Adoption and Unexpected Medical Expenses
Fostering or adopting a rescue dog is a happy time for everyone. It’s a story with a happy ending, right? Well, it’s supposed to be anyway. So, what happens when the ending has a twist? What happens when unexpected medical expenses threaten the success of our adoption?
We adopted through rescue because we care about saving lives of abused, neglected, or unwanted dogs. Rescuers care too. They work tirelessly to save lives and improve the lives of those that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Once rescued, they assess the dogs health and social skills. Only then does the search begin for a forever home. But sometimes, a dog’s past catches up with them after they are in their new home.
As fosters or adopters, we think we know what we’re getting and sometimes we know it’s not perfect. We’re prepared for some behavioral issues. We know our new fur baby may have trust issues or bad potty habits. We almost expect them to pee on the carpet or poop in the kitchen. When they demonstrate food aggression or hand shyness, we understand that it will take time to build trust again. So what happens when the rug is pulled out from under us and we discover that our new rescue has a health condition that has the potential to bankrupt us?
Some will say we shouldn’t adopt if we can’t afford to take care of the health of our new baby. It’s not an unreasonable statement under routine circumstances. I agree that we shouldn’t adopt if we can’t afford vaccines and neutering expenses. I agree that we shouldn’t adopt if we can’t afford routine dental care or medications for seizures if we get a seizure dog. But what if we get our new rescue home and find that they have cancer or need expensive orthopedic surgery to relieve them of pain? Should we give them up because we don’t have the money? Do we euthanize them? No, we don’t. So what do we do? We ask for help.
1. First we talk to our veterinarian about payment options.
2 Next, we search the web for funding help. Some helpful resources are:
3, Finally, we make our situation known to others through social media. We give others a chance to help in the only way they can. You see, not everyone can bring a new rescue into their home but they still want to and, have the means to help. We need to ask them and let them, if we have no other options. Remember, these are unexpected medical expenses and people who care understand that.
For the sake of our fur baby, we have to set our pride aside. It isn’t about us, is it? No, it’s about the health and well being of a dog that hasn’t had it easy. Our pride can’t stand in the way of saving a life. Sure, we made the choice to adopt and the dog is our responsibility. But, we are now a member of an elite group. Animal rescuers have the biggest hearts and chances are they won’t leave us or our dog alone in our time of need.
Rescue dogs come with a built in network of people who care. They understand unexpected medical expenses and they aren’t afraid to use their network to spread the word. So before you decide to forfeit your rescue or worse, reach out. Someone out there is just waiting to help. It’s all about creating a happy ending for one more rescue.