In animal rescue, organizations often get calls to assist animals in need from people they’ve never met. On this New Years Eve, there is a chance for the rescue community to pitch in and help one of their own – someone they know very well – save one animal that means the world to her mother.
For many years, Dana Deutsch has been on the frontlines helping animals in need in the Chicago-area and beyond. She has worked as the shelter manager at a large no-kill shelter, rescued animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina and more recently networked pets to other rescues in her role at North Chicago Animal Control.
She has rescued, networked animals in need to other rescues and pulled countless animals out of difficult situations. That often requires fundraising and connecting with many others to help animals that had no place else to turn. This week, it’s her mother’s dog that needs help.
Deutsch is now searching for resources to help Cassie who is battling a severe infection and almost died. While there are some resources available for shelters and rescues and a variety of ways to raise funds for those groups, individuals often have little recourse when faced with a health crisis involving their beloved four-legged family member.
Deutsch’s mother is elderly and her pets are her family in the rural community where she lives. The efforts to rescue Cassie and do what the family could do to save her all started after Deutsch’s mom had her own health crisis right before Christmas. She was hospitalized after taking a bad fall outside while walking her dogs.
Before she arrived in her mother’s small town to help, Deutsch learned that her mother’s beloved dog Cassie was also in a severe health state. Cassie had an abscess that was causing severe swelling and causing one of her eyes to protrude. She was in severe pain and unable to eat.
After receiving some help from a local vet, Deutsch drove Cassie to Fargo for more extensive treatment. Because Cassie was in too much pain to eat or take pain medications, Deutsch decided her best course of treatment was to get help for the dog closer to Chicago at the University of Wisconsin Veterinary School.
Deutsch’s mother has another dog and a cat in the house and the animals are her closest companions in the rural community where she lives. There also are limited veterinary resources there. After her mother agreed to let her take the dog for treatment, Deutsch brought the dog to her mother in the hospital for a visit.
“It was a heartbreaking sight seeing my mom sitting, on the floor, in the foyer of a hospital, holding Cassie and sobbing that she loved her and would miss her,” says Deutsch. “At that time, I didn't even know if Cassie was going to live. Her eye appeared to be coming out of her head and she was twitching her head from pain.”
Deutsch was able to get her mom’s dog to the University of Wisconsin in time to save the dog’s life. However, if you’ve ever dealt with extreme health issues for your own pet, you’ll realize that the veterinary bills will be astronomical. Deutsch’s mom is a senior on a limited income and they are now facing extensive bills.
Deutsch has already spent around $2,200 working to save her mother’s dog from a retrobulbar abscess that has infected the area behind Cassie’s eyes and they may be looking at additional bills of $5,000 to continue the treatment. Her mother is connecting with her church for help and reaching out in her own community as well. Deutsch has also set up a special FundRazr page to help.
“I’m not normally one to ask for help for me, but I don’t know what will happen to my mom if Cassie doesn’t make it through this,” adds Deutsch. “My mom is broken hearted and her other dog Rocky isn’t eating now and keeps going to the window looking for Cassie.”
Read more about the details of Cassie’s plight and learn how to donate by going to this link.
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