“Just getting these animals fixed is such a big piece of the puzzle that we didn’t have before Animal Balance…without Animal Balance we would still be sending animals home that weren’t fixed… we really just can’t thank Animal Balance enough.” ~Mike Bricker, Executive Director, Palm Valley Animal Shelter
In early 2019, the Animal Balance team came to a stark realization: the services we have been providing on islands around the world for the past 15 years were needed here at home on a level we hadn’t imagined. The lack of affordable and accessible high volume, high quality spay/neuter, particularly in rural areas of the USA, was shocking. In order to help these underserved areas, we created Animal Balance USA. Designed to provide critical veterinary care to overcrowded and understaffed shelters in communities where affordable and accessible spay/neuter is essentially nonexistent, the goal of Animal Balance USA is to create sustainable solutions in order to save lives.
Fast forward to late 2019 and Animal Balance has begun working in states like Texas, where the lack of trained veterinarians makes it impossible for shelters like Palm Valley to spay/neuter all of the nearly 30K animals entering into their care each year. Each month, Animal Balance deploys a highly trained team of volunteers who work with the shelter staff to spay/neuter as many animals as possible so that they can be placed for adoption immediately. We are also providing aid to shelters dealing with situations of hoarding and neglect.
“In September Animal Balance received a call from Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center in Tampa, Florida. They had recently taken in 351 small breed dogs from a puppy mill/hoarding case. They desperately needed to sterilize these dogs quickly and get them adopted out fast, as their shelter was already full. Within weeks, we had an Animal Balance team on the ground and every dog in need was sterilized.” ~ Elsa Kohlbus, Program Director
Together with the veterinary medical team from Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, our team of volunteers sterilized 341 cats and dogs, including all of the puppy mill dogs, and even some of the other animals in the shelter’s care. While the numbers reached by the team are impressive, it was and always is, the individual animals who touch our hearts.
One dog in particular became an icon for the Tampa Team, and they lovingly named him Baby Grandpa. Baby Grandpa is a whisper of a dog. He weighs just over two pounds and feels like he has bird bones. He is one of the more than 350 dogs seized from the puppy mill, and it’s hard to believe that something so fragile was able to survive what he has in the few short months he’s been here on this Earth. But somehow, he has, and when you hold him he simply melts into your body, because the warmth of human touch is something which is brand new to him.
When Baby Grandpa, named for his tiny old man looks, went into distress while recovering from surgery, the team immediately turned their focus to helping him. He was monitored by our volunteers and when it was clear that he needed around the clock care to maintain his blood sugar level, one of our recovery volunteers quickly stepped up, ensuring he got the hourly feedings that he needed throughout the day and night. Thankfully, because of the compassionate care he received for the first time in his life, Baby Grandpa was able to recover and was back to being a puppy in a couple of days.
Because of the compassion that we have come to recognize in all of our volunteers, Baby Grandpa got a second (maybe third?) shot at living his best life. He’s thriving in his foster home, no longer confined to a cold cage, and is meeting new humans, dogs, and even cats. This little creature, with his crazy mop of fluff and newly sparkling eyes, will now have the home and family he has always deserved.
In just six months, our teams have sterilized 1,435 animals here in the US. We are now finalizing our 2020 calendar, which will include campaigns in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas, in addition to our international campaigns.
As a solutions based nonprofit, we strongly believe that addressing the root cause of overpopulation through high volume, high quality spay/neuter is the key. By stopping the cycle of reproduction in a community, shelter intake is reduced, and shelter staff have a chance to refocus their limited resources on programs with positive outcomes such as fostering and adoption.
We are asking for your help today to invest in this program and support the critical work our teams provide. The need is great and we want to help in as many areas as possible, but we can’t do it without your support. Together we can change the world for these animals and the communities in which they live.
Founder & Director, Animal Balance
P.S. Please visit our website at animalbalance.org to learn more, donate, or become a volunteer!
If you’ve already donated, THANK YOU!
Please note, as of January 1st we have a new mailing address: Animal Balance PO Box 66406 Portland OR 97290