A small, wide-eyed dog was carried into our lobby yesterday by the Roanoke City Sherriff's department. He had been hit by a car, and they found him listless on the sidewalk with a little girl, his girl, hovering over him.
Our staff quickly took action, trying to stabilizing him enough to get him to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic. Animal Control was notified and arrived as we were monitoring vital signs and administering fluids and oxygen.
To get him to the emergency clinic, a basket was lined with towels and he was gently lowered into it accompanied by his IV bag. All the while, he looked at us with trusting eyes, seeming to know we were helping. We were all he had, and for him at that time and that place, it was enough. Having a fragile, innocent, and completely dependent being trust you that much is a responsibility not to be taken lightly, and it squeezes your heart and adrenaline into overdrive.
Once at EVS, it was determined that his injuries were extensive. Angels of Assisi offered to take him back if no family was found, or if the family could not afford the treatment. Soon after, his little girl's family did arrive, the ones authorized to make decisions regarding his care. We don't know what transpired during that time, but their choice was to have him humanly euthanized.
And that was that. The adrenaline in it's entirety was exhaled with a defeated whoosh.
This time yesterday, what we believe was a happy, healthy little dog got into the wrong place at the wrong time, and now he is gone. We can't change that, accidents happen, and life can change in a split second; it always has and it always will.
What we can change, however, is how we are prepared to handle these situations. Many, many people cannot afford hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of vet bills. Does this mean they cannot and should not have pets? Some would say yes, we would say no. Our vision at Angels of Assisi is to have a community hospital for pets, one that provides affordable or free veterinary care. One that can keep little girls and their wide-eyed, trusting, in the wrong place at the wrong time pets together.
We're in the beginning stages of making this vision a reality, with a solid base of our wellness clinic, the additions of sick animal visits, and now in-house lab equipment. When you support Angels of Assisi, by adopting, volunteering, donating, you're supporting the next stage of a pet hospital that can help those who need it most.
Rest in peace, little friend. It's hard for us to wrap our minds around why you aren't here today. Instead of passing judgment of any kind, our goal is to make it easier for the ones behind you to make it back home.
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
― Jonathan Swift