Foundation Award to Stickney's Toy Breed Rescue

Foundation Award to Stickney's Toy Breed Rescue

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Family Gathering
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 euthanized.

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 parents.

First Embrace
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.

Giving out Treats
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 Dog Mork
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 animals everywhere.

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 neglected animals.

Comments (7) -

  • Claire Miller

    9/26/2012 6:55:04 PM |

    A huge thank you for the Dr. Jane Foundation for the support that has been given to the Stickney's Toy Rescue of Cortland, NE.  I have only been blessed to have been involved, lightly, with Ms. Stickney's Rescue for the past three years and yet for all of my admiration, I have never met her.  But just from what I have watched, followed and read and saw photo's and video's of, this is a dream of a rescue.  I don't remember ever hearing the word NO when it comes to taking in or caring for these wee ones.  She goes over and beyond of what seems to be the norm for rescue.  She told me once that these little ones have been jammed in cages for their whole lives, but as long as they are in this house, it will be their decision as to whether they want to go into one or not.  And as stated, no doors on these crates.  Within two weeks, with few exceptions (and there are a few) these beautiful little souls are running, tearing around with toys and learning to live inside with rules.  Anyone who is approved to adopt from Ms. Stickney, is getting a companion for life.  Thank you again for your foundation and your support.

  • Cheryl Herries

    9/27/2012 10:56:53 AM |

    Wonderful well donated!

  • Anita Lingerfelt

    9/27/2012 5:24:02 PM |

    Thank you so much for helping with the vet bills for Stickney's.  I have been a supporter and follower of her rescue for a few years.  I am amazed at the dedication Mary has to help these little ones.  I have seen dogs come in that look like skeletons, with sores all over their body.  After a time with Mary's care, they look like completely different dogs, happy, healthy, and ready for a forever home.

  • Rebecca Forrest

    10/2/2012 12:03:37 PM |

    I am so proud to be part of this organization! Hurray for all your good work!

    Rebecca Forrest

  • JoAnne Rando-Moon

    10/2/2012 9:35:15 PM |

    Thank you to the Dr. Jane Foundation for helping yet another worthy rescue.  Knowing they will have care the rest of their lives is so comforting.  A grant to a small rescue can make all the difference in the world for the animals.

  • Dog Hotel

    10/21/2012 11:48:00 PM |

    Cheers to Mary and her team. Really appreciate your hard work. Great job done.

  • greg mclardie

    1/24/2013 5:55:40 PM |

    I am so happy to find this blog, because I am a dog lover, I have so many dogs to carry, and I'm so happy to have them in my life, the enjoyment is different when you have them in your life.

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