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Support Luna's Puppies & Contribute to Rescue Start-Up

Organized by: BETHANY MATALLANA

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THE STORY:

I rescued Luna 10 days before she gave birth to her seven AMAZING puppies. Luna and another dog I have named Geeli, and is a one year old husky mix, were  both chained behind a gas station in rural Southern Colorado. I was passing through town, and even though I am unemployed at the moment, I knew if I did not intervene, it would be tragic end for these two as well as the unborn pups. I loaded both dogs into my car and drove back to my apartment, North of Denver. I was a veterinary technician for over a decade, so knowing that I was taking on quite the endeavor with these two, soon to be nine dogs, I felt that if anyone was capable of making it work and seeing them through, it would be me. I became unexpectedly unemployed this past April 2016 as my health was declining due to a few extremely stressful personal situations and I am therefore living on a tight budget with only unemployment benefits and some help from family to get me by. Nevertheless, I have maintained living quarters for these dogs, including the one dog that I own, in a single bedroom apartment. I have been able to ensure that everyone has been kept happy and healthy by caring for these 10 dogs around the clock. Twenty-four hours a day, I am constantly cleaning, feeding, providing attention, and caring for their medical and health needs as best as I can with intermittent help from family and friends. I have been able to provide adequate nutrition, bedding, and housing through donations from my local pet stores in the form of food, puppy formula, bedding, crates, and toys. Everything else, including a few trips to the vet I have funded on my own. My intent when I first took on these dogs was to get them to a point where they would be ready to adopt out to people I knew so that I could not only ensure they were going to homes that would provide them with the quality of life they deserved, but to also be able to maintain contact with their new adoptive owners and ensure they were kept happy and healthy for the rest of their lives. As of now, the puppies, who were born on Memorial Day, are 33 days old. In the time that I have spent with all of these dogs it has become obvious to me that they were meant to become a part of my life as they have enriched my life just as I have theirs. I have fostered other dogs and puppies in the past, working as a veterinary technician and volunteering for rescue groups in need of foster homes. Never, have I ever encountered dogs who have touched my soul and become a part of me, like this group has. I realize now that these special canines have already found their forever home with me, as there is no one else capable of loving them like I do. I have come to the conclusion that I am not only going to keep all 10 dogs, but that I need to find a more adequate living arrangement and fast. As the puppies continue to grow my apartment is getting less and less able to accommodate so many dogs. At some point I also need to return to work, however right now I am also a student, working on my second bachelor's degree in criminal justice and legal studies. I will have my certification as a paralegal by the end of the Summer, but until then, I am trying to survive on the money I receive from unemployment. I have attempted to look for a house to rent, but with the drastic rise in people who are making Colorado, and especially the Denver area home, rental prices have reached an all time high. For my one bedroom (500 square feet) apartment I am paying almost $1100, renting a house is almost double this so buying a place seems like my best bet. It is almost impossible to find anything in a cheaper neighborhood, without sacrificing safety. My goal with these funds are first and foremost to ensure these dogs have food and other essentials necessary to keep them happy and healthy. This also includes medical expenses such as vaccines, which Luna and Geeli need immediately; the puppies will start their vaccines in an another 4 weeks. In addition, there are 4 females who will need to be spayed, two puppies by the age of 6 months, luna soon after the puppies reach 8 weeks, and miss Geeli who needs to be spayed ASAP as she is currently in heat. . The other five puppies are male so they will need to be neutered, preferably around the age of 16 weeks. I plan to look for a part-time job working at a veterinary hospital so that I might take advantage of an employee discount and possibly be able to get all of this necessary preventative care I have mentioned, at a cheaper rate or even at cost. I have to ensure, however, that I do not exceed 32 hours per week working or 25% of what I am receiving per week on unemployment, otherwise I will begin to lose my benefits. Once I am in a house that is adequate for thses dogs and the puppies have reached an age that does not require me to be with them all of the time, I plan on returning to work and obtaining a position with my new certification as a paralegal. Until I can get the issue of housing figured out, I must stay home with the dogs as much as possible in order to keep their living environment clean and not allow any barking or excessive noise the dogs will make, and could cause my neighbors to become upset. I need to get out of this apartment and into a house in which I do not share walls with other people. My ultimate goal is to find a home for sale with a few acres of property so that I will not be in violation of any zoning ordinances that would prohibit my owning 10 dogs. So initially, this is where the fundraising goal of $10,000 will allow me continue to care for the dogs and find a place to live. Obviously buying a home with property will cost more than what I am hoping to raise so it will be more likely that I will have to rent a home while I attempt to raise more funds. Ultimately, my goal is to raise a total of $500,000 in order to buy a home with property and initiate the beginning of the rescue organization which will be known as LUNA'S PUPPIES. I want to utilize the funds in such a way that I can either buy a home or build a very modest residence, with the most important aspect of having the acreage in order to add-on to or build a separate structure that I will use to house and rescue other pregnant moms and utilize volunteers to help with the whelping and raising of puppies. I plan to seek out veterinary students from Colorado State University's Veterinary School in order to allow them the experience of whelping mothers and raisinging puppies as this is not something that is easily observable in veterinary school. Most veterinarians do not have much experience when it comes to normal birth because their contact with pregnant moms is limited to either emergency cases or those who choose to work in shelters or reproductive clinics. I never knew the lack of steam lined information that existed until I had questions when it came to Luna giving birth and helping her to raise these puppies. It all stems back from the fact that this aspect of canine care is not one that is given much focus because there is not really a way for veterinary students to come into contact with pregnant moms and given the emphasis of being socially responsible, most dog owners choose to spay and neuter there dogs as they should. I spent many days and sleepless nights googling and calling veterinary clinics in an effort to get answers to questions I had, and only to be told conflicting information over and over again. It made for a very scary frost four weeks of life and after 3 separate emergency trips to the vet, I have only just reached a point where I do not freak out if pone of the puppies seems sleepier than it should. Raising puppies is not easy or for the faint of heart. Puppies that seem as though they are thriving can suddenly pass away in a matter of hours. This is be far one of the scariest expirences of my life but I am so grateful to have been the person who was able to make sure they are given every opportunity and resource possible to thrive. I think back to the day that I came across Luna and Geeli, and I just cringe at the thought of what would have been for them and these exceptional seven puppies had I not stopped at that gas station that day and made the choice to take them with me. no matter the stress, no matter how tired I am, or how financially draining, they are worth all of that...these 9 lives are worth it all if it means I have to struggle a little or eat PB&J for the next six months. So my ultimate goal is to utilize this amazingly special experience I was blessed with and these wonderful dogs who came into my life as a catalyst to continue to help other pregnant dogs. More often than not, especially in states that do not have much funding for animal shelters, pregnant mothers are euthanized before giving birth as a means of circumventing the eventuality of having to allocate resources for the mother as well as the puppies. New mexico, for example, is a state close in proximity to Colorado and because of this and its lack of funding for shelters, this is where many Colorado rescue groups will obtain dogs for adoption in Colorado. Even still, it is very difficult to take on a pregnant mom as there is also the potential for incurring medical bills should there be complications during birth or thereafter. Furthermore, as I can attest, raising puppies, even when the mother is capable of nursing and caring for them, is still very exhausting and time consuming as they will still require some form of care 24 hours per day. Due to my previous history in the field of veterinary medicine, I plan to utilize my contacts and connection in order to secure donations for maintaining the rescue and fostering of as many mothers and their puppies as I can. I will never turn away a shelter that advises me of a mom-to-be that they will have to euthanize should my organization become unable to take her on. In addition to establishing a rescue for pregnant females, I am also going to create a rescue organization that is specific to pit bulls and train them to become service animals for humans in need and then donate these service dogs at no cost. Service dogs and guide dogs can cost thousands of dollars and it can be very difficult for a family to obtain such an invaluable resource that a service dog can be. Colorado has a huge rate of pit bull euthanasia due to the breed restriction laws in this state and many others. A pit bill, even a puppy, that ends up in a shelter where they are prohibited, has roughly a 5 day time frame for an owner to claim the dog, if there is one, and before they are put to sleep simply because that city or county does not allow them. It is beyond sad that the state of Colorado, which has legalized marijuana, does not see beyond the unethical boundaries these breed restriction laws create and the stigma they contribute in perpetuating a mentality that pit bulls are aggressive and dangerous dogs. I would like to be able to pay for people to become certified in training pit bulls to be service dogs and in doing so, would provide a foster home for these dogs while in training. Omen the dogs are sufficiently trained, they will be donated at no charge to people who could otherwise not afford them. I would especially like to focus on training dogs for soldiers who are suffering from PTSD as ether is such a vast number of these American heroes who are suffering without enough resources to try and get well. Service animals do not have to abide to breed restriction laws so this is my way of saving pit bulls by saving people. This aspect of my greater rescue organization is called PITS FOR A PURPOSE. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and any donation no matter how big or small will help ensure that at the very least these 9 dogs are well cared for in a place that is more suitable to house them. If donating monetarily is not something you are comfortable with, I have also set up a list of supplies these dogs frequently need and you can find by going to WALMART.COM and searching Last name: RESCUE First name: LUNA'S PUPPIES. The puppies are currently being transitioned over to puppy food from nursing so if you would like to donate puppy food, they are currently eating the HALO PUPPY FOOD (DRY or CANS). This is not something Walmart carries so it would need to be ordered and shipped using my current address. Please leave me a message if you wish to send puppy food from either PETSMART.COM or PETCO.COM and I will provide you with a shipping address - WALMART.COM already has my address so no need to message me unless you want to just say hi or have a question. This is all about paying it forward, and that is exactly what I intend to do. LOVE ALWAYS, LUNA, GEELI, & OZZIE, The Puppies: AERO, MOOSE, KINGSTON, HONOR, VALOR, VIOLET, & WILLOW

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Organized by

BETHANY MATALLANA

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