Maybe you’ve been there: strapped for cash, barely putting food on the table and paying off some of the most insistent bills. No money for anything more than the barest of necessities.
Then disaster strikes. You or someone in your family is involved in an accident, and suddenly the medical bills threaten to push you over the edge.
You can’t afford them. But they’re not optional, either — something has to be done, and immediately.
That’s the situation a 12-week-old mixed breed pup named Tinker found herself and her family in. The Chihuahua/terrier mix was attacked by a bigger dog, leaving her with cuts all over her tiny frame.
But that wasn’t the worst of it: her left eye had been severely mangled, and her right eye wasn’t looking great either. Her owners saw the estimated costs of medical attention for their little pupper and decided it was too much for them at that moment.
While many pet owners may berate them for “giving up” on a four-legged family member, at least they didn’t abandon her in some field or just let her stay in her condition.
They knew she needed help, and they knew they could not help her the way that she needed, so they took her somewhere that could. They took her to the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri.
Of course, that left the no-kill shelter with the bill. They’re no stranger to staggering vet costs and owner surrenders, as they see them all the time. But this tiny, wiry-haired shrimp of a pup was barely starting out in life and had already suffered a severe setback.
“She was in shock and in pain,” recalled the director of administrative operations, Sally Nail. “She is starting to come around.”
Her brush with terror hasn’t dampened her spirits, either. Nail said that she loves people: “She is very cuddly. She just curls right up and wants to be around a human.”
In order to help cover some of Tinker’s bills, Nail did what all internet-savvy heroes do these days and started an online fundraiser. Donors quickly supplied the requested $500 and the excess was used to help other dogs in similar situations.
The staff at the humane society see heart-breaking cases all the time, but being a no-kill shelter they prefer to nurse compromised pets back to health instead of putting them down — a noble venture, but a costly one.
The society spends about $5,000 a month on emergency surgery alone.
“We do the best we can and the most we can,” said Nail. “We don’t turn those kind of animals away.”
Fortunately for Tinker, she ended up in caring and skilled hands and is well on the road to recovery. She still has one bright eye, and has started playing more and scampering around.
All the publicity has gained little Miss Tinker quite a few fans, and adoption applications and requests have come flooding in. She’s sure to end up with a great forever family in no time at all!
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