When you became a FurEver Friend to the animals, you committed to helping animals find comfort in all crises, big and small. Though the devastation of natural disasters or the shock of exposed cruelty and neglect draws us to action on behalf of whole communities, it is in the “everyday crises” that your support has the deepest impact on individual animals and the people who cherish them.

That is why we bring you so many stories from the RedRover Relief program: the Urgent Care grants that you make possible are the immediate, lifesaving difference for families facing an unexpected veterinary emergency that threatens the bonds they share with their beloved pet. Each of us who loves an animal can understand this type of crisis, especially if we’ve ever felt helpless to alleviate a pet’s suffering.

For Krystal, her beautiful Pitbull Niko was her comfort. 

My dog is my best friend. This dog is my rock and he is always by my side. I am a suicide survivor and suffer extreme depression. We adopted him from a shelter after my depression worsened so I could have a companion, and we have been inseparable ever since. There have been so many anxiety attacks I’ve had where he’s the only thing that can bring me down to earth. I love this dog as much as I love my children.

But Niko was more than Krystal’s emotional support – he was also a buddy to her four young children and an indispensable part of their family. Together they spent their summers walking on trails and playing outside. When Krystal was unable to work for several months due to challenges with her health and fell behind on her car payment and utilities bill, Niko’s big smile and wagging tail helped keep the family’s spirit up.

Shortly after Krystal was able to return to work but before she regained financial stability, a failed dognapping put Niko in jeopardy. Someone who wanted to steal Niko lured him out of their backyard with a full ear of corn on the cob. While he wasn’t dognapped that day, the corn would cause other issues that threatened to take Niko from his family.

Dogs are unable to digest corn cobs, so a large piece of it got stuck and blocked a part of Niko’s intestines. He was unable to eat, drink water or have a bowel movement, and if any more time passed before he was able to get emergency surgery, the tissue in his intestines would begin to die. Already, he was dehydrated. Krystal and her children were scared of what might happen.

My children adore him and he is such a huge part of our family. We can’t imagine life without him anymore. He has so many years left to have with us. I’m not ready to say goodbye or to lose my best friend. 

Though she had caught up with her bills, Krystal hadn’t been working long enough to have money in savings for this unexpected emergency. She applied for several different lines of credit but was denied due to missed payments. While she looked for organizations to apply for assistance and tried to find a more affordable veterinarian, time was quickly running out. With a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant, she was able to get Niko in for the emergency surgery before his condition worsened. 

Now at home resting, Niko has a second chance at many more years of health and happiness with his best friend. 

My family and I cannot thank you guys enough for the assistance! We are forever grateful to the kind donors who have made this possible! 

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