding Pets of the Homeless™ on the internet and called us.  We verified he is homeless and approved an exam at partner hospital in the area.

After the examination, the veterinarian called our Case Manager and recommended sedation, x-rays, bloodwork, fecal test, and urinalysis.  We approved a basic blood panel and x-rays.  Nothing was found in the testing.  Gordy was given an appetite stimulant, pain medications and antibiotics. The vet said Gordy was not eating much, not vomiting, pooped normal, owner says barely walking, painful in back area, phlegm, but that the bloodwork is OK, pet losing weight, is 50Lbs.  X-rays - lower spine, changes, minimal, hips fine, kneecaps OK. Chest, mild allergic bronchitis, not enough to cause pain & weight loss.  No infection, no anemia, kidneys normal, no evidence of tic borne disease.  We assisted with $578, which included blood sample collection, biohazard waste disposal, 7 x-rays, sedation and IDEXX blood work.  We also helped with $77, which included medications and appetite stimulant.

Gordy was not getting better.  Our Case Manager was communicating with Hector via email as his English was very broken, but he could write clearly.  He wrote, “I’m devastated, sad, angry and I feel like I failed her.  In 30 days, my 75 pound, strong, happy, loved, lovely puppy, became a sad, weak, lost skeleton with skin, dying puppy.”   

We approved a second opinion at a hospital in Silicon Valley.  We gave them our Case Manager’s cell phone number for the after-hours visit.  Hector took Gordy in on a Saturday, and unfortunately, the message of our cell number was not relayed.  They tried calling the office when we were not in.  A good Samaritan helped that day by paying $303 for meds, x-rays, and pain management.  Gordy was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Our Case Manager followed up to see how Gordy was doing. 

Hector responded that he “just got another ticket from the police for living in the rail road and gave me 48 hrs. to move away or I'm gonna be arrested, she's not gonna survive with this cold living outside, she is barely making it under this roof, so I'm not gonna exposed her to the cold to die, I'm gonna be arrested and deported, they already told me that in the last court. Again thank you, you did your best and I appreciate so much your help, I'm gonna keep her alive and with me the longer I can. Thanks.” Hector

A few weeks later, we also asked how Gordy was doing.  Hector responded, “She's not doing well, she keep losing weight, the pneumonia hasn't improve, again she had conjunctivitis and some other issues but the weight is really impressive. I keep giving her the medicines but if she keeps worsen her condition, I'm gonna have to take her again to the doctor. The sheriff didn't showed up to kick us out, so she is sleeping in a warm place. I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you so much for your humanity. I'll never forget your help. Thanks.” Hector

We urged Hector to take Gordy back to the vet and approved a recheck.

After the exam, the veterinarian said Gordy’s eyes and respiratory were worse, she was not eating, was weak, and not responding to the meds.  She was not feeling well at all and had a fever.  The vet recommended hospitalization, chest x-rays, ultrasound.  He also mentioned she was thin, lungs bad, and recommended supportive care with a low estimate of $5,000 and high of $6,000.  We approved $400 in remaining funds towards this treatment.

We assisted with a total of $808 for Gordy.  We believe Gordy has passed over the rainbow, as we have not had contact with Hector.

We appreciate your support to our mission during these trying times.

Be safe.

Our prayers are with the world.

Sincerely,

Links:


Attachments:
Jan 24, 2020

Emergency Veterinary Cases Increase

Buggy
Buggy

Every day we see an increase of homeless callers asking for our help.  In 2019, our case managers took over 6,900 calls. This will help explain:  In an official UN letter to the US written in March 2019 - More than 7,400 families are evicted in the US every day, resulting in the eviction of millions ever year.  Rents in the US increased by 22 percent on average between 2006 and 2014, while average incomes decreased by six percent.  This data has increased over time.  

Jerry is disabled and homeless living in his car for a year and a half in the Provo Utah area.  We verified his homelessness with an advocate at a local food bank.  He called Pets of the Homeless™ concerned about Buggy, his four-year-old spayed female Beagle mix who was sneezing blood.  We approved an examination at a local participating network veterinarian.

After the exam, it was determined that Buggy had a piece of grass in her nostril.  The veterinarian gently pulled it out and we approved antibiotic and steroid injections.  We assisted with $210.20 (after a discount) and we also had Buggy’s vaccinations updated. 

Erica is a homeless woman who stays in her truck for the past 7 months in Oroville, CA.  She called Feeding Pets of the Homeless™ about her dog, Chevy, an 8-month old female Pit Bull Boxer mix who was in labor but hadn’t delivered puppies for over 24 hours.  She was at a veterinarian who began an emergency cesarean section.  We verified her homelessness with paperwork as well as photos of her living situation in her truck.

We pledged $500 towards the surgery which included fluids, anesthesia, medications, a spay and after care.  One puppy did not survive but three did.

We heard from Erica and received this photo.  Erica wrote, “Chevy’s doing fine, she is just fine little tired, but a great momma. Thank you so much for helping us save her.  Your organization is a blessing. Homeless people are so often overlooked by people and the same goes for homeless animals. These same animals are sometimes the only things that keep homeless people going and keep them company or warm at night. Keep doing the work you're doing, we need more organizations like yours.”

We could not have helped Chevy and Buggy without the help of our generous veterinary partners or supporters like yourself.

With sincere gratitude,   

Chewy and pups
Chewy and pups

Links:

 
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