Hope, April, 2000
Hope was found by a local lake in Deltona, FL. This lovely black Lab had a big problem. Her tail looked awful; the last 3-4 inches were hairless and abscessed. The lady who found Hope kept her for a couple of days while trying to find the dog's owner. A neighbor was interested in adopting Hope and took her to a vet to get her checked out. The vet determined that Hope was also heartworm positive and the tail would have to be amputated. He could not say what may have caused the injury. The good news were that those were Hope's only health problems; her weight was good, and her appetite as it should be. The vet put Hope on antibiotics for three days prior to amputating her tail.
Since the cost for the surgery and the heartworm treatment was very high, the vet told Hope's prospective owner about LABMED and suggested she contact us for assistance. LABMED was glad to be able to help this gentle friendly girl. The bad part of Hope's tail was amputated. The heartworm treatment was to be done after Hope had recovered from the surgery.
But it was not to be. Five weeks after Hope was found by the lake, her owner surfaced and claimed her. The owner had been away and when she returned she saw the signs Hope's rescuer had posted. Hope's name was Baby. The rescuer told LABMED she was sad having to give up Hope because her son was very attached to the dog already. But Hope's owner told her that her young daughter really missed the dog. The rescuer passed on all bills and information to Hope/Baby's owner with the understanding that the owner would pay all charges and have Hope treated for heartworm.
Another four weeks passed before we heard about Hope again. Her owner had taken her to the vet who did the tail surgery to schedule the heartworm treatment and told him that LABMED would pay for all treatment. The vet notified LABMED of this and we contacted Hope's owner. We explained that even though we had approved funding for Hope while she was in the care of the rescuer, we cannot fund "owned" dogs; her reclaiming Hope meant the end of LABMED's involvement.
Sadly Hope's owner did not return for the heartworm treatment. LABMED paid for the tail amputation since that was done when Hope was in a rescue situation and we do not believe that the vet should be "stuck with the bill". We can only hope now that this sweet Labrador will get the treatment she needs.
LABMED has funded many dogs with heartworm which can so easily be prevented by giving the dog monthly medication. We come to care about the dogs that apply for funding and it is very sad when circumstances prevent us from helping to get them healthy and settled in a responsible home. You can help by educating other dog owners about heartworm prevention and responsible pet ownership. For more information, visit Colby's Page.
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