Family Gathering in the Kitchen.
It is our great honor to relay news of yet another financial award granted by
Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation. In a recent round of funding, we subsidized
the vital enterprises of a non-profit organization whose mission is to salvage
the lives of dogs damaged by human greed.
Located in Cortland, Nebraska, Stickney's Toy Breed and Rescue and Retirement
Sanctuary specializes in small breeds, dogs who generally weigh less than 25
pounds. Nine out of ten of the dogs received into their care come directly from
puppy mills, not just locally but from other states, too. The remainder of their
dependents are spared certain death in shelters where they are slated to be
Stickney’s Toy Breed Rescue and Retirement Sanctuary began as a journey of
discovery. In 1998, founder Mary Stickney entered the internet age with an
investigation into the source of puppies sold in many pet stores. Upon learning
that many of “those puppies in the pet store window” were born and raised in
puppy mills, she decided to take action, converting her home into a refuge for
dogs. Her residential property is situated on five acres and features an
enormous dog run, a six-foot-high chain-link fence covering nearly a quarter of
an acre … plenty of room to roam for these lively, tiny creatures.
Mary has taken as her personal mission the rehabilitation of dogs who, when
they come to her, are emaciated and broken in spirit. Almost without fail, every
canine who comes to Stickney’s is in need of emergency veterinary care. By the
time she enfolds her caring arms around these pups, some of whom have been
discarded like trash, they are suffering from a range of physical and mental
abuses and atrocious medical neglect, having barely survived appalling
conditions that can hardly be called “living quarters”. All too often, she has
witnessed first-hand horrors that can hardly be comprehended by many pet
Embraced for the first time.
Mary’s day starts early, rising at 5:00 a.m. to put out fresh water and food
for her dogs. At present, she also has a full-time day job, but her assistant
Lisa DeNood provides care and supervision while she’s away from home. Evenings
are spent trying to locate or meeting with potential adopters. No part of her
home is off-limits to the dogs, whom she affectionately refers to as “the lucky
ones”, many of whom share her king-sized bed at night. Her bedroom is brimming
with floor cots and crates (the doors have been removed). She devotes
significant energy to teaching them how to live in a home, as most have spent
their entire lives in cramped cages. Helping these dogs overcome fear and
anxiety is a major challenge, but one she approaches head-on. On the weekends,
any number of volunteers arrive to play with the pups and to help handle the
intake of new dogs. Saturdays and Sundays are prime adoption times, unless the
team is rendezvousing to pick up new rescues.
A volunteer feeds treats to happy pups.
The adoption fees they collect go towards the high vet bills they routinely
incur, although the extensive care provided leaves Stickney’s operating in the
red much of the time. To help fill this need, the Board of the Dr. Jane’s
HealthyPetNet Foundation stepped in and made a significant contribution.
Awarded in August, our donation covered the costs of veterinary care for 12
dogs retrieved from two different puppy mills, one notorious for its deplorable
conditions and the other a Dachshund mill whose violations were so egregious it
was shut down by authorities.
The medical problems of the rescued canines are not for the faint of heart …
perhaps not even for the stalwart of heart. All 12 needed immediate medical
attention. Two of these canines, a Maltese named Mindy and a Pomeranian named
Cinnamon, were suffering from multiple issues, including kidney failure, dental
infections, strangulated hernia, ear infections and other conditions too graphic
to describe here. Despite the best efforts of veterinarians, both pups died
during treatment as the extent of the trauma proved too extreme to survive.
Emaciated from neglect, Mork will no longer be
denied good nutrition.
Fortunately, the maladies of the other ten pups did not prove fatal. Thanks
to the epic efforts of volunteers and veterinarians, they were able to save the
lives of two Yorkies, one Maltese, one Shi Tzu, two Brussels and four
Dachshunds. All of these pups needed extensive dental work, some suffering from
conditions so severe that most of their teeth had to be extracted. Snickers, one
of the Doxies, had ground her teeth down to mere nubs after repeatedly
attempting to chew her way out of her cage.
We hope that we helped ease this small operation’s financial burden, as well
as playing a role in making sure their rescues receive the proper care they
deserve. On behalf of all of these small-in-stature but large-at-heart dogs who
are now starting down the road to recovery, and hopefully happiness, we offer
Stickney’s our deep and abiding thanks. Their diligent work puts a spotlight on
the dark side of the pet industry.
Zeus enjoys his new-found freedom.
All of us here at Life’s Abundance are proud to sponsor the efforts of this
remarkable rescue. The perseverance of Mary and her team in the face of gruesome
and heart-rending situations gives us hope. While their rescues serve as grim
reminders that there’s still much work to be done, still many left to save,
every instance of healing teaches us we can improve the plight of companion
Most especially, we are thankful to all of our readers and customers who,
through their personal donations and continued patronage, make all of our grants
possible. Your kindness and commitment to pet health has directly helped this
devoted group of volunteers to make the world a better place for abused and