In the past six months, the Lawrence Humane Society’s Crisis Pet Retention (CPR) program has helped more than 500 pets, the organization said this week.
The program launched in October 2020 to provide resources to pet owners experiencing crises “relating to poverty, houseleness, job loss, or other systemic issues and inequities,” according to the humane society’s website.
The donation-funded program aims to ensure that Douglas County residents don’t have to give up a family pet because of a financial hardship: “Over the years, our data shows that pet owners would choose to keep their pet if they were provided short-term help.”
“We understand financial circumstances alone are not reliable indicators of the capacity to love and care for a pet,” the website says.
The organization showcases some pets’ stories, such as that of Pluto, a pup who became very ill and needed costly care. Pluto had X-rays and exploratory surgery done to rule out an intestinal obstruction. He was eventually diagnosed with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.
Pluto stayed at LHS for 11 days getting IV fluids, medication and antibiotics to heal, but he finally got to go home with his dad.
“In the past when owners found themselves in a similar pet crisis, they were faced with two gut-wrenching decisions: euthanize their pet or surrender their pet to the shelter,” Pluto’s story says. “The Lawrence Humane Society is working to provide other solutions that allow pets and people to stay together whenever possible.”
There’s also the story of Sunny and Rocket, a cat and dog duo. They were able to go to foster homes for a few months while their mom sorted out a tough housing situation.
The CPR program can help with things such as pet deposits or pet rent, essential supplies, emergency veterinary care, behavior consulting, temporary boarding, and wellness care including spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations. The program can help get pet food to people who are homebound, and it can also help connect pets’ humans to other supportive services and resources.
Learn more about the program on LHS’s website. If you need to apply for assistance, there’s an online form to fill out. Call 785-856-0223 or email email@example.com with questions. The website also lists services and supplies that varying amounts of donations can provide, ranging from $15 for flea and tick preventive medicine to $1,000 for offsite emergency medical care.
Another resource available for pet owners is the pet pantry at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1245 New Hampshire St. It’s open from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays to distribute pet supplies and accept donations.
— Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-422-6363.