Fiona’s Story: Keeping Pets and Families Together

| New Road Ahead

Fiona the dog New Road Ahead

Accidents happen every day. We do everything we can think of to prepare, but one single moment can change everything.

Fiona, a four-month-old Border collie, jumped off the couch. She was ready to play, get a treat, or to run to greet her favorite person. She’d made the 18-inch leap hundreds of times and she didn’t hesitate.

Her squeal broke the calm of the quiet living room, her back legs buckling under her as they hit the floor. Her owner ran to her, panic clouding her mind as she felt over her puppy’s body for injuries. Fiona stood, but refused to put weight on her rear left leg. Her pain was clear. Fiona’s owner cradled her gently and carefully carried her to the car. She needed medical care immediately.

The doctor at the emergency veterinary hospital assessed Fiona; she had a femur fracture and needed surgery and possibly amputation to correct the injury. The surgery quote was expensive. What started as a peaceful morning became a nightmare for a loving pet owner as she realized couldn’t afford the operation for her beloved puppy.

An alternative was presented to Fiona’s owner. She could contact the Oregon Humane Society to find out if Fiona could be surrendered to receive medical care. Her family would have to give her up, but Fiona would receive the surgery and the follow up care that she needed to heal.

Fiona’s surrender to OHS is the ultimate proof of how much she was loved by her family.

Today, with her surgery and recovery behind her, Fiona is thriving with her new family, but people in our community have to make these difficult decisions for their beloved pets every day. In addition to the already increasing cost of housing, transportation, healthcare, and veterinary care in Oregon, the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the ways in which families are struggling. Even basic veterinary care such as checkups and vaccinations can be expensive, and more animals than ever are being surrendered, and even euthanized, because their owners don’t have access to care. When a beloved cat or dog becomes sick or injured, the medical costs can be out of reach for otherwise loving families. No caring person should ever have to give up what may be their only family member because the cost of veterinary care is too high, and no animal should ever have to suffer because of a lack of access to medical treatment.

As a national leader in animal welfare, OHS has a responsibility to address the most pressing issues that face pets now and into the future. The New Road Ahead Campaign will build a 16,000 square foot Community Teaching Hospital that will provide accessible veterinary care to the public, especially to those with limited financial means. Together, we will make sure that pets like Fiona can remain in their loving homes.

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