When 18-month-old Red began limping, his owners were immediately alarmed. The normally active and robust Boxer/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix was a pitiful sight, one rear paw raised in the air. His owner, Sysan Lytle of Citrus Heights, was worried, not just for Red’s well-being, but because an unplanned trip to the veterinarian was beyond her very limited senior citizen’s budget.
But Lytle learned that she had an option: she applied to the Sacramento SPCA’s Senior Services Program for a veterinary care grant. “Thanks to a grant that we received, the SPCA is sometimes able to help seniors who otherwise might have to surrender their pets due to an inability to afford veterinary care,” says Shari Lowen, Senior Services Coordinator. “Seniors who meet income and eligibility guidelines qualify for certain services. Generally it’s for a one-time, lifesaving or life-altering service which will keep the senior and their pet together at home.”
Lowen helped Lytle obtain the appropriate paperwork, her case was approved, and Red (also known as “Red Caboose”) was soon on his way to his regular veterinarian. Lytle had feared a problem with Red’s hip or knee, but what the doctor discovered was potentially even worse: a mass of unknown etiology on his leg, making walking painful.
Thanks to a grant from Banfield Charitable Trust to the Sacramento SPCA, further approval was given for Red’s mass to be removed. Fortunately, it was benign, and Red’s improvement was immediate.
“Red came into my mom’s life three weeks before my dad passed away last May,” says Lytle’s adult daughter, Erin. “So as you can imagine, the dog means everything to her. The removal of the tumor, to the tune of almost $500, would have been impossible for us. Thanks to (the SPCA), Red is now absolutely wonderful. He is pain-free and running around and happy again. I can’t thank you enough for this program. We are grateful to you every single day.”
For more information on the SPCA’s Senior Services Programs, please visit http://www.sspca.org/program-services/senior-services/ or call (916) 504-2845.