Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I couldn't sleep last night and I woke up this morning haunted with Honey's face. Honey is a 1 year old aussie mix who was found lying by the side of the road up at Leech Lake Reservation yesterday. Would today be the day we would have to authorize the euthanasia of this sweet pup because we had no place for her to go?

Our efforts to help the animals up at Leech Lake Reservation began last May, and what emerged was Leech Lake Legacy, a collaborative effort to help the dogs and cats at Leech Lake Reservation. Since last May we have been able to give 270 animals a second chance in large part due to our partnership with the Animal Humane Society (AHS) and MnPAW (Minnesota Partnership for Animal Welfare).  Several other shelters and rescues (Animal Allies, Tri-County Humane Society, Carver Scott Humane Society, Pet Haven, Act V Rescue & Rehabilitation) have played a large role in helping these precious animals. 

Yesterday my friend Jenny got the call from the Leech Lake Reservation Animal Control Officer (ACO) about Honey.  She authorized the okay for Honey to be taken to the vet, but all we could authorize was for her to be checked out by the vet, given pain meds and kept overnight as we would explore options for a shelter or rescue to take her. Our medical fund had been depleted. LLL has not done any fundraising in the past. A generous donor gave us $500 after he was touched by the work we are doing up at the Reservation. A few days ago we authorized for a young pup Puckett to be seen by the vet. He was coughing up blood and we feared parvo. The vet in Bemidji gave us substantial discounts -- tested him for parvo, put him on IV fluid and hospitalized him overnight. Puckett bounced back the next morning (but he remained at the vet for a few days). The vet tech fell in love with Puckett and offered to foster him for two weeks until we would be able to bring him into AHS.

Leech Lake Legacy has been extremely fortunate to have such a great partnership with AHS. They have taken in so many injured animals (including Gemini who arrived on transport this past weekend with a head injury and had surgery on Sunday). With the 107 dogs they recently took in from a hoarding case in Bemidji they are simply overwhelmed and unable to take Honey right now. In the animal rescue world, it's a balancing act ... your heart wants to save every animal but the reality of resources and constraints come into play ... last July we took in Cass from Leech Lake Reservation. He was a 7 year old dog who was surrendered by his owner and traveled 7 miles back to his home where he wasn't wanted, and brought back to the impound. We learned Cass had cancer. I pulled him from AHS and brought him to my home for 24 hours so that he could experience what being loved felt like, and after being blessed with his presence in my home, took him to my vet (Lake Harriet Vet) and held him while he crossed over rainbow bridge. My heart still aches for him but with an older dog with cancer, finding a rescue to take him wasn't possible.

And last night, Jenny and I struggled with the reality that we may have to give the okay for Honey to be euthanized. We have no money in the LLL medical fund. We haven't found a rescue or shelter able to commit to taking Honey. She's in pain from having been hit by a car and needs medical attention and most likely costly surgery.

This morning I woke up to an email from a fellow volunteer at Pet Haven. They have a possible foster, but no commitments at this point. Can I give them a couple more days? My gut screamed out at me ... I can't give up on Honey ... not yet. With no money in the LLL medical fund, Jenny and I make the decision to transport her to the cities today. Volunteer extraordinaire Nancy O is picking her up from the clinic at 8:30 and bringing her to Motley where another volunteer will pick her up and transport her into the cities. It's Valentines' Day ... I simply can't give the okay to euthanize Honey today, not when there's a door cracked open. So Honey is coming to the cities today. I will pay for her to get meds and be boarded at a hospital for a couple days. If by the end of Thursday, we haven't been able to find a rescue that can take her and provide her with the care and medical attention she needs, then I know that I may be at her side, like I was with Cass, as she crosses Rainbow Bridge.

For now, I just pray that I won't have to do that on Thursday.

Yesterday I also realized that we need to raise money for the LLL medical fund so that we can help the Pucketts and the Honeys (I'm hopeful that there will still be a happy ending to this story).

Please consider making a donation to Leech Lake Legacy's medical fund. You can write a check out to 'Leech Lake Legacy' and mail it to:

Leech Lake Legacy
P.O. Box 385454
Bloomington, MN 55438

I made the following video in memory of sweet Cass, who will forever live in my heart ...

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