Shadow came to his loving owner, Sharon, at just six weeks old. He was one of six kittens born to a feral cat who had abandoned them.

When he was four, Sharon noticed that Shadow was doing something strange. He was trying to urinate all over the house – when he tried to go though, nothing would happen. Sharon knew something was wrong and brought Shadow to the veterinarian. The vet diagnosed Shadow with a urinary tract infection and sent him home with medication and instructions to collect a urine sample.

Once home, Shadow tried and tried to relieve himself, but it just wasn’t happening. Sharon rushed him to Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services to find out that he had a complete urinary blockage, which is fatal if left untreated. Shadow stayed overnight with IV fluids and a urinary catheter; the next day Sharon took him to her regular vet for a follow-up. Retired and on a fixed income, Sharon was worried about the cost of all of these procedures and office visits. Shadow is a part of her family, and she’s deeply committed to his health. Luckily, she received an award from Rochester Hope for Pets that covered a portion of the total cost.

Sharon was extremely grateful for the award from Rochester Hope for Pets and is glad to have her happy, healthy, Shadow still with her today.”


Tiger was adopted by his loving family right at the beginning of his life. He had been born with a deformity to his left paw that required the leg to be amputated, but he thrived as a three-legged cat. His family included humans, dogs, and cats, and he lived a happy cat life for many years.

Sadly, in the winter of 2017, his dog sister, Lola, passed away. A few months later, the family decided to welcome a new pup into their lives, and rescued a four year-old dog from a local animal shelter. Despite careful introductions, the new dog attacked Tiger soon after arriving. His family rushed Tiger to Penfield Veterinary Hospital, where the veterinarian told them Tiger had five broken ribs and many puncture wounds.

Afraid and unsure of how they would cover the cost of hospitalization, the family turned to Rochester Hope for Pets. Tiger would end up spending ten days in the hospital, receiving multiple treatments that saved his life. The financial award from Rochester Hope for Pets helped to cover a portion of the total cost, alleviating a lot of the family’s financial stress. They were able to focus on helping Tiger recover, and soon he was on his way back to his happy, healthy self!


When Bleu snuck out of the house and was hit by a car late on a Friday night, her loving owner, Dawn, knew she would need medical help immediately. After bringing Bleu to Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services, it was clear that treatment there would not be an affordable option for Dawn. To get her through the night, the doctors gave Bleu some pain medications and gave Dawn a list of things to watch for. The next day, Bleu was limping and not acting like herself. Dawn’s usual veterinarian was unable to see Bleu, so through a reference, Dawn turned to Companion Animal Hospital.  

When she initially got to Companion Animal Hospital, Dawn worried about how much the bill would cost. Aware of her situation, Dr. Yestrebi urged her to apply for a grant from Rochester Hope for Pets. Hope was able to cover a portion of the bill, leaving Dawn feeling much better. She was happy to know that with the help of Rochester Hope for Pets, she could afford the best care for Bleu.

Dr. Yestrebi took great care of Bleu. Dawn left happy that day, feeling like all of her questions had been asked and answered. Thanks to Rochester Hope for Pets, a portion of the expenses were covered, and the financial burden on Dawn was much less daunting. Bleu was able to recover from her injury, and is finally back to playing and running as if nothing happened.  She’s back to living a healthy and happy life with her loving family.




Holly was lucky enough to become part of the Smith family in 2015, when she was rescued by her loving owner, Dureen. Holly had been managing high levels of globulin, ALK phosphatase, and other potential toxins since 2015; however, Dureen became very worried when she noticed that Holly was extremely lethargic and stopped eating.  Holly was taken to the veterinarian for an exam. At that time it was revealed that Holly’s ALK phosphatase levels were at a high of 2,741!! (For those of us that don’t have any medical training, the normal ALK phosphatase level is between 5 and 131!). After an ultrasound showed that Holly’s liver had become enlarged, Holly’s veterinarian recommended that a liver biopsy be performed to determine the cause of the illness.

Dureen was unsure how she was going to pay for this expensive procedure and she reached out to Rochester Hope for Pets for help. Hope was able to provide Dureen and Holly with a financial grant that allowed her to have the procedure done. “I was beyond thrilled, relieved and very, very thankful.  I had no clue how I was going to pay for all of Holly’s medical expenses.  My pups mean the world to me.  They are not ‘just dogs’ to me, they are my family,” Dureen said.

The biopsy revealed that Holly had chronic inflammation of the liver and needs to have her blood tested every 3-4 months. She is on an extended course of anti-biotics to help keep her healthy. “The first day that Holly went to her toy box to get a ball out of it to play fetch was one of the happiest days for me,” Dureen explained, “I knew that my little pup was on her way to feeling better! I truly am so very grateful for everything Rochester Hope for Pets has done for my Holly and me.”


MorganMorgan comes from a big family – five furry siblings and three human siblings. Unfortunately his owner had some big changes in her life that left her as a single mom trying to put her three human children through college while supporting herself and her six fur-babies. If that wasn’t hard enough, in a short period of time, Morgan’s four-legged brothers and sisters began to need extensive veterinary care ranging from multiple teeth extractions for one to a knee injury in another that would eventually require surgery.

When Morgan developed a mysterious growth on his foot that began to open up and bleed, his owner was at a loss of what to do. If the growth wasn’t removed, he risked infection that could be serious in an older pup like Morgan. But, Morgan’s owner had depleted her funding caring for the other ailments her pets had been dealing with that year. Morgan’s mom reached out to Rochester Hope for Pets who was able to help provide a grant towards surgery to remove the growth on Morgan’s foot.

Morgan is now recovering well at home with the help of his siblings and will be back to his spunky self in no time!

Morgan cast


unnamed-1 unnamedThis is Rocky, a 16-pound Chihuahua mix who was found as a stray in the deserts of Southern California. He was shipped to New York to live with his new family, and they discovered he suffered from severe separation anxiety. One day, he jumped on the windowsill to watch his mom’s car as she left and he slipped, fell and broke two bones in his front left paw.

Rocky’s vet tried his best to put the bones back into place, but he is an active dog and kept getting out of his casts. By three weeks it was obvious that the bones weren’t healing well. His family had already spent a lot and the choice at that time was amputation or a very expensive surgery. They were able to raise a large portion of the funds they needed through a GoFundMe campaign, but it was with the help of a grant from Rochester Hope for Pets that they reached their goal and moved forward with surgery.

One metal plate and nine screws later, Rocky is running and jumping and chasing squirrels and experiencing snow for the first time in his fur-ever home!



Cosmo with his brand new harness to help him move with the spunk of a pup!

Meet Cosmo! Cosmo is a 6 year old Poodle that has been seeing the surgical specialists at Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services for a few years. He was diagnosed with acute onset of rear limb paralysis and had to have emergency surgery. Surgery went well, but recovery was long and slow. Despite the efforts of the doctors and his owners to rehabilitate him, he was unable to fully recover. He was, however, able to regain movement in his legs, but needed some extra support while walking.

Cosmo’s dedicated owners were financially drained from the surgery, follow-up appointments, and rehabilitation that he needed, so they reached out to Rochester Hope for Pets for some help to pay for a harness to assist in his walking. With a small grant towards this special piece of equipment, Cosmo is now walking better and more comfortably than before!



Gizmo the kitten (on the left) with his new brother!

Meet Gizmo—the cat with a true rags-to-riches story! Gizmo was adopted from a local rescue and unfortunately escaped shortly after being adopted. One summer evening, he was found by a couple of young children and a very caring mother.

Gizmo was frail from being on the run for about a month and he also had a fractured leg. His rescuers took him to the vet and it looked like he had a microchip! Unfortunately, the family that was registered on his chip were unable to take Gizmo back. So, the family that found him decided they wanted to help.

Gizmo met with several surgeons to discuss his leg injury and it was decided that amputating the leg was the best option for Gizmo. With a grant from Rochester Hope for Pets, and fundraising efforts of their own, this family was able to get Gizmo the surgery that he needed! Surgery was performed and Gizmo began to heal soon after.

His story doesn’t end there, though– Gizmo captured the hearts of the members of this family and they decided to make him a permanent member of their home! He is getting stronger every day with the love of his new fur-ever family!


Meet Rudy, a mixture of Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Border collie, and Doberman, who was adopted by Hope when he was one-and-a-half years old.

At the veterinary specialists’ office, Hope learned that Rudy had pancreatitis and would require ongoing care for chronic flare-ups. Rudy’s prognosis was good as long as he received ongoing medical care, which included hospitalization, fluid pumps, professional treatments, medicines and more.

Treating Rudy’s illness became quite costly for Hope, but she refused to give up.  Hope’s veterinarian said, “Hope loves her dog and tries to do the best she can for Rudy. Rudy is really all she has and I believe he gives her something to live for.”

Hope was given an award from Rochester Hope for Pets, which allowed her to continue providing the ongoing medical care Rudy needs. “I came very close to losing him,” she said.  “Thank God I didn’t. I wasn’t ready to give him up.”


When Jody first met Lucy and her brother, the three-year-old French Bulldogs were in need of serious help. Lucy needed to have her ear canal removed or she would have to be euthanized. The dogs’ owners at the time were unable to pay for the operation or the additional care that the two dogs required. That’s where Jody stepped in. Adopting them was an easy decision. However, that’s where the easy decisions stopped. Lucy’s health problems were just beginning.

Lucy’s ear issues had started with a fungal infection. Because it had been left untreated until Jody stepped in, the only option was to remove the ear canal. The fungal infection had also spread to Lucy’s toe, causing the toe to split and leading to early onset of Squamous Carcinoma. Once the cancer was diagnosed, the best option Lucy had was to have her leg amputated. During the amputation operation, her veterinarian came across a new hurdle — Lucy was unable to breathe without mechanical assistance, so he needed to re-sect her soft pallet.

At this point, one of Jody’s friends at suggested she apply to Rochester Hope for Pets, and she qualified. She was grateful to receive the award that helped pay for the soft pallet surgery. While Lucy continues to have a head tilt due to her ear canal operation and only has three legs, she is thriving! She loves playing with Jody’s children, as well as Jody’s other dogs. Her cancer has remained in complete remission, and her doctor is hopeful that she will have no further complications from it. Lucy’s aftercare has been fairly straightforward, and Jody says the hardest part was keeping her quiet and inactive.

Jody sees Lucy’s story as one of hope and triumph. Throughout her ordeal, Jody has felt lucky to witness the best in both people and animals. “Lucy’s so strong and so sweet after everything she’s been through; she’s a tough girl, still just happy to lick your face.”

Heart Paw