For 83-year-old widow and Colorado Springs resident, Caroline Canipe, her adopted Min Pin Mix, Pepper, is her reason for getting up in the morning. “Not only does he brighten my day,” said Caroline, “but I take him to senior centers and he brightens their day, too.” Additionally, Pepper acts as Caroline’s service support animal, helping her through her Arrhythmia attacks.
When Caroline noticed that Pepper wasn’t eating or drinking and wouldn’t get up, she knew something was wrong. She immediately took him to the veterinarian who kept Pepper on an IV and fluids for close to three days. The diagnosis? Pepper had Pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis happens when the pancreas, an organ near the stomach that helps digest food and control blood sugar, becomes inflamed. The condition can be fatal. Pepper had to be placed on a special diet and Caroline, who worked as a school crossing guard until she was 81-years-old, had to figure out how to pay a hefty vet bill.
Fortunately, Caroline found Harley’s Hope Foundation and gave them a call.
Located in Colorado Springs and established in 2010, Harley’s Hope Foundation ensures low income pet parents and their companion or service animals remain together when issues arise. The goal in doing so is to prevent at-risk animals from being surrendered or falling victim to euthanasia for treatable conditions and behaviors. To date, over 2,500 companion animals have received a variety services through Harley’s Hope Foundation.
“I knew from working in animal rescue for many years that our community needed services to help prevent animals from being given up,” said Harley’s Hope Founder and CEO, Cynthia Bullock. “When we lost our dog, Harley Jane, to cancer, it motivated my husband and me to create a charity specifically to help people like Caroline, who don't want to give up or euthanize their pets, but who struggle to afford the unexpected. It's time to start preventing homeless pets and that begins by addressing the reasons they lose their homes – the cost of major treatment, behavioral issues that can be corrected by investing in a good quality trainer, and the need for short-term foster assistance for pet parents are temporarily incapacitated and need help caring for their pets.”
Harley’s Hope Foundation offers a variety of programs to help people and their pets (candidates must qualify for each fund):
- Pet Assistance Fund: Financial assistance is offered to assist with major or emergency veterinary care and behavioral or specialty training.
- Service Animal Aid Fund: HHF is the first nonprofit to offer an assistance program for medical service and assistance dogs that does not restrict funding based on geographic location, diagnosis, or type of services the animal provides.
- Short-term Foster Care: For animals living with people who are temporarily unable to care for them because of emergency situations such as illness or injury.
- Special Services: This fund focuses on our elder population and disabled human clients with pets in need. Volunteers assist with basic post-op care, as well as transportation to and from veterinary appointments.
Peppers' prognosis is great. Harley’s Hope Foundation was able to assist Caroline with the vet bill, and will work with Caroline to get Pepper recognized as a certified service animal! “Harley’s Hope Foundation saved Pepper’s life,” Caroline said. “I can’t imagine my life without him.”
For more information on Harley’s Hope Foundation and how you can become a volunteer, please visit our website at http://harleys-hopefoundation.org/ or call us at (719) 495-6083.