The Lucas County Dog Warden’s Office announced today the establishment of a fund dedicated to treating dogs that have high-cost medical needs.
Called Cutie’s Fund, it will help dogs like its namesake, a Chihuahua that came in during the middle of the night with a puppy stuck in the birth canal. After some tests, it was determined Cutie had two deceased puppies that needed to be removed to save the mother’s life.
The 3-year-old dog had been in labor sometime during the week previous to arriving at the dog warden.
“If we hadn’t acted quickly, Cutie would not be alive,” said Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle. “The bill for only her emergency care exceeded $1,400.”
By contributing to Cutie’s Fund, animal lovers can make a tax-deductible gift to help with emergency and life-saving medical care and for the hospitalization of sick, hurt, or mistreated dogs assisted by the dog warden, Ms. Lyle said.
Ms. Lyle and the Lucas County commissioners held a news conference at the dog warden’s office to announce the initiative.
The fund will pay for medical care provided by the veterinarian in the Lucas County Dog Warden’s shelter and for emergency treatment and/or hospitalization in outside facilities.
Ms. Lyle said she was soliciting partner veterinarians who are specialists to treat dogs with various medical issues, including orthopedics, because the dog warden frequently sees dogs that have been hit by cars and have broken bones.
The dog warden has a contract with Animal Emergency & Critical Care Center of Toledo Inc., 2785 W. Central Ave, and it provies basic emergency services at a discount. Veterinarians could take a tax write-off if they offer their services free or at a discount to Cutie's Fund patients.
The pound hopes to expand its definition of “savable” and “adoptable,” Ms. Lyle said.
“We have to make decisions on whether we are going to save these dogs, and when that comes down to budget issues, that bothers me,” Ms. Lyle said. “I don’t want to have a dog’s life depend on a monetary amount, but [spending $1,000 or more on one dog] is not something our budget allows for.”
Ms. Lyle hopes to raise $20,000 annually for the fund. Donations can be made in person or mailed to the Lucas County Dog Warden, 410 S. Erie St., Toledo, 43604, or online by going to tinyurl.com/CutiesFund.
John Robinson Block, The Blade’s publisher and editor-in-chief, and his brother, Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc., the parent company of The Blade, are making the inaugural donation of $2,500 each. In addition, Block Communications is setting up a matching fund in which public donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000, as a way to encourage community members to donate and double the value of their contributions.
“We should strive for the day when no healthy dog — or one with a treatable medical problem — will be killed in Lucas County,” John Robinson Block said.
The Blade will run advertising in support of the fund in the paper, on its Web site, and on electronic billboards around Toledo.
Cutie since has been adopted and lives in Detroit with her family.
Contact Tanya Irwin at: email@example.com or 419-724-6066.