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.”


This is Storm. When Nicole adopted her, she was aware that this was a puppy with special needs. She thought Storm had an eating disorder because of being the runt of the litter. Nicole quickly realized that there was something more serious going on. After an examination, Storm was diagnosed with megaesophagus (ballooning of the esophagus), which was caused by an anomaly in the band of tissue surrounding the esophagus.

The defect prevented food from going into her stomach, leaving Storm severely malnourished. This condition could only be corrected by a very costly surgery performed by specialists. Storm had a very low chance of survival because of her frail condition, but Nicole decided to go ahead with the surgery, because without it, Storm had no chance. Nicole began contacting every agency she could find to seek assistance with the cost of Storm’s required procedure. Rochester Hope for Pets awarded Nicole a grant to help cover a portion of Storm’s surgery expenses.

“I cannot explain in words how grateful and thankful I am for Rochester Hope for Pets, they are truly amazing! They have done more for Storm than I can explain. It is because of organizations like this that animals that would otherwise have no chance are helped and granted life!” said Nicole. In the months following her surgery, Storm tripled in size and continued to thrive.


This is Shamus, an Old English bulldog who was hit by a car. His owner, Dennis, immediately brought him to the emergency animal hospital where doctors stabilized him. Shamus had a large, open laceration on his back leg that needed cleaning and assessing. For four days, Shamus remained in emergency care, where he received extensive wound care and bandage changes. Surgeons then performed an operation to close his leg laceration. Shamus’s surgery went as planned and he was able to go home to Dennis.

Although on medications and receiving daily bandage changes from a veterinarian, Shamus developed an infection in his wound three days later. The surgery team decided Shamus needed to receive daily wound management to fight the infection. After more than 10 days total of hospitalization, Shamus returned home. With antibiotics and bandage changes every few days, Shamus’s health was improving.

However, the lengthy hospital stays and extensive wound care resulted in a significant bill for Dennis. “I wasn’t expecting it, but it definitely helped out in a time of need,” Dennis said of the grant provided by Rochester Hope for Pets. It was a long road to recovery, but Shamus is back to his old self again!


This is Sassy, who shares a home with her two owners, their son, and six other cats. A while back, Sassy was diagnosed with kidney disease and her values were so high that her owners thought that they were going to lose her. Sassy’s family spent a week dropping her off daily at the animal hospital to receive IV fluids. Sassy soon showed a marked improvement, so they continued medication and daily subcutaneous fluids at home.

Sassy, being the fighter she was, bounced back and did beautifully until June of 2013, when her kidney values started to climb and she became sick again. Her owners once again prepared themselves to say goodbye, but Sassy was a fighter with a very strong will. After talking with their veterinarian, they decided to pursue IV fluid treatment, but it was going to be needed frequently and in conjunction with several other medications and treatments.

Sassy’s owners were determined to give her the best chance they could and, as time went on, her health improved. The treatments continued to work but became expensive, and it was becoming financially difficult for her owners. Thanks to a grant from Rochester Hope for Pets, they were able to continue Sassy’s treatments.  Over time, her kidney values went back down to normal, and she became the spirited little girl her family loved and remembered. Although she’s no longer with us, Sassy and her owners made the most of every day they had together.


This is Princess, a loving, calm and regal white and grey cat that loves to spend her days with her owner, Barbara. One day Barbara noticed that Princess was uncharacteristically restless and agitated. She’d begun to shake her head frantically back and forth and was unable to make herself comfortable. Knowing this was not normal behavior, Barbara knew immediately that Princess was in pain and needed to see a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

After being examined, Princess was diagnosed with an aural hematoma, a collection of blood within the cartilage of the ear that requires immediate attention.  Though dedicated to the well-being of her “soul mate,” Barbara was unsure how she would be able to afford the cost of Princess’s medical treatment while living only on social security.

Through a grant from Rochester Hope for Pets, Barbara was able to afford the ear cannula placement to fix the hematoma. Princess made a complete recovery and is now the happy and healthy cat she’d always been. According to Barbara, “Just the fact that people cared so much was an extra bonus” to Princess’s recovery.


This is Petey. Richard says anyone who encounters Petey agrees he is a very well-behaved and a laid-back dog. Petey was so easy to train that Richard thought he couldn’t possibly be that good of a dog — but he was, and he still is.

Petey is gentle, playful and can’t wait to make new friends. One day while running laps around a pool with another dog, as he had many times before, Petey injured himself. When Richard called for Petey to come in for a swim, he was not using his back left leg. He did not seem to be in any pain, and he just wanted to continue playing. After a day or two of no improvement, Richard took him in to see the veterinarian.

Petey was diagnosed with a very rare knee ligament injury. The surgery to fix this type injury was expensive, but Richard was determined to provide Petey with the care he needed.  When he was told he had received a grant from Rochester Hope for Pets, Richard felt his prayers had been answered. The surgery was extensive and so was the recovery — Petey was in a cast for almost two months — but he got through it successfully. He has full use of his leg and is able to run and play again. We’re so glad it was a happy outcome!


This is Oliver. Sandra rescued the Weimaraner when he was four months old, and he has been by her side ever since. Sandra says that “he is my shadow.” One Sunday, when Sandra got up to go to the kitchen, her “shadow” got off the couch to follow but started gagging. Sandra knew something was wrong. She let him outside for some fresh air but couldn’t get him to come back to her. He kept trying to lie down and was clearly in distress. When he finally came in, Sandra could feel that his abdomen had doubled in size, which she knew was in indication of bloat.

After rushing Ollie to the emergency animal hospital, it turned out that not only did he have bloat, he had gastric dilatation volvulus, or “twisted stomach,” and without surgery he would have to be euthanized. The veterinarians said he would make a full recovery with surgery, although it would be quite costly. Ollie had been with Sandra for seven years; he was her family. She decided to do whatever it took to save his life. She agreed to let them operate, and even though she knew it would be a tight financially, it was never really a question in her mind to save him.

Sandra contacted Rochester Hope for Pets to help with the cost of the surgery, and the grant she received lessened the financial burden. Ollie made a full recovery and is back to being the amazing dog he had always been. In Sandra’s words: “I can’t imagine my life without him and wasn’t ready to say goodbye to him. While I may have rescued him from the shelter, I honestly think he rescued me. I may have agreed to the operation that saved his life, but the way I see it, I was just finally returning the favor.”

Heart Paw