When he was eight weeks old, Atlas was adopted from a local shelter by Erica. He was missing one leg due to birthing complications, but that only made Erica love him more. She modified her apartment so it was easier for him to get around – steps where he couldn’t jump high enough, and rugs on the floor so he didn’t slip. Atlas fit right into his new life.

Less than a year after adoption, Atlas began struggling to urinate and lost his appetite. After a week of taking him to and from the vet’s office, on Sunday, Erica knew she had to take him to Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services. There he was diagnosed with a urinary blockage; if left untreated, Atlas would die. Despite having other bills and not knowing how she’d pay for the surgery, Erica elected to have it done – Atlas is part of her family. A friend encouraged her to apply to Rochester Hope for Pets, and in the end, she was awarded funds to help pay the bill. Afterwards, Erica said, “I know it sounds cliche, but I truly think that Atlas is the one who rescued me.”

Thanks to Davidson Fink, Attorneys at Law for making this Tail of Hope possible!



Hudson was born in 2006 in Corsicana, Texas and came to his loving owner, Jean, at 8 weeks old. Together Jean and Hudson lived in Texas, Maine, and then finally returned to Jean’s hometown of Rochester.

In early February 2018, Hudson slipped on some ice and partially tore a ligament in his knee. During a follow-up visit for his leg, the Veterinarian noticed that his lymph nodes were enlarged. Biopsies were taken, and on March 9 Hudson was diagnosed with stage 3 Lymphoma.

Hudson immediately began receiving treatments at VSES. From March 13 to August 21 Hudson underwent 16 chemo visits. Due to the financial implications of such a disease, Jean’s cousin suggested she reach out to HOPE. The partial grant Hudson received went directly into his chemo treatments.

Now 12 years old, Hudson is in remission thanks to his “I can do this” attitude, exceptional care from VSES, and support from so many of his friends and family.

It can be difficult for pet owners to carry the emotional and financial weight of these intense medical conditions on their own. Jean was very grateful to have some of both burdens lifted of her shoulders by Rochester Hope for Pets, for the emotional support of friends and the exceptional care Hudson received at Veterinary Services Emergency Services.


Tina was adopted when she was three years old by her loving mother, Sandra Leveson. She came from a local rescue for cats, and seemed healthy and happy upon adoption. A short while after adopting Tina, Sandra noticed that she was acting funny. Sandra brought her to the vet, only to find out that Tina needed to have all of her teeth pulled. Sandra had to choose between paying for the surgery or having her humanely euthanized. Despite needing dental work of her own, Sandra made it clear that “the cat comes first.” Dr. Wihlen at Animal Hospital of Pittsford told Sandra he would do whatever he could to help with the expensive surgery, and was able to connect her with a $400 award from Rochester Hope for Pets – a huge relief for Sandra.

This wasn’t the only time Tina and Sandra would receive help from RHFP though. Recently Tina began developing strange masses around her eyes. It was found that she had multiple growths that needed to be removed. Again, Rochester Hope for Pets was able to cover part of the surgery, and was able to take some of the financial burden off of Sandra’s family.

Now almost 12 years old, Tina remains a snugly, sweet, toothless, and somewhat visually impaired cat with a lot of love left to give



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!

Heart Paw