Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thoughtfully rehoming the most unwanted and neglected animals ...

Yoda ... arriving from Red Lake reservation
on July 31, 2011.
A severe case of mange, dehydration,
coccidia, giardia and an eye infection
A couple weeks ago I started fostering with Act V Rescue, an organization dedicated to taking in and re-homing the most unwanted and neglected animals. Act V is unique in that they specifically take in the animals with serious injuries and/or illnesses.

Karen Good of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue says "In 2010 Act V took in 36 dogs and 2 cats from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue of which all had severe orthopedic and other major medical needs including broken legs, heartworm, parvo, intestinal blockage, neonatal pups, puppy strangles, and others suffering advanced malnutrition and digestive problems. 

We relied on Act V and contacted them whenever sick and injured animals arrive at the shelter. They always responded ad never turned us down."

I transported Yoda (photo above) on July 31st when he first arrived into the cities to Dr. Vicki's clinic. My heart broke to see this fragile puppy ... his skin warm to the touch. I had never seen a dog with such a severe case of mange yet I could feel the life and spirit inside of him. I was grateful he was going to Act V Rescue and would be under the care of Dr. Vicki and placed into a loving foster home.

Yoda giving Smiley a kiss ...
Smiley was taken into Pet Haven's foster program
and has since been adopted.

Yoda ... six weeks later!!
A very handsome boy!!
And then today, I had the opportunity to experience first hand again how incredible Act V Rescue is and how dedicated and committed they are to truly helping the most unwanted and neglected animals. An older dog, Orson, was scheduled to arrive on transport today from up north. In our efforts to help the dogs up at Leech Lake Reservation we have also been helping dogs from the Bemidji impound. Volunteer extraordinaire Nancy O has been, and continues to be, an advocate for the dogs that land in the Bemidji impound and pulls them out before they are euthanized. She reached out to Jenny Fitzer to see if Orson could be taken in by MnPAW and into the Animal Humane Society. Jenny arranges for Orson to be taken in by AHS. Meanwhile, she forwards to me an email sent by Nancy O:
Orson arrives at the clinic
"Hope you received the photo of Orson that Tom sent from his phone. Orson is a cutie, an older dog, and he needs a lot of work. He is loaded with mats and needs a good grooming and bath. But it looks like he needs a lot of dental care as well and am hoping that this is something MnPAW/AHS offers. He really does have a nice sweet personality, but is plenty stinky and a lot of that is coming from his mouth. Poor guy ... I am betting he cannot eat hard morsels of food and am betting that is all that was served in the impound. Perhaps he will need some tooth extractions and then soft foods the remainder of his days. For all the goodness his former family did not offer him, I hope he find it at AHS and can get the medical attention he needs. Even the officer at the impound is pulling for Orson. I held him when we picked him up as he was shaking so much, and now he is riding with Nancy B on her front seat. Please keep me posted on the assessment results from AHS. And thank you for accepting him into the program too."
Orson ... filled with mats and maggots
After receiving this email from my friend Jenny I forwarded it to the founders of Act V Rescue. At the end of the day Dr. Vicki sends me an email and tells me to have Jenny swing by her clinic so she can take a look at Orson so she can check him out. I meet Jenny and Orson at Dr. Vicki's clinic. The horrible condition of this sweet boy is beyond words. He was shaking and shivering. His teeth were all rotted and packed with tartar. Most of them will probably have to be extracted. His body was filled with mats and as Dr. Vicki started to shave him we discovered his poor, weak body was infested with maggots. As he was shaved down we saw a swarm of maggots nesting in Orson's body. Maggots were wiggling out of his fur and dropping onto the table. There was an odor and stench from maggots and other critters that had found a home in his poor body that was beyond anything I had ever experienced. All the while Orson is being so patient and gentle and quietly crying. As Dr. Vicki and her staff work to make Orson better and to remove the mats and the maggots, I am rubbing his head and trying to comfort him. Jenny is holding the trash bag to collect the squirming maggots. 
Just some of what is shaved off of poor Orson
It was Orson's lucky day today! He ended up at Dr. Vicki's clinic and into the arms of Act V Rescue ... over and over I have heard stories and witnessed how they take in the most beaten down animal, both physically and emotionally. They did it when they took in the 3 puppies i'm fostering (Legacy, Lenny and Lazarus) .... they did it again today with Orson. There wasn't even a question in Dr. Vicki's mind of whether or not she was going to help Orson ... this was one of the worse cases she has seen and in the true spirit of Act V Rescue & Rehabilitation, they took this poor boy into their foster program. Dr. Vicki doesn't have a foster lined up for the sweet boy right now so after his bath he got to ride in style next to Dr. Vicki and will spend some time at her home till a foster home opens up. 
Orson after his bath ...
Thank you Act V Rescue for your selfless acts and for all you truly do for the most unwanted and neglected animals. 

Because Act V works with animals in the most desperate situations, they are always in need of money to provide medication, surgery, medical care and/or rehabilitation. All of their funding comes from donations and 100% of each dollar goes to caring for animals. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Act V Rescue please click on 'Donate to caring for animals' on their website,

For more photos of Orson click here.

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