Helping our region’s homeless pets is one of the greatest gifts you can give
Amid this holiday season and your search for gifts to suit family, friends and pets, we hope you will consider supporting animal shelters, SPCAs and animal rescue organizations here in Hampton Roads. To find out more about local shelter needs, we reached out to the founder of a specialized rescue group and a community engagement professional with a long-time SPCA nonprofit to see what they have on their wish list to keep their operations stocked and solvent in the days ahead.
Madison Rankin, and her partner Lacey Lopez, both work in the veterinary field. They know first-hand the trials owners undergo when facing expensive medical treatment and surgeries or long-term medical conditions. They started Compassion for Canines to help make life easier for dogs who are surrendered due to extenuating circumstances and medical needs.
As founders of the 501(c)3 nonprofit, Rankin and Lopez facilitate the surrendered pet’s medical care by working with a network of local veterinary providers, who often provide the service at a reduced rate. Then, they place the dogs in homes with screened foster care volunteers who help with their recovery until the pets are adopted.
“We work primarily with senior and special-needs dogs that have more problems than most,” said Rankin. “We have relationships with shelters in Hampton Roads and in rural areas of North Carolina. If a shelter dog is not a candidate for adoption due to a medical reason, the shelters give us a call.”
Outside of monetary contributions, which Rankin said is always helpful to offset the costs of veterinary care, present needs include high-quality dog food, dog crates, new or gently used blankets, collars, leashes and gift cards to pet stores for when they need a specific food or comfort item for a dog.
An easy way to give is to order items from Compassion for Canine’s online “wish list” at this link. Geared toward dogs recovering from various illnesses or surgeries, products include everything from Purina Pro Plan dog food for sensitive skin and stomach, to pee pads, probiotic supplements, orthopedic pet beds, dog toys and products for laundering and cleaning.
“It feels like each year the need for owner surrenders or transfers is greater than the previous year, and we are on track to have a higher intake number than we had last year,” said Rankin.
Compassion for Canines can accept pets, so long as they have qualified foster homes in the wings. “This is a need too,” said Rankin. For those interested in learning more about fostering pets the organization, please call 207-318-8125.