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A shelter intervention program that’s kept nearly thousands of animals out of a shelter has turned families’ and animals’ lives around.
Telma Villatoro has had 13-year-old Conde since he was a puppy. Last month, a flea infestation made him scratch so much he’d bleed and lose fur.
Villatoro said, “I kept treating him myself with ointments that I could provide for, but for at least a month, I was thinking about possibly giving him up.“
Telma appealed to downtown dog rescue. Staffer Noemi Campos gave Conde medicated baths every week.
Villatoro said, “The fact that he’s pain free, running around, and now he’s actually digging up my plants again, so that makes me very happy.“
Lori Weise launched the shelter intervention program also known as “Sip“ that saved Conde in 2013.
Sip makes a plan with families who don’t want to give up their pets.
Lori Weise, Downtown Dog Rescue Founder said, “Somebody could lose one or town of their jobs and that means they’re basically choosing, am I going to be homeless, do I get to keep my kids or do I have to surrender my pet?“
Sip will pay for solutions, but owners are asked to invest as well.
Weise said, “These are people that typically need medical care, maybe they need a fence or a gate built or a doghouse or maybe they’re having problems just providing enough dog or cat food.“
So far, Sip has kept nearly 21,000 animals out of shelters.
Weise said, “To be able to say to somebody, hey, we’ve got a solution for you. It’s just awesome.“
Lori says she talks with shelters across the country that want to launch similar programs. Funding comes primarily from grants from animal protection agencies and donations.