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Animals' injuries stretch SPCA funds to the limit

Aug 23 2012
Molly, a one-year-old Jack Russell, ran around for at least a month with a broken leg. She needs surgery and is one of several injured animals in the SPCA's care. 

Molly, a one-year-old Jack Russell, ran around for at least a month with a broken leg. She needs surgery and is one of several injured animals in the SPCA's care.

Photograph by: Lyle Stafford , timescolonist.com (August 2012)

It's raining old cats and injured dogs at the Victoria SPCA, and manager Penny Stone is calling on the public to help.

On Tuesday, two stray dogs were brought into the shelter with serious injuries, each one requiring surgery that will cost about $5,000.

The shelter doesn't have an extra $10,000 lying around, Stone said.

"We raise money just to stay open," she said.

The SPCA is still dealing with the cost of care for a tiny Shih Tzu that was suffering from open sores on her feet and body, as well as dental decay and organ failure.

The dog, nicknamed Tiny, was picked up this month on Prior Street.

"Tiny is still hanging in there and we're still praying," said Stone of the dog, which is currently in foster care. "Now she'll lick the person who's feeding her.

There's a little bit of response, at least."

Another Shih Tzu had gallstones the size of ping-pong balls that had to be removed at a cost of $3,000.

The dogs that came in Tuesday included Molly, a one-year-old Jack Russell that was running around a Victoria neighbourhood for at least a month with a broken leg.

"It's really a bad break," Stone said.

The surgery could involve affixing plates to the bone.

The other dog, Dallas, is a three-year-old shepherd cross with crushed toes and puncture wounds on its foot, likely the result of a dogfight. The leg will have to be pinned or amputated, Stone said.

"Both of these surgeries, we need a specialist for," she said. "That's the problem here - you're talking really expensive surgeries."

And then there are the cats. One cat was brought into the shelter with a sewing needle and thread in its throat.

The shelter also had an unusual number of older house cats dropped off on Tuesday.

Stone said it's not unusual for people to keep a cat and then drop it at the shelter when it's 12 or so - citing a move or an effort to downsize.

Giving up a pet in its old age is not something Stone says she can comprehend.

"These animals gave you the best years of their life and now, when they need you, you abandon them?"

The payoff of rescuing abandoned and injured animals is seeing them get adopted into loving homes, Stone said.

"People send photos of these dogs lying on the bed or the couch, in the lap of luxury," she said.

"When they're finally in a home and loved, it makes it all worthwhile."

Anyone who wants to adopt a cat or dog can visit the Victoria SPCA shelter at 3150 Napier Lane.

Donations to cover the extra medical costs can be made through the SPCA's Friendly Neighbour Fund.

For more information, phone 250-388-7722 or go to www.spca.bc.ca/victoria. smcculloch@timescolonist.com

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