FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Shamrock’s Luck
BY FARAH F. JADRAN | PHOTO COURTESY OF SHAMROCK ANIMAL FUND
When it’s Christmastime, we think of tall evergreens covered in lights and ornaments. But this past Christmas brought more than holly and mistletoe, it brought the “luck of the Irish.” More specifically, the care and support of the Shamrock Animal Fund for a four-month-old puppy.
One month after Kathy Wilson got her dog Trixie, the unthinkable happened. On the night before Christmas Eve, while Kathy worked the night shift, the Bichon-Shi Tzu mix chewed a plugged-in electrical cord burning her mouth and singeing her lungs.
Alarmed about the situation, Kathy began calling every veterinary clinic in the phone book as soon as she returned home from work. From the start, Kathy knew the vet care would be costly. She was waiting for her next paycheck to pay for Trixie’s care.
Kathy openly admitted how disheartening it was to call one veterinary office after another with the same response, “No.” Whether it was the Christmas Eve holiday or Kathy’s inability to pay for all the services, she said it was difficult to hear that no one would help.
But when Kathy dialed Fairmount Animal Hospital on Christmas Eve, she was more than surprised. “It was a great relief,” she said. “They told me, ‘no problem, bring her in.’” Dr. Eileen Fatcheric, of Fairmount Animal Hospital, said there were many reasons why they said, “yes,” to Kathy’s call. “Kathy was very honest and upfront about how much she could afford and she told me she was turned down from many other vets,” Dr. Fatcheric said. “She was well-meaning, very concerned and at the least she wanted to get Trixie in for an assessment.”
Within minutes of taking a look at Trixie and performing a chest X-ray, Dr. Fatcheric found that in addition to the burns in the dog’s mouth; also she had respiratory distress, lung abnormalities and some complications with her blood vessels. Dr. Fatcheric donated the cost of the X-ray. That still left Kathy with more costs to cover. Enter, the Shamrock Animal Fund.
Being that it was Christmas Eve, the challenges were still coming. Founders of the Shamrock Animal Fund, Matt and Jamie Mulcahy, were near Lake Delta in Rome, N.Y., with on-again-off-again cell phone reception. They communicated with Dr. Fatcheric trying to determine an affordable care plan. The Shamrock Animal Fund offered to help pay for Trixie’s care, but emergency hospitalization remained cost prohibitive.
Dr. Fatcheric tried to find a way she could treat the lung issues in a way that Kathy could afford. She came up with a plan: Trixie would go home with a makeshift oxygen tent, her dog crate wrapped in Saran Wrap. She would require a full 48 hours of oxygen critical for her survival while inside the carrier.
Fairmount Animal Hospital arranged to have Lincare Inc. bring a supply of oxygen to Kathy’s home. However, no Christmas miracle is that simple. During a conversation with Kathy, Jamie discovered only eight hours of oxygen was delivered. That would not be enough to keep Trixie alive over the Christmas holidays.
“I left a message on Lincare’s answering machine and I didn’t think anyone would call back at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve,” Jamie said. But to her surprise the call was returned. It took a few more calls and a new order from Dr. Fatcheric. At last, Kathy received a new delivery from Lincare with the right amount of oxygen for Trixie. “It really was a miracle,” Jamie said.
Thanks to many calls, text messages and a team of dedicated people with a “never give up” attitude, Trixie received veterinary care when it didn’t seem possible. Trixie is now doing well, so well that she was featured in Shamrock’s Celebration 2013 promotion on CNY Central. The annual fundraiser takes place at 6:30p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at King & King Architects in Syracuse. Tickets are $50 each and must be reserved by March 15.
Further details, online reservation and payment for Shamrock’s Celebration fundraiser or to donate to The Shamrock Animal Fund are available at www.shamrockanimalfund.com.