Earlier this month, Mississippi came to our Pet Resource Center very lethargic with a high fever and swollen limbs, which made it difficult for him to walk. Our vet team suspected he was suffering from ehrlichiosis, a tick-borne illness that causes flu-like symptoms, and he also tested positive for heartworms. Thanks to our East Side Crisis Fund, the cost for his medical care was covered. With the sudden and substantial cost for Mississippi’s care, his family was elated with the news as they thought giving him up was their only option for immediate medical attention. We found out that Mississippi and another stray dog, Beano, showed up on the family’s doorstep one day looking for food and this amazing family stepped up immediately to help, creating a well-sheltered space in their backyard. In his serious, but stable condition, we were concerned that he would return to living outdoors as his family’s landlord does not allow pets indoors. We worked with the family to make a treatment plan and prepare for his return home. With his heartworm treatments, Mississippi recovered indoors at our facility. Additionally, his buddy, Beano received all necessary veterinary care so he returned home happy and healthy.

Even with limited pet resources available, families in our community are the first line of rescuers to help pets in need. With our facility now nearby, our community can look to our affordable, accessible and quality pet resources for assistance when needed. What a difficult decision it must have been for this family to consider surrendering their beloved best friend if it meant he got the help he needed. This incredible example of unconditional and selfless love is why we build capacity for animal advocates in our own neighborhood. We are proudly located in East St. Louis, joining an already robust community of pet lovers.

A special shout out to Animal Warriors-Roxana Dba: LLAW for taking Mississippi and his family to our clinic, as well as providing tons of supplies and ongoing support to ensure he continues to thrive!