Every Life Matters Cat Rescue began unexpectedly with a tom named Charlie. I pulled him out of a frozen dryer drum during a bitter cold Arctic freeze. I had him neutered, vaccinated, and tested his stool for parasites out of my own pocket. He shared a room with my older son and showed us just how grateful he was to have a warm, safe place to live.
I found him a nice home and was happy that I made a difference in his life and in the life of his new owner.
Later in the year I found myself with three other rescues. All moms either pregnant or just recently having given birth. It was after I went to "assess" another mom and babies that needed rescue that I decided it was time to register as a not-for-profit rescue.
Then things just sort of unexpectedly exploded. To this date, we have rescued 99 cats and kittens off the streets, out of high kill shelters, or from financially burdened families, or from living conditions that were less than optimal.
We use only one vet whom we adore and trust wholeheartedly. Dr. Sharon and Mountainside Animal Clinic is part of the biggest reason why our cats are as healthy as they are when they are adopted out. When it comes to our rescue cats and kittens, we don't take any short cuts. We don't blindly diagnose our precious felines or medicate without a vet exam and a proper diagnosis. Our felines are x-rayed when needed and operated on in emergencies. We vaccinate on schedule and not just provide the first set of vaccinations as some others do. We do fecal flotation testing on all our cats and kittens plus everyone is isolated until a clean bill of health is achieved and necessary vaccines have been given. We also provide all our age appropriate cats and kittens (>12 weeks) with the FeLV vaccine to further protect them and our other rescues.
Needless to say, because we give our rescues top of the line, personalized care, our bills are climbing and our adoption fees don't even come close to covering our costs.
We are very blessed to have a few people who donate on a regular basis and I can't even begin to say just how much these donations mean to me, to us, and to our rescues. Without any donations or financial support, I would have had to close down soon after I started up. I started up my rescue blindly and wasn't expecting the influx.
When Alyssa came on board I was quite happy and relieved to have someone else to help me out, share ideas with, care for our rescues, and be my rock. There have been many times Alyssa has seen me cry, heard my anger, my regrets, my guilt, my panic, and she has always been comforting, reassuring, and gentle with her words. Her support has got me through several highs and lows.
I have also been blessed with many new friends, many of them adoptive parents of my rescues. I consider them family and am grateful our paths have crossed.
About 2 months ago I was "hired" on at my vet's office to help offset some of the vet care we provide to our rescues. I work Monday through Wednesday and it's been a most wonderful experience. I've gained valuable knowledge and experience.
I first started working with animals when I was 12 by volunteering at our local animal shelter and at several different veterinarians. My dream was to become a veterinarian, however I found it very difficult coping with the loss of client's pets so I decided on a career of graphic design. Fast forward 20 years and in need of a career change after the passing of my father, I went in to Medical Administration and graduated with Dean's Honours. I worked closely with a reputable family physician until I had to leave so I could be home for my son.
Now here I am! Only one cat or kitten away from making it to 100 cats and kittens rescued in less than a year. Close to half of them have found their forever homes, some of them only wanted love for a short time and despite their peace, it left all of us at ELM, sad and broken. Each of our losses are still with us in a sense as we get their footprints imprinted in clay so they are never forgotten.
Now to the heavy stuff. We are in dire straights. My credit cards are maxed and I owe my vet just under $4000 for her amazing care. Care I wouldn't trade for anything or anyone. Many of my adoptive parents have stayed on with her so I think it's safe to say, many others feel her care is above the norm that you see nowadays. I've never seen so much compassion and love in someone that has seen both the good and the bad. She's not "hardened" because she sees things she doesn't like, she continues on and educates as best she can.
I am well known for all the research I do. I'm a very logical person that needs answers to everything. The more I know, the more I can help others. ELM isn't just about rescuing, we are about education and doing what's best for our felines. Because of that, I press on and "worry later". Well, later is here now.
October 28, 2015 began a sequence of events that have sent my mind spinning. Due to the passing of my mother?#39;s kitten at 6 months it was found out that her stray mother had a lack of taurine in her diet while pregnant, causing a loss of one kitten at only 5 weeks old, then my mom's kitten at 6 months, and now it looked as though my Spanky, from the same litter was next.
Thankfully, his DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy) is reversible and the improvement has already been dramatic in just a few days. Next came another "Fail" of mine. He's been diagnosed with an acute liver infection. We are unsure of why or how, but we do know it's not FIP, FeLV or FIV and for that I'm grateful. He's to be on antibiotics for 3 months. Each day I wonder if he will pull through. He's lost some weight and at 4 months old, 4.6 pounds is not very good. There are some tests I could run that would give me a more definitive answer or cause but the treatment would likely be the same. Sadly, I don't have the luxury of choosing if I want any further testing or not as I have spent all I have/had on my rescues.
I feel hopeless, devastated, and stuck. I feel guilty thinking I haven't done enough for my sweet Digit and I refuse to give up hope.
To be able to pay off my vet debt would free up the burden on my shoulders and not only allow me to set aside some money for Digit, but to continue to give our rescues the best possible treatment and take on more in need of medical care.
I ask that you please consider a donation. It doesn't even have to be large. Every dollar is one dollar closer to being paid off at my vet.
We do offer the option of donating straight to my vet with your personal credit card by calling 905-336-2347.
If you could please find it in your hearts to help us out. We would be eternally grateful. We may not do things the "traditional" way and run what others may deem "unnecessary" but I would rather my adoptive parents have no surprises shortly after they adopt. I like to think I'm an honest person and it wouldn't sit right with me to just grab a cat or kitten off the street and adopt it right out without first isolating, doing a fecal, and learning about his or her personality. Perhaps I'm backwards, but I believe our adopters are very pleased when they adopt from us.
Please help us keep going. Unless I'm able to get this debt paid off, we will be at a stand still. We are a small rescue and need your support. I need your support.
Thank you for taking the time to read over my plea. I hope you can find it in your hearts to skip your morning coffee for a week and consider donating toward the medical bills of our rescues.
Thank you for your continued support and showing each and everyone of our 99 rescues felines of 2015 that their life matters.