Financial Insecurity Canine Surrenders

September 15, 2023

We’re continuing the conversation surrounding the massive surge in total dog intakes at PAWS so far in 2023.  The nearly 70% increase appears to be related to increased eviction rates and general financial insecurity. What we’re experiencing at PAWS is in line with national trends, which you can read more about in our recent blog post


This month, the reality of financial insecurity impacting rescue work has been front and center at PAWS. Within the past two weeks, PAWS has taken in three dogs with severe orthopedic needs. The first, Fanny Brice, who was also suffering from mange and a generalized skin infection, was transferred to PAWS from our friends at Allegheny Spay/Neuter Clinic. Her front right leg was badly broken and had started to heal incorrectly. She was immediately treated for mange and soon after had her leg amputated. Since she is just 5 months old, Fanny has seamlessly transitioned into life as a tripod. 


Collage of grey puppy with 3 legs


Up next is Tweety, another young pup, who was inadvertently run over by her owner. Both of her back legs were broken. She needed two large surgeries  in order to walk again. Even with the availability of the Dr. John Thomas VET Fund, the owners were unable to commit to her care. Tweety had an FHNE (Femoral Head and Neck Excision) surgery on her rear left leg and her back right leg had plates implanted at VCA Metzger Animal Hospital and was transferred to PAWS. She is in foster with a group of college students who have adjusted their schedules to ensure she has round the clock care.


Collage of black dog with e-collar on


Third is Bullwinkle who, like Tweety, had multiple injuries and needed surgery. His owners opted to surrender him to PAWS via VCA Metzger Animal Hospital. Bullwinkle also had an FHNE surgery and is on greatly restricted activity to help his fractured pelvis heal. He too was lucky enough to move directly to a foster home for his recovery. 


Collage of chocolate lab


These are just three dogs PAWS will rescue, medically restore, and find homes for this year. These three dogs alone have accumulated several thousand dollars of veterinary bills for PAWS. If we continue to see requests for help at the rate we are today, we can expect there are more emergency rescues like these in our near future. PAWS’ incredible fosters and volunteers make the logistics of their recovery care possible. Our dedicated supporters are needed now more than ever to relieve the financial burden stepping in and saving them means. If you are moved to support our work, we urge you to consider making a one time gift or to enroll in our PAWS Monthly Giving Program to ensure PAWS can continue to intervene and help desperate animals in our community.