There is an endless need for animal support when it comes to rescue and adoptions. Fortunately, there is also an endless amount of love, care, and giving for the animals taken in by the Northwest Indiana rescue centers and animal hospitals.
The relationship between the Lakeshore PAWS rescue organization and Vale Park Animal Hospital was established years ago, and is a bond that has been strengthened over time.
The organization is a majority volunteer-run non-profit located in Valparaiso. It was founded in 2011 by Jeanne Sommer.
“Before Lakeshore PAWS even began, I met with Dr. Jerry Rodenbarger and told him that we were planning on starting a rescue and he said that he would help,” she said.
Since then, the veterinarians of VPAH have been working hand-in-hand with Lakeshore PAWS, to make sure the animals in the shelter is healthy and happy.
This strong relationship helped influence a new program being created between the two organizations, called the Fur-Ever Program.
Dr. Lisa Booth, a VPAH vet and a four-year board member at Lakeshore PAWS, was one of the main people encouraging this new idea. According to Booth, she also donates hours of her time at the rescue providing the homeless dogs with medical help.
The program is created for the individuals and families who adopt animals from rescue groups.
“Once a dog is adopted from Lakeshore PAWS, they will get a certificate for a free first examination by one of our veterinarians,” Dr. Booth said. “Then, they are eligible for free core vaccines for the lifetime of their pet.”
Core vaccines would include the Rabies vaccine and Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza vaccine, she added.
The program just started this month, and when the idea was brought to Sommer at Lakeshore PAWS, she said she was excited for the future help it provides to dogs and the families who adopt them.
“When they mentioned that they wanted to implement this new program, we were excited,” Sommer said. “The complimentary vaccines will save the adopters money throughout their dogs' lives. It will also ensure that the dogs that are adopted out stay up to date on their vaccines.”
Susan Lafferty, a VPAH Practice Manager, said the program was a way to try something new this year for pet advocacy. At the beginning of each year, the staff reviews how they have been doing and brainstorms ideas on how to expand their community service efforts.
“This year this topic was introduced and before we knew it, we had come up with a plan to help rescued pets,” Lafferty said. “Sometimes when you are doing something for the greater good everything comes together pretty effortlessly.”
The topic of rescue animals who have experienced neglect and suffering in their lives is always complicated and unfortunate. It is an issue that volunteers and staff members of these two organizations - and rescue centers throughout the country - see too regularly.
“We wanted to create a program that would promote annual exams and vaccine compliance, so these animals can go on to live healthy and happy lives,” Lafferty added.
This program is a win for everyone: the two organizations, the families adopting the dogs, and the four-legged friends. It is thanks to the bond of friendship between the Vale Park Animal Hospital and Lakeshore PAWS that has influenced the large, generous amount of support for the well-being of the animals.
These dogs will be someone’s new best friend, creating yet another happy, healthy friendship that will last fur-ever.