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Daniel: A dog transformation story

Daniel: A dog transformation story

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The Summer of Second Chances giving campaign has ended, and we are happy to announce that everyone's generosity has allowed us to raise more than $53,000 for homeless pets in Lee County!

In August, we took in 169 pets and secured a live release rate of 95 percent For comparison, 90 percent live release is the baseline that Best Friends Animal Society uses to designate communities as no-kill.

Roscoe’s Story

One animal who we were able to help through everyone's generosity is Roscoe.

Roscoe came into the shelter with severe skin issues, which we reported in a previous column. Donations to the special needs fund and his amazing foster mom (who adopted him!) helped him become an incredibly happy pup.

We began treating him for his issues at the shelter, and his previous foster mom, now adoptive mom, Cali Dell Bzoch, has watched his personality blossom over time as his health has improved.

Cali shared Roscoe's story, which began before she began fostering him.

"I call him my Roscoe Man - he is my forever best friend and sidekick. Before he came into my life, Roscoe lived a life no living thing should ever have to endure - one of pain, hurt and neglect. He trusted no one," said Bzoch.

Bzoch continued to say, "I began fostering him mid-July, and I saw a dog that was lifeless and in excruciating pain - emotionally and physically. I had to force him to eat because he was in that much pain."

Roscoe's progress during his time with Bzoch shows the impact that TLC and medical care can make on the life of a sweet dog.

Bzoch said, "Present day, you would not even recognize this sweet boy - he is full of life and so much joy! And surprise - I ended up adopting Roscoe because the bond and love I share with him is something that cannot be measured.

“He brings so much joy and comfort to my life. I know I've changed his life, but boy, he has no idea how much he has changed mine."

Though our Summer of Second Chances fundraiser has ended, we still have several ways that you can help support the Lee County Humane Society and the pets we serve, including by fostering animals like Roscoe, who require special care to rehabilitate them.

Animals in need of foster

We still have several dogs that are in particularly great need of fostering, including Harriet and Buddy.

Harriet came into the shelter in not-so-great condition, very underweight, with wounds on her body and heartworms. Harriet also had severe anxiety in the kennel that led her to pace around her kennel until it caused her paw pads to bleed.

We were able to stabilize her on anti-anxiety medications, which allowed us to have her heartworm treated.

However, she would much prefer to heal in a foster home in which her foster would be home much of the time to provide Harriet with the love and reassurance that she needs. Recently, heartworm-treated dogs benefit from living in a quiet, calm environment because a high heart rate puts them at risk for a pulmonary embolism.

Harriet would prefer to be the only pet in the home at this time, and because of her anxiety, we prefer that she be paired with a foster having extensive dog experience.

Buddy is another dog who would greatly benefit from a foster home. He is also a loving dog who is a bit on the shy side and experiences a great deal of stress in the noisy kennel environment.

A foster home would help these two dogs and others have the TLC they need to thrive. If you have dogs, he is dog-selective and would need a meet-and-greet before we'd release him into a home with dogs. However, he is very cat friendly and gentle with felines!

If you're not a current foster but would like to begin fostering with LCHS, please fill out a foster application on our website at leecountyhumane.org/foster. Please allow for 24 to 48 hours for your application to be approved, after which time you can set up a time with our foster coordinator to meet potential foster pets.

If you're a current foster interested in fostering an animal in need, you may contact our foster coordinator at foster2@leecountyhumane.org.

We also need dog walkers to assist with providing enrichment and playtime for our dogs. Dog walkers must be 18 years of age or older, become an LCHS volunteer and complete an additional training program to begin walking dogs.

We are immensely grateful for all of our supporters, and Roscoe's story shows the amazing impact that we can make on homeless animals' lives by working together.

Column by Kelly Daniel, volunteer coordinator with the Lee County Humane Society.

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