July 2015
Homeplace & Community

In Times of Need

Pam Coan, right, holding brush, and Jaclyn Simmons, both active members and on The Lil’ Susie Small Animals in Need Fund Foundation’s Board of Directors, lend a hand at their annual dog wash fundraiser this past May.  

The Lil’ Susie Small Animals in Need Fund Foundation helps pet owners who need financial assistance in emergency medical situations for their furry companions.

The goal of The Lil’ Susie Small Animals in Need Foundation is to financially assist owners with the high cost of emergency life-saving surgeries and treatments when their companion pets require unexpected veterinarian care, with the effort of keeping these companion pets and owners together for many joyful years to come.

The owner must apply and qualify for the funding. The animals who receive this funding are known as our Funds Recipient Animals and referred to as FRA. Since our organization was founded in December 2012, we have funded 29 and counting such surgeries and treatments. We have grown from the two of us to over 80 members spanning four states.

This organization was founded by Bobby Norwood and me when our beloved companion pet, Susie, a 19-year-old beagle/Jack Russell mix had to be given up after a costly bout with kidney disease. After exhausting all reasonable efforts to save her and an effort to make her last days as comfortable as we could ... we had to say goodbye. Her compelling story and others are available on our website, www.lilsusiefund.org as well as our Lil’ Susie Facebook page.

With our overwhelming grief, we realized we had a desire to help others with their companion pets in their time of need. And with the help of our longtime friend and veterinarian, Dr. J.B. Harris DVM of All Animal Clinic in Leighton, we have accomplished our dream.

So many of us, for whatever reason, live from day to day and are simply not prepared for the unexpected illnesses or accidents that as a pet owner will inevitably come our way. And, at that time, the lack of finances does not suggest that their love for their companion pet is in any way less than what we felt for our little Susie, the namesake of this foundation. These are the desperate pet parents this organization helps. We have funded emergency surgeries from bladder stone blockage and caesareans to leg amputations with everything imaginable in between.

Our motto is that, although we could not save our Susie along with the dedicated and talented hands of our veterinary service providers, we strive to help as many as we can to be able to keep their beloved pets with them in their home environment for many years to come, as opposed to the alternatives.

In doing this The Lil’ Susie Foundation has changed the lives of many grateful pet owners such as Crystal Johnson and her dog Patches. Patches needed emergency exploratory surgery with only hours to live. Crystal had no money available and turned to us. Patches is her companion service dog - Crystal is wheelchair-bound from a devastating automobile accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She depended on this dog for emotional support.

A 501(c)(3) organization such as this one is sustained by donations and the hardworking tireless volunteers who man many hours of fundraising events each year. We are always just a phone call away from a desperate and distraught pet-parent faced with a life-threatening illness or injury of their beloved pet without the means to pay the cost of the veterinary care to save their pet’s life. Many times these have been our senior citizens with that pet being the only friend they feel they have.

Along with the joys of helping these pet-parents comes the hardest part of what we do ... and that is the fear of not having the funding in place when that fateful phone call comes in.

Service Providers are All Animal Clinic in Leighton and Moulton Veterinary Clinic in Moulton.

Debra Amos is INC, cofounder and GM of The Lil’ Susie Small Animals in Need Fund Foundation. You can visit their website at www.lilsusiefund.org or call them at 256-412-4887.