Letters to the Editor for Sept. 22, 2015

There’s more to pet rescue story than may be obvious

Thank you for taking the time to write to the editor about your concerns, Anne [‘Pet rescue raises questions,’ Letters to the Editor, Sept. 8]. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Just to clarify, the previous owner surrendered Franky to an investigating officer for the shelter. We were contacted by the shelter post-surgery in hopes we could take over custody, manage Franky’s recovery and, depending on her progress, find her a loving home or commit to her permanent care ourselves.

Accordingly, we never had contact with the previous owner as the shelter was the legal guardian at the time of transfer to our rescue.

Pet ownership, as you know, is a huge responsibility that includes a serious financial commitment. There are the basic costs of food, supplies and annual check-ups with the veterinarian. And there are the unforeseen emergency costs. Of course, we may not always be in the ideal financial position when tragedy strikes. At those times, difficult decisions might need to be made for the sake of the pet.

In some cases, pet insurance may save the day or the owner might qualify for assistance through an organization like the Farley Foundation, which subsidizes veterinary care for a select group of eligible pet owners.

In Franky’s case, however, her owner didn’t take any action and sadly allowed the condition to worsen without even consulting a veterinarian.

Rest assured, it was not a matter of heartlessly taking a dog away from an owner for financial reasons alone. The real issue was that Franky was suffering and had been for some time. The humane thing for the owner to have done – which she ultimately did thanks to the officer’s intervention – was to relinquish ownership to the shelter so Franky could finally get the medical attention she desperately needed.

And while the large tumour inhibiting her mobility turned out to be benign, more masses have now been detected and are considered high risk for malignancy. She’s taking costly medication for life to hopefully slow the process and must be carefully monitored for any changes. Surgery doesn’t appear to be a viable option but we haven’t completely ruled it out.

Accordingly, Franky will remain in our care for life and we are fully committed to her happiness. I think her previous owner would be happy too, comforted in knowing she made the right choice.

As for us, we’re happy we can continue to save dogs like Franky thanks to our friends and supporters.

Marna Gale

Big On Beagles (B.O.B) Rescue


Mental health support group a great help

[Re: ‘Support group encourages positive change,’ In My Opinion, Sept. 8]: Mental health and illness is different. It can’t be compared to a broken arm – an arm can physically heal over a period of time. Mental illness isn’t visible and there is no guarantee it will go away.

I have been treated for extreme anxiety, obsessing, depression, and post-traumatic stress for over 50 years. With a lot of support from my family, my doctors, and mental health counsellors, I have survived. But I often haven’t felt right.

On the first Tuesday in January this year at 7 p.m. at Community Centre 55, we had our first Beaches Mental Wellness Group meeting.

I knew right away I was in the correct place. I was able to relax. We actually laughed and I found out there were other people with similar problems. I look forward to Tuesday nights. It feels very positive and there is a great deal of help available.

In our group there are several people with prolonged mental illness who have considerable information to pass on to others. Everyone is made to feel welcome and you do not have to speak if you don’t wish to. You are welcome to bring support with you, or accompany another person who is attending.

Remember, the name of our group is Beaches Mental Wellness Group.

Dave Plaskett

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