Tuesday, February 02, 2016

TOP STORY >> Donate to help injured animals

Ruger’s foster family takes him to their home. This Sherwood Shelter pet needed his leg amputated because his knee had been shot.
Leader staff writer

The Sherwood Animal Shelter is requesting donations to keep its Frannie Fund for injured animals afloat.

Director Robin Breaux explained, “Just in the last few months, we’ve had four animals that needed major surgery. Whenever we see that, we don’t want the Frannie Fund to be depleted because, if we don’t have any money in it at the time we get one of these animals in, we won’t be able to take it to the vet.”

The alternative would be euthanasia, and the shelter hasn’t had to euthanize for space in over three years.

The director said she also wants to keep the fund maintained in case there is an economic downturn or some other reason people can’t afford to help a specific animal.

The Frannie Fund began in 2007 with its namesake, a chocolate Labrador retriever that had a bullet in her jaw. The surgery cost about $4,000, according to Breaux.

During that initial campaign, $18,000 in donations was collected. “You can’t send the money back to people. They didn’t want it back anyway. They wanted it to go to help the dogs,” the director noted.

Breaux said the additional money — left over after Frannie’s surgery was paid for — was placed in an account to help other homeless pets like her.

The shelter’s most recent effort to raise donations for the Frannie Fund has netted more than $1,700.

Right now, the fund is being used for an amputation procedure Ruger — a dog that was shot in his knee — needed and to repair a torn ACL in another pup.

Fifty-seven animals were helped with $12,325 from the fund in 2015, and hundreds have been saved from euthanasia since it was founded. The shelter began the year with about $10,000, but continued collecting donations so the fund would stay in the black.

Breaux explained that, often, shelters don’t have the resources to heal dogs and cats that were hit by cars or have other curable medical conditions. They can’t let the animals suffer, and many aren’t adoptable, so they’re put to sleep.

“It’s just sad to think that we would have to euthanize a dog or a cat that has a treatable illness or a treatable injury...Our hands would be tied,” she emphasized.

With the Frannie Fund, homeless pets with curable mange are treated, and those who adopt animals infected with heartworms or other pre-existing conditions receive financial assistance up to $200 for the related veterinary bills.

The heartworm treatment assistance keeps adopted pets from coming back, the director added. There have been five or six cases of that this year, she said.

Breaux also said the Frannie Fund amount spent this year is a little higher than normal. She attributes the jump to Sherwood rescuing over 30 shih tzus in a hoarding case. The owner of the dogs was convicted and given jail time, the director noted.

Donations to the Frannie Fund can be mailed to 6500 N. Hills Blvd., Sherwood, Ark. 72120 or dropped off there.

The shelter doesn’t have a way to collect online donations, but its volunteer organization, Sherwood Animal Shelter Helper (S.A.S.H.) can do so through PayPal. There is a link to donate available on the volunteer organization’s Facebook page. The link is also available on the Replenish the Frannie Fund event Facebook page.