On a cold day in December 2018, Main Line Animal Rescue (“MLAR”) received a call from a woman in Honey Brook, PA. The woman had bought two puppies from a friend at 8 weeks of age and the dogs were living outside, in the back yard. The woman felt the dogs were fine living outside despite the increasingly cold weather. However, she was concerned that one of the dogs, named Birdie, was having difficulty walking. The woman believed Birdie had damaged hips and asked MLAR to take Birdie. MLAR encouraged the woman to surrender both dogs, but she refused. In an effort to improve the quality of life for at least one of the two dogs, MLAR agreed to take Birdie. When Birdie arrived, it was clear that she had bilateral hip dysplasia and was very uncomfortable. While MLAR knew that Birdie’s medical care would be costly, the top priority was making Birdie comfortable and planning for her future. We were happy she was no longer living outside.
Main Line Animal Rescue has put the needs of animals first for almost 20 years and it often comes at a great expense to the organization. MLAR has a population of about 100 dogs and 50 cats. Approximately 80% of animals taken into MLAR arrive with no history of prior medical care. General care, including vaccines, spay/neuter, and microchipping, is part of our annual operating budget. However, it is difficult to plan for the animals who may require more extensive medical care. While many of these animals are treatable, their current owners or other rescue facilities often cannot afford the more extensive care these animals require.
A recent and typical week at MLAR included the intake of a dog named Bella suffering from bladder stones whose family took to her to their vet to be euthanized, a dog named Cruiser whose mass cell tumor was never cared for and required a leg amputation, Emmy the cat with stomatitis, a dog named Chickpea taken from Animal Control of Philadelphia after being hit by a car, and a puppy named Jagger from a Lancaster breeding farm who is at risk of losing an eye to an injury. This is indeed a typical week at MLAR, where we open our hearts and home.
Main Line Animal Rescue has always depended on the excellent medical care at the University of Pennsylvania, VRC Malvern, Hope Veterinary Specialists, Metropolitan Veterinary Associates and other excellent vet hospitals, who provide discounts for rescue animals. They facilities provided diagnostic, orthopedic, ophthalmology, emergency, soft tissue surgery, dental, cardiology, and other specialty care. While MLAR’s clinic is well equipped with x-ray, ultrasound, and other equipment, MLAR’s veterinary staff sometimes requires specialty support to ensure the best outcome for the animal. Once MLAR commits to taking in an animal that has a medical condition, MLAR determines if the medical condition will be a stumbling block to adoption and develops a plan to find that animal a permanent home.
The objective of The Birdie Fund is to support the extraordinary medical needs for some of our animals. Many volunteers, staff, donors, adopters, and friends of adopters express an interest in specifically supporting the care of special needs animals. The hope is that The Birdie Fund will provide a vehicle for those contributions. These contributions can then be used to fulfill MLAR’s commitment of giving animal with special needs the best quality of life and putting them on track for permanent adoption. The hope is that The Birdie Fund will allow us to support many more animals like Birdie, giving them a second chance.