Success Story: Sterling & Lila

Success Story: Sterling & Lila

I’ve been in a desperate situation for a year and a half, and my animals are my little family. I have two dogs and two cats, and I couldn’t bear the thought of losing them along with every other loss I’ve faced over the past year. It started over a year and a half ago. I had COVID and then received all three vaccines. After the first two vaccines, I became severely ill and then worsened once I had my booster shot. Then I was diagnosed in February of 2022 with Long-Haul COVID, and I have not been able to work full-time since March 2021–a year and a half. Since then, my life went downhill fast. I lost almost everything in my life–I was evicted from my home, my internet was shut off, my phone was shut off, my electricity was turned off, and my car was in repossession status. I’ve had to get food from food banks for several months, and I couldn’t get healthcare because I no longer had insurance. Of course, I lost my job too, which is why I couldn’t afford anything. I enjoyed being a special education teacher, but that was taken from me too. For a while, I was able to “couch surf” with friends. However, I’m writing to you to let you know about what happened to my beloved pets. I was heartbroken when my cat Sterling was attacked by a dog outside. Unfortunately, it is a common situation and danger for people like me and my pets who have no home. But with little at all in the way of money, what was I supposed to do for Sterling? As you know, vet visits can be expensive. I couldn’t just do nothing though! Luckily, I found Feeding Pets of the Homeless online, and I was just beyond amazed at not only how quickly I received a response, but how quickly I received help. I have been working with nonprofit organizations and the State and federal government organizations to apply for all kinds of assistance–food, housing, etc. It took one nonprofit 6 months to approve help with my electric bill. Of course, I am not owed any help or assistance, but working to get help was so incredibly stressful and challenging. To be able to take my cat to the vet the very next day after he was hurt, and to have his vet bill and prescription paid for was such an incredible blessing that I won’t ever forget. I couldn’t believe how simple the process was–of course, I had to show documentation proving my homeless status, and I expected that. But to receive help so quickly, and to have the representatives be so kind and helpful over the phone and through text was just such an incredible relief and weight off my shoulders. It was the most desperate feeling to see him be hurt and not be able to afford to help him in any way. His bite wound was $105, which the nonprofit paid. And then when Sterling also got an upper respiratory infection, they even helped me with that which was another $114. I was extremely worried after what my Sterling had already been through because he was hardly eating when he had the infection. Lastly, my beautiful, Lila, my golden retriever, had severe allergies that have worsened for months because we haven’t been able to keep her on the right food and meds. It was so helpful to have our new vet check her over and prescribe a topical solution to help in the meantime, again all thanks to Feeding Pets of the Homeless. I’ve never been in this position before, needing this type of assistance. I’m just so thankful for Feeding Pets of the Homeless and how they helped me take care of my fur babies. They didn’t just give my pets a chance, they gave me one too. That hope is something I will always hold on to. Feeding Pets of the Homeless understands that for those of us experiencing homelessness, our pets are our best friends. They protect us too, and we couldn’t live without them. And now I have the hope to keep moving forward for my pets’ sake, and my own. That’s something you can’t put a price on. I never thought I would be one of those people who needed help, or that my pets would be without a home. I won’t take anything for granted anymore. Please, if you are able, consider helping Feeding Pets of the Homeless. You might just help them not only save a pet’s life, but also a person’s. Just like they did for my little family. Gratefully, Shannon*   *Name changed for privacy

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The views expressed on this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Feeding Pets of the Homeless, and Feeding Pets of the Homeless hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.