Animal Rescue of Fresno: Medical Miracles

by Wendy Hunter
Wendy Hunter is a volunteer with the Animal Rescue of Fresno. ARF shares with KRL their animal rescue adventures every month. You can learn more about them on their website.

How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world. ~ William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice
In a world where stories like church and school shootings seem to dominate the headlines, we think of all the lost souls and seek salvation. When videos of entire neighborhoods being destroyed by tornadoes and flood waters appear on the evening news, we yearn for the warm glow of sunshine. And just when it seems we can’t tolerate one more discussion about the Mueller Report, the weepy backstage drama of The Bachelorette, or the 97th recipe for Baked Avocado Eggs, the clouds part and a rainbow appears. A Louisiana Walmart employee, who walks six miles to work, is given a new car. An Illinois café owner delivers free soup for a year to a customer undergoing chemotherapy. An elementary school janitor in Georgia is greeted by 800 singing students on his 80th birthday. At Morehouse College in Atlanta, an alumni-turned-billionaire gifts the graduating class by paying off their student loans. And right here in our neighborhood, a young man saves his allowances, which his parents then match, and donates the entire total of $440 to Animal Fresno of Fresno. ARF gives a big shout out to Joseph A. for being living proof that kindness still lives inside all of us. You’re a good egg.

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At ARF, we depend upon the generosity of our supporters and couldn’t function without you. We wouldn’t be able to afford medical care for our neediest dogs if it weren’t for the outpouring of contributions we receive. Earlier this month, we sent out a plea to help a lovely Yorkie mix named Mamas, who needed to have three bladder stones removed. Bladder stones are a collection of minerals and other materials, and while they start out small, they can grow in size and/or number over time. Now ladies, if you’ve ever experienced the unhappiness of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), you know how painful they can be. Ouch. Bladder stones share some similar symptoms, such as straining to urinate, and frequent attempts to urinate without results. Now imagine having a UTI for over a year and just think how miserable you’d be. Ugh. This was the case with Mamas, but she’s doing 100% better after her surgery. We raised $1985 in just a couple of days on our Facebook page, and we thank you all. Mamas is thankful she doesn’t have to stand in line at The Girls Room fifty times a day anymore.

Because ARF exceeded our original request of $1500 for Mamas, we were able to provide surgery for another dog in poor health. Chicklet is a black and tan Dachshund/Terrier mix, with Hershey brown eyes, and a sweet disposition. However, she had several mammary tumors that required immediate attention. Chicklet has now made a full recovery from her procedure. She enjoys scampering around the yard, exploring every corner, and chasing toys with her buddies. Chicklet’s also keen on being a lap dog, but her short little legs just don’t have enough bounce. This was apparent yesterday, when she attempted to jump onto the bench with me and the other dogs. Jockeying for position, she was continually buried beneath many longer limbs. Finally, her imploring eyes looked at me as if to say, “Um, can I get a little help here lady?” I scooped her up, sat her next to me, and apologized for being so blonde...

Now, some people would say that trying to raise funds for a worthy cause is like trying to pull teeth. But in ARF’s case, we recently needed a fundraiser TO pull teeth. For a couple of our seniors, a visit to the doggy dentist resulted in the removal of many chompers. Winnie, a tiny red Chihuahua, had eleven teeth extracted, and our Min-Pin named Reeses had ten teeth pulled. I know you’re probably thinking what I was thinking; geez, do they HAVE any teeth left? I pictured them rocking on the porch, gumming leftovers, and tormenting the younger pups, “Hey you kids, get off my lawn!” Actually, adult dogs have forty-two teeth, so they’re good. Winnie’s ears are almost as big as her body, and they stand at attention like two tin soldiers when she’s startled. A very low energy dog, she will easily stay curled on my shoulder for a good hour. I don’t recall any snoring. Reeses is sixteen-years-old, and has the face of a wizened soul, and the happy smile of a child. She has the ears of a jackrabbit, and can easily pick up any radio station. This little gal has requested a forever home with a nice plush bed. Hmm, there might be some snoring.

All of these dogs were in dire need of medical help, but none more than Acacia. She was born into foster care, after her mother gave birth to a litter of twelve puppies. Of those dozen, only six survived and the others were still-born. Her foster mom actually had to perform CPR on three of the puppies, including Acacia. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of a long road for this itty bitty pup. She and her remaining siblings all contracted Parvo, and most of you know by now what a horrible disease that is for puppies. Acacia just managed to survive, but sadly, not the others. At this point, Acacia went to another loving foster home. But while battling Parvo, she contracted pneumonia, was given three blood transfusions, and eventually administered a fine mist to her lungs through a nebulizer. At her lowest, she weighed just 1.5 pounds. This lucky little pup now weighs five-pounds, and was adopted by her foster mom, who couldn’t bear to let Acacia go after fighting so hard to keep her alive. Acacia’s medical bill was immense, but your countless contributions made it all possible. Including, the very charitable people who donated two nebulizers to us, within hours of our Facebook posting. You were, literally, a breath of fresh air.

The magic of making a difference has been proven once again, as Mamas, Winnie, and Chicklet are just a couple of days from boarding the Heaven Can Wait van to Oregon. Yup, they found their elusive Golden Tickets. No purchase of Wonka Bars required! ( As much as we appreciate each and every dollar that is given to us, there’s something else that Animal Rescue of Fresno is continually pleading for, and that’s more volunteers. We have fantastic volunteers, we just don’t have enough of them. Plus, there’s this whole thing called LIFE, and people get busy with work and families. So if you have a few hours to spare, think about joining us for a good cause. Here are a few pros and cons about volunteering at ARF, because we believe in being truthful. Would I lie to you?

Pro: If you can’t have a pet where you live, ARF has over 100 dogs you can love on.
Con: That’s a LOT of dog hair.

Pro: If you want to mix fun with exercise, volunteering can be very physical.
Con: It’s possible you wind up in a muddy kiddy pool with an even muddier dog.

Pro: New friends! You’ll meet some mighty fine people doing some amazing work.
Con: These people are experts in the art of persuasion; especially on Dog Bathing days.

Pro: ARF volunteers love to eat, drink, and be merry.
Con: Doughnuts, pizza, potlucks, sodas, and snacks galore. You’ve been warned.

A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.
~ Jack London

Animal Rescue of Fresno is located at 4545 E Dakota in Fresno, CA.

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section on Kings River Life, and the Pets section here on KRL News & Reviews. Check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue. Learn more about ARF on their website.

We also have a brand new pets newsletter that will be going out once a month letting our readers know about all of the pet and animal rescue related articles that went up that month so you never miss a thing. We hope to send the first one out in May. We also hope to provide some additional content and maybe even some pet related giveaways. You can use this box to subscribe!

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Wendy Hunter has been volunteering with ARF for four years. She grew up in Fresno and recently became an Office Assistant with Fresno County. She has been writing all of her life, though never professionally, and currently writes personalized poetry for birthdays, weddings, pet remembrances, etc.