Animal shelters do everything they can to help animals in need, but they can’t do it alone. Shelters have a lot of expenses — to provide their animals with food, beds and medical treatments — and often rely on donations from their supporters.
Recently, one shelter became overwhelmed after taking in a group of huskies rescued from a breeding operation. But thankfully, their community rallied to help them pay for their care — including some kind children, who started a lemonade stand for the cause.
Huskies rescued from breeder
Last week, the Norfolk SPCA, in Virginia, received a group of huskies from a third-party rescue.
The huskies had been saved from a backyard breeder in North Carolina, and needed a lot of care — but their sudden arrival caught the SPCA off guard.
“We were completely caught off guard because it wasn’t planned. There were no arrangements. We were over capacity,” Executive Director Kimberly Sherlaw told 13 News Now.
‘Caught completely off guard’
Not only were they at capacity, but the cost of caring for the three neglected huskies was an estimated $25,000. “These dogs have been neglected, both physically and mentally, and will require thousands in medical care,” the Norfolk SPCA wrote on Facebook.
The dogs included three adults and one puppy. Two more dogs were later brought in from the same breeding facility, but had to be euthanized due to poor health. All of the dogs were in rough shape, requiring extensive medical treatments.
“We realized very quickly that the puppy was the number one emergency, based on how frail the puppy was,” Sherlaw said. “But the adults were all in visible rough shape. They were exhausted, they were weary … We did run initial diagnostics to find that they were riddled with parasites, whipworms, hookworms – all are heartworm positive.”
Kids help raise funds
With the dogs requiring so much care, the SPCA put out an emergency appeal for donations. Thankfully, people came through — including one group of kindhearted children.
Siblings Lennon, Lily and Logan Smith, three animal-loving kids from Chesapeake, Virginia, heard about the huskies and decided to help out in a classic childhood way: by starting a lemonade stand.
“I wanted to help the huskies so they would feel all better,” Lennon told 13 News Now.
The siblings handed out flyers around the neighborhood and stood out selling lemonade. It was a success: they surpassed their initial $500 goal and started aiming for $1,000.
“I’m so proud of them,” Colby Smith, the kids’ dad, said. “It’s great that they’re getting together, especially working together as a team, it’s great to see that for sure.”
The family said they planned to donate all their proceeds to the SPCA on Monday. It may not be the whole $25,000, but these kids were definitely a big help in getting these dogs the care they need.
And it’s just one example of the outpouring of support the Norfolk SPCA has received for their huskies. On July 15, they wrote that they were “overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.”
Huskies getting medical treatment
The donations are already going a long way in changing these dogs’ lives. They wrote about a husky named Lillian, “the most distraught of the Huskies upon intake,” but has made great strides in her health.
They wrote that their veterinary team removed mammary tumors, the “direct result of years of breeding and nursing,” performed a biopsy to screen for cancer and treated her heartworm infection.
The medical treatments have turned this once-distraught husky’s life around: “She’s even managed a few tail wags for the veterinary staff,” the SPCA wrote.
We’re so glad these huskies are starting to get the care they desperately need. Thank you to everyone who helped the SPCA during this difficult time — especially these kids and their inspiring lemonade stand.
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