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:

Nov 26, 2019

Where will Anne and Angel be on Thanksgiving Day?

Angel
Angel

According to the “2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress”, New Jersey had 10 in every 10,000 people experiencing homelessness or 6,048 individuals.  In the United States, 552,830 people were homeless on a single night.  How many have pets?  We estimate that there are over 138,000 pets with their homeless people.

Anne and her emotional support dog, Angel, have been living on the streets of Vineland, New Jersey for the past two months. Anne has had Angel for the last year and a half and states she looks and sounds like a cow. Angel has some separation anxiety because she had four different owners before Angel and Anne found each other.  Over the last few days the weather in New Jersey hit record breaking cold, wind chill, and snow. The news was calling it an “Arctic Blast” that should last for several days. Angel is 2 years old, extremely energetic and vocal that posed difficulty when trying to find shelter from the storm.

Luckily, Anne and Angel found an amazing volunteer at a “Code Blue Warming Center” to assist during the storm. When a code blue is called the homeless have access to shelters and drop in centers.  During storms like this one hitting the east coast the network admits as many people as possible.  Anne was able to get a spot with Angel, but her activity level and vocalization was problematic for other residents. The volunteer, Danielle, pulled resources together and found a local boarding facility that often works with domestic violence victims and their pets.  The facility agreed to take in Angel during the cold snap, but Angel needed to be vaccinated before she could be admitted.

Danielle called Pets of the Homeless™ and connected us with East Oak Animal Hospital who agreed to provide the required vaccinations at a discounted price. In less than two hours, Angel was receiving her vaccinations.  It was a win all around. Angel is safe and warm. Anne will stay in the shelter knowing Angel is being cared for and Pets of the Homeless™ gained a new veterinary partner. We are grateful for nonprofit volunteers like Danielle and amazing programs like Code Blue that assist our vulnerable populations and their pets.

The Holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends but for the homeless their pet may be their only companion.  While we are blessed with abundance many are not, you can help us help them by making a gift to “Feeding Pets of the Homeless”. 

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.