It has been, to put it lightly, a relentless whirlwind of grief over the past week for local animal rescue organization Delco Dawgs.
The all-volunteer organization is strapped for money, scrambling to keep the animals safe, and seeking help from locals who can help.
“I would like to say Happy 4th, but it’s not happy for everyone,” began a post on the team’s Facebook page on Monday. “The passing of the Declaration of Independence and our nation is worth celebrating, but not everyone can celebrate.”
The post, written by Delco Dawgs founder Jill Speckman, describes a litany of health issues recently rescued animals are suffering from as the organization’s finances falter and decide to continue the mission.
“Emotionally we are a wreck,” Speckman writes. “Physically, we feel it. Our hearts are broken and our pockets are empty. I post so much that the posts don’t even make sense anymore and are a nuisance. We beg and beg because, even though it’s Independence Day, many of us aren’t really “free,” in a sense. If you’re in rescue for the right reasons, you’re never free. Your heart is tied and hurt, you’re tied to your phone waiting for the next phone call/email/tag/text from a suffering animal…and they ALWAYS come.
Speckman goes on to provide updates on some recent cases. There’s Maryjane, a Frenchie pup with a bad heart and lingering pneumonia possibly caused by something that will need surgery to fix. Betty the bulldog needs respiratory surgery, but was adopted and is doing “amazingly well” after her heart surgery.
Simba, a 5-month-old puppy who was being trained as an emotional support dog when he was hit by a car, is suffering from a broken pelvis on one side and a broken hind leg on the other. He is currently in foster care, but may be inoperable. If some sort of repair is possible, it will likely cost between $10,000 and $15,000.
Speckman brought cat Ash to Glenolden Veterinary Hospital on Saturday. Named after Ashland Avenue where he was found, Ash was hit by a car and was partially paralyzed. He was able to drag himself under a bush and lay there for hours as people posted about him on Facebook, Speckman said. She was eventually able to get him back, but the car she was driving broke down and she had to be taken to the vet by a Glenolden policeman. Ash spent one night in intensive care and died the following morning.
Then there are the dogs who, every 4th of July, come loose after being spooked by fireworks. Speckman said she was looking for three people on Saturday afternoon – one of whom walked through a door to escape – and she expects that number to increase by Tuesday.
“Today we set up traps for dogs that have been in the heat all week, so we are required to monitor those traps,” she said Monday. “Due to the fireworks, many dogs are on the loose and running scared, and tonight there will be more. The lucky ones will not be affected and hopefully will be caught and survive. We surrender available 24/7 but we can’t all be in 10 places at once.
These are just a few of the animals currently in the care of Delco Dawgs and a small sample of all that have come before in the six years of rescue. Surgical costs continue to rise, with over $50,000 owed to VRC in Malvern alone.
Speckman says she knows it’s unfair to ask the same donors and supporters to continue supporting Delco Dawgs, especially with high gas and food prices straining budgets, but without help, l organization is sunk – and with it, the animals it could help.
“Without donations, we are finished. It’s as simple as that,” Speckman said. “The overwhelming amount of injured animals locally is too much. We have knots in our stomachs all the time. We depend on SAME supporters and donors to keep us afloat and that’s not fair. We know there are many more who can afford a $10 donation. We are 100% volunteers, pay 0 salary. We are a 501c3 so donations are tax deductible. Please, please HELP!”
Delco Dawgs is currently running a Lifesaving Wreath Raffle on its website at delcodawgs.org to help raise additional funds and reduce costs. Donors can call VRC at 610-647-2950 to help pay these bills, pay via Venmo at @jill-speckman or via Paypal at [email protected]