RUFF HAVEN HEROES
Animal welfare heroes take many forms. They are shelter workers, rescuers, transporters, veterinarians, and so many more fantastic people. We also believe our clients are heroes. They may not be doing a lot of the glamorous work seen on social media or news stories, but these are the people making sacrifices to keep their companion animals in their lives and from being surrendered to the shelter. We want to highlight just a few of their stories. You may need a tissue for some of these!
Meet Nae Nae and her person, Neisa. Neisa had been residing at one of the women's resource centers for several months, after she found out she was pregnant. While staying at the center she maintained a full-time job and was on the waiting list to obtain housing. And as luck would have it, she received her housing voucher the week she was due to give birth and didn't have a place for Nae Nae to stay while in the hospital.
We provided temporary sheltering services for Nae Nae so her mom could focus on her birth and recovery. Nae Nae was also spayed and vaccinated while in our care. Neisa said, "Nae Nae knew I was pregnant before I did. She became very protective and wouldn't let me leave her side. She helped me stay healthy during my pregnancy during our daily walks. I don't know what I would have done without her. I didn't know how she would do with the baby but she loves her new brother and is his protector."
Neisa, Nae Nae, and baby Lyrics are living in their own apartment together and we are honored we could play a small part in their journey together, keeping a pet with their person.
Suzanne was scheduled to have minor surgery and arranged for someone to look after them for a couple of days. Unfortunately she had complications while in the hospital and had a very serious infection, leaving her unable to go home and care for them.
Our local animal shelter was able to take custody of Frankie and Jackson while she was in the hospital, as she had no one else who could care for them. They kept them at the shelter for 30 days but their space and availability was becoming limited. Suzanne found out about Ruff Haven Crisis Sheltering literally on the last day she needed to make arrangements for them. We picked them up the following day and took them into our program, allowing her to continue to recover in a rehabilitation center.
During the 4 weeks they were with us, Suzanne arranged for Jackson to visit her every single Saturday at her rehab center. Frankie is a cat and wanted no part of that traveling nonsense! After 90 daysthey were finally reunited! Suzanne is a Veteran who served our country and had something devastating and unexpected happen to her.
Suzanne is another one of our Ruff Haven Heroes. She easily could have surrendered her pets and walked away. She checked on them frequently and now they are happily back together.
Lexey left an unhealthy and toxic relationship and suddenly found herself without a place to live. She was able to find a temporary place to stay with family, but due to the family member's allergies she was unable to take her four-legged family members,
kitties Nygil and Zara.
Lexey found Ruff Haven via social media and we happily took her cats into our sheltering program. They stayed with a wonderful Foster Sitter during their time with us. Lexey received weekly pictures and updates about them.
Lexey was able to find a new apartment and reunify with her beloved companions after approximately 60 days. Lexey is working full-time and is also attending school full-time to become a secondary education teacher.
Lexey became an engaged and vocal advocate for Ruff Haven and is passionate about helping pets stay with their people. She joined the Ruff Haven Board of Directors in February 2021.
Shane literally would have died before relinquishing his cat Littlefoot. They have been by each other's side for eight years.
Shane had a very significant head injury that needed lengthy medical treatment and recovery. He repeatedly put off getting care because he had no one to look after Littlefoot. His hospital case manager heard of Ruff Haven and we were happy to be a small part of his journey to recovery. Littlefoot and Shane quickly became some of our favorite clients.
While in the rehabilitation center Shane was able to have Littlefoot certified as an emotional support animal. After 10 long weeks, they were finally reunited. Shane said he was so excited he couldn't sleep! During our weekly phone calls Shane could not stop gushing about what an amazing cat he had. There is no one in this world who would love Littlefoot more than his dad. Shane is just one of our heroes.
Jax, the adorable terrier, doesn't get around too well anymore at 14-years old. Pat took her outside to potty and unfortunately fell on one of the steps leading to the yard. She laid outside in the yard for 11 hours. Jax and Max did not leave her side. At some point the neighbor came home and he said Max let out the strangest, most blood-curdling scream and led him to Pat. She was immediately taken to the hospital where she had to have hip surgery.
Pat's daughter contacted us the following day and we happily took them into our program. It was anticipated she would be in the hospital and rehab center for at least 90 days. Unfortunately Jax, being a sweet old gal, has been declining and it was unknown what her outcome would be with us. When that information was relayed to Pat she said she was determined to get better as soon as she could so she could spend Jax's last days with her.
And get better she did! She was released from the rehab center six weeks earlier than anticipated and they are all doing great. The family has worked out a new process so Pat doesn't need to carry Jax out and worry about falling again. This is one of those stories that has brought many tears of joy to our volunteers. Pat is a Ruff Haven Hero for working so darn hard to be reunited with her beloved furry family members.
Christina left an abusive marriage and needed a safe place for her, her daughter, and their two dogs, Luna and Zelda, to stay. She was able to find temporary housing at a local resource center but was unable to have her dogs with them. They accessed our temporary sheltering program while Christina started rebuilding her life.
Christina was able to obtain two jobs to support her family and moved from one of the homeless resource centers to the YWCA. She was able to have Luna and Zelda there but they could not be left alone. She used our daycamp services while she was at work. Her girls are so well behaved and they were a delight to have in our open play groups.
Christina and her daughter were able to obtain a housing voucher and began applying for apartments. She had a 20-year old felony conviction on her background, which was proving to be a substantial barrier. She was required to pay an application fee at every apartment, just to be denied. She finally found an apartment she was told she would qualify for but did not have the $40 application fee. Ruff Haven paid the application fee and she was approved!
Christina, Luna, and Zelda have been reunited and her experience, tenacity, and dedication led us to create an application fee/pet deposit fund for clients in need.