Tico Lovie wasn’t the dog that Lynn had expected to adopt. The one-year-old poodle had been brought to the Capital Humane Society after having been found wandering the streets of Crete, Nebraska. Lynn had been looking for a smaller dog but, when she saw the young dog hanging his head and in obvious emotional stress, her heart was filled with compassion. She’d wanted a dog in need of rescue, and Tico Lovie was certainly such a dog. Little did Lynn know at the time the challenges they would face together.
I don’t understand the people who are cruel to animals; they don’t do anything but be born.–Lynn
The initial challenges arose because of Tico Lovie’s trust issues. When Lynn first adopted him, he didn’t eat or drink enough, nor did he interact with people or play. Lynn worked with him to build his confidence. She pets him and rubs his back. She takes him for walks when the weather cooperates. Lynn has even tried to groom him; because he’s so fearful she hasn’t yet tried using a brush but instead strokes her fingers through his hair to keep the gnarls out. Lynn has also attempted to clip his nails. “The first time I tried I accidentally nipped his skin. He never even made a sound. That shows how bad he’s been abused.” Although Tico Lovie still backs away from strangers, he’s come a long way with Lynn. He now regularly drinks water and plays. Lynn is also teaching him to fetch. He sleeps with her on the couch (more comfortable to her because of back issues), he’s now confident enough to hold his head up.
I try to take him with me whenever I go out. He’s my life. I have very few friends.—Lynn
Through all her work with Tico Lovie, this little dog with brown ears and a short nose became Lynn’s faithful companion. When his poor appetite didn’t improve, she took him to the vet, where it was discovered that he had digestive problems that required prescription dog food. It’s also when Lynn ran into financial difficulties. Lynn had already been struggling to make ends meet on a limited income, to the point that she had gotten herself into credit card troubles. She turned to a debt-solution program for help, but then came Tico Lovie’s expensive prescription dog food. At age 74, finding regular work is tough, but Lynn prefers not to become dependent on government assistance. If all these dilemmas aren’t enough, Lynn has struggled with her own health.
God is faithful and He’ll take care of me. I live day by day.–Lynn
Still, when Tico Lovie got sick, something had to be done. When Lynn struggled to pay the vet bill, Animal Control assisted with finding her financial help. In addition, Animal Control advised her to apply to Lincoln Animal Ambassadors for help. Years ago, Lynn had heard about the Lincoln Animal Ambassadors food bank. At the time, although Lynn had thought it was a wonderful service to offer pet owners, she herself wasn’t in need of it and so had forgotten about it – until reminded about it by animal control. “When I found out that one could get pet food I applied and I’m so grateful for the help I’ve received. I know Lincoln Animal Ambassadors only has so much money, and is all run by volunteers, but I appreciate that they buy food from the vet office for me.” Because prescription food isn’t always readily available, Lincoln Animal Ambassadors orders it from local vets, and clients are able to confirm that it’s arrived before they pick it up.
Various pet food banks across the United States cite this startling statistic: financial hardship accounts for approximately 25% of the pets that are surrendered to shelters. Besides reducing the number of pets that end up being taken to overcrowded shelters, pet food banks also help provide emotional relief to owners who can’t provide for their pets.
It’s expensive to run a pet food bank. Even if everyone gives just a dollar, this would help.–Lynn
Every month, Lincoln Animal Ambassadors distributes an average of 5,000 pounds of food. Cat and dog food are the most often requested products, and each cat owner is offered a twenty-pound bag of litter. Sometimes a client will ask for a special needs diet or for a specific brand. Lincoln Animals Ambassadors does its best to oblige, even purchasing prescription pet food from veterinarians for recipients who otherwise couldn’t afford it. At times, there are requests for food for other animals too: birds, ferrets, guinea pigs, and even rats. If clients ask for items that haven’t been donated, Lincoln Animals Ambassadors may dip into its funds to buy them.
My thanks to Lynn, who kindly agreed to let me share her story as a way of paying back Lincoln Animals Ambassadors for their help Whenever she meets pet owners who have a need and who don’t know about Lincoln Animal Ambassadors, Lynn routinely recommends their services.