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A ‘Lucky’ dog gets a new life thanks to an oil-spill grant from the Foundation



Lucky (right) and new brother Pip at Camp Gone to the Dogs in Vermont

The Gulf oil spill had an impact on more than just the wildlife along the Gulf Coast — it also affected the pets and shelters and rescue groups in Gulf Coast communities.

The Foundation is giving $150,000 to shelters affected by the spill and groups who transported pets from those shelters and took them into their own care. (Learn more about the Gulf coast oil spill grants here.)

Nine shelters and rescue groups in Florida, Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana received grants to cover general operating costs, including St. Bernard Parish Animal Control Center in Violet, LA, from which we recently received a heartwarming follow-up story about a dog named Lucky.

Lucky was surrendered by an owner who was affected by the oil spill and could not afford to pay for Lucky’s medical care after the Chihuahua mix was attacked by another dog. Lucky had broken ribs, a punctured lung and multiple deep puncture wounds.

Shelter staffers nursed him back to health, treated him for heartworm and sent him on a transport to New Jersey organized by St. Hubert Animal Welfare and Education Center in Branchburg, NJ.

When Lucky arrived in New Jersey he was placed in a foster home with Aviva Ehrlich, a volunteer with Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in Bridgewater, NJ. Just when Lucky was ready to go back to the shelter to meet potential adopters, the shelter experienced an outbreak of kennel cough.

Aviva didn’t want to risk Lucky getting sick, so she took him on vacation with her 8-year-old Basenji/terrier mix, Pip, to Camp Gone to the Dogs in Vermont for a week of activities for dogs and their owners.

After that, Aviva decided she couldn’t part with Lucky, so he is now a permanent member of her family. “He is a happy dog and a joy,” Aviva says. “We go for long walks every day and he has learned that he should bark at the big bad school buses, bicycles, skate boards and scooters. … He is definitely recovered and leading a wonderful life.”

Stories like these make everything we do here at the Foundation that much more rewarding. The Foundation would like to extend a thank you to Merial’s Paws to Save Pets program and The Animal Rescue Site’s Gifts That Give More. Because of these partnerships, we are able to help shelters and rescue groups during times of hardship and disaster.

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