I guess you could say I've always been a rescuer. I started saving animals when I was just a small child. Birds, turtles, dogs, cats, snakes, any animal in need could count on me to try to help.
But it wasn't until 2013 that I started a 'real' rescue. I had a friend who called me late one night about a friend of hers. She said their boxer had been bred for the second time in 10 months and was having trouble delivering. A few pups were born dead, one was struggling to breathe, and they had no idea if mom was done delivering or not. They refused to take her to the vet.
My friend wanted to know if I could help. I was furious at their lack of responsibility and over-breeding their dog, so I said "yes, I'll help. I'll take the dog to the vet right now, IF they'll sign her and the pup/s over to me". They did and off we went to the vet.
It turned out that mom was done delivering and the pup seemed to be doing okay by that point.We were thrilled and thought everything was okay.
Little did we know, that this was just the beginning of our journey. Mom was producing milk and the pup was nursing. The first 24 hours seemed normal. But it wasn't. The pup, who we named Baby Vinny, still seemed to be nursing, but he was losing weight very rapidly and by the time we were coming to the 48 hour mark, we were back at the vet.
We soon discovered his suckling wasn't strong enough and he would need to be tube fed. Every two hours around the clock I was tube feeding him. He started gaining weight and again, we thought things would be normal. It wasn't.
By four weeks old we knew he had hydrocephalus, his head was grossly swollen with fluid.By 6 weeks old, we knew he has something serious going on with his back legs, but we weren't sure what. He was walking, sort of, but we could see there was something wrong with the legs.
Xray revealed that he was born without hip sockets and the ball of the femur. Eventually, when he was strong enough, he would need surgery.
Baby Vinny continued to grow and gain weight. Despite his hydrocephalus and missing hips, he was doing very well. It was miraculous to see him defeat the odds that had been stacked against him.
Eventually Baby Vinny was grown enough and strong enough to have his hip surgery. He recovered well and is fully ambulatory with no pain or issues. His hydrocephalus resolved itself and he suffered no permanent damage.
Sadly I could not keep Baby Vinny or his mother. I already had the limit allowed in my city.
So reluctantly I placed him up for adoption. Thankfully he was adopted by a wonderful woman and given the best home we could have dreamed of. You could say, they saved each other in a way. She had lost her husband and was lonely, and Baby Vinny was a reason to smile again. She hadn't been looking to get a dog, hadn't even considered it. But she saw his picture and she said she knew that he was hers. It was fated.
Now I have to side track here a little. My son, Aaron, was born 3 1/2 months premature. He has cerebral palsy and uses a wheel chair . I learned how to tube feed because of his prematurity and the fact that he was tube fed for months after his birth.
So, now let's talk about Lilly, Baby Vinny's mom. She was a wonderful girl. She immediately adored my son and wasn't bothered by his wheelchair at all. However while she was with us she developed what seemed to be tumors all over her belly. I didn't know what to do. I didn't have the money to deal with this expense. So I called a local rescue. They came and met her and said she they could help. They took her to the vet and had surgery, it turned out that it wasn't serious, but it was expensive. She healed well and they were going to place her for adoption.
Because she was a pure bred boxer, they decided to reach out to a breed rescue, who gladly stepped up. I didn't hear anything for a few weeks after that. And then I got a message that to this day still gives me chills. I had written a note for the rescue detailing all of the wonderful traits this girl had, I included the fact that she was great around wheelchairs.
The message from the rescue was that they had a little girl who was wheelchair bound and she had tried meetings with several dogs over the past year and nothing had worked out. But the moment she met Lily, they all knew it was an answer to her prayers. I cried and sometimes I still get teary thinking about that. How amazing that these two dogs came into my life and helped change other people's lives.
Well I knew I had to share this story, so I posted it along with pictures on facebook.
Before I knew what hit me, I was inundated with messages asking me to help dogs in need. I had never realized just how many dogs are in such desperate need! Of course I couldn't say no. I knew I had to help as many as I could. I still didn't know that I would form a rescue, it never even occurred to me. I was just a person who loved animals doing what I could to help. But over the next few months, the calls kept coming and coming. Then someone suggested that I start my own rescue and with her help, I did just that.
I wanted to my focus to be moms with pups and pregnant moms. It seemed like so many times these mom's were left out. The pups would be taken and the mom left to die. That's how we became Mommy & me Rescue.
It didn't take long though before we started taking in dogs that weren't moms or moms to be.
We also take in the dogs and pups that no one else can/will take in. The ones with extreme medical needs. We've had blind, deaf, paralyzed, ones that needed an eye removed, ones that need a limb amputated. We've even had a puppy that needed heart surgery (to the tune of 5,000.00).
All of our special needs and pregnant dogs and pups live with us.
Our babies get one on one attention and love. They live as members of the family until they are adopted. We have a very small rescue center where some of our dogs are housed if they are medically, mentally, and emotionally stable. All dogs with serious issues are cared for personally by me in my home.
We also have started a program at the local state prison in Coal Township. It is called FIDOS and you can find that page here
Due to the extreme cases we take in, we are often asking for donations. Mommy & me Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit rescue and all donations are tax-deductible.
With your support we will continue striving to save and rehabilitate as many dogs and puppies as we can. Together, we can do this!