The Serenity Fund
ABOUT THE SERENITY FUND
The Serenity Fund was started in memory of Serene, a cat who had been callously dumped on the highway outside our farm who we tried for weeks to catch. Like so many others before her, she was so terrified that she would not come to us, and kept evading our humane traps, until one tragic day we found her after she had been hit by a car. Serene was a very friendly and loving cat yet her fear kept her from getting help. Unfortunately, despite a great medical effort, Serene died from her injuries 5 days later.
Many of the animals who have found their way to Spring Farm CARES have been found in critical condition, often dumped on the roadside, having become victims of tragedy. Their medical bills can be enormous. Sometimes they have injuries that are not survivable and the only way we can help them is through euthanasia. Others need orthopedic surgeries for broken legs that can cost thousands of dollars, but once fixed, they can then live out a normal, healthy life. Still others need long-term rehabilitation and care. These cases weigh enormously on our finances, yet these animals are all deserving of another chance. The Serenity Fund has been created to help us with these extraordinary medical expenses for abandoned/hurt/badly injured animals that come to the farm.
Your donations go 100% to the care of the animals with these very special needs.
Please click on the button below to help.
Marsha came to the farm the first week in December. It is amazing that she is alive. Found unconscious on the side of the road on a Saturday night, people called animal control and the police, but no one responded. She was still lying there unconscious, but alive, Monday morning. Someone told them about us, and they brought her to us to at least have her euthanized so she no longer suffered. We thought we were going to be euthanizing her except by the time we got to the veterinarian's it was obvious that Marsha had other plans and was trying to stir. We are assuming she was hit by a car but remarkably, the only injury she actually has is a head trauma, which is bad enough obviously. Our veterinarian told us there was a chance she could survive so we hospitalized her and did more diagnostics. With fluids for dehydration and meds to bring down swelling administered, Marsha began to respond immediately. Each hour she improved. After 3 days in the hospital, she is now home with us for the remainder of her treatment. Right now, Marsha is blind in both eyes. One eye has a very old injury which made her blind in that eye a while ago. The other eye is most likely due to the head injury and there is a good chance she will regain sight in that eye. She walks in a circle in one direction right now, until more swelling comes down and her brain has more of a chance to heal. But Marsha is adapting very well. She loves to be held and cuddles and purrs. She also finds her food and water bowls in her pen without any trouble and is eating and drinking well. She is fighting hard to recover. Besides medications, we are also using a series of therapeutic touches and energy work to help her heal. We do not know Marsha's story but she seems to be an adult cat - maybe 7-9 years old. How this cat survived on the side of the road without help is a testament to her strength and will to live.
Update: Marsha has healed amazingly well. She is totally blind, however, this may have been her condition before she was hit by a car. She is a highly functioning blind cat, completley adaptable to new surroundings which makes us think she has been this way for awhile. We will never know her story but she is now safe and living in a foster cat room in the home of two of our directors. Marsha is one of the most loving cats. She will most likely stay with us for the remainder of her life.
Cosmos is an incredible guy. On November 29th, someone came to our door carrying a very badly injured kitten they had just found in the middle of a highway. Cars were driving around him as he lay there obviously badly injured but still alive, until one very caring motorist stopped to see what she could do to help. She brought him to us and we rushed him immediately to our veterinarian. His injuries are severe, but survivable if given the necessary medical help. He was not hit by a car as we originally thought, but his injuries are typical for being caught in a fan belt. Most likely, he had climbed up in someone's engine to keep warm and as they drove down the highway he fell, got caught in the fan belt, and dropped to the ground. It is amazing he survived at all. And he wouldn't be alive now if it weren't for the motorist who stopped and got him to us. He had to have his tail amputated at the pelvis due to the severity of the injuries. He also has a fractured hind leg that is now in a splint. The veterinarians were stunned by the incredible will to live that Cosmos let them know about right away. Just a few hours after surgery, he already wanted to eat. He purrs and loves to be snuggled. Everyone has fallen in love with him already. He has a long road of recovery ahead of him and one question will be whether he is bowel and bladder incontinent. There is a high risk of that because of his injuries, however, right now, he is definitely continent and uses his litter box regularly. This is very good news already at this early stage of healing, so we remain incredibly hopeful that he can recover. We will keep you updated on his progress as he moves along. One day, he will be available for adoption, but not until he heals and we can assess what if any special needs he may have. Thanks to our Serenity Fund, Cosmos has another chance that he never would have had. His vet bills will most likely reach $3,000 before he has healed.
UPDATE -1/27/12: For all of you Cosmos fans out there, there is great news! Cosmos has gone home to his new family and has healed nicely from his injuries. He joins a household with three other cats where he has already in the first week settled in and made himself at home. We don't usually do this, however, so many people were interested in Cosmos and following his progress, that the new adopters have graciously agreed to let us post some photos that they sent us of him in his new home. All of you who donated to his care will probably feel like we do looking at these. It brought a tear to our eyes to see this amazing little guy out there living his life and giving all he has.
On the same day that Cosmos (above) was brought in, Dante was found dragging his leg in someone's front yard. He may have been hit by a car but, whatever the cause, the result was a very badly fractured hind leg. The fracture was particularly nasty because it was in several small pieces and could not be pinned but instead had to be plated. He is expected to have a full and normal recovery after he heals and we help rehab his leg. He is only 5 months old and is just an amazingly delightful cat. Although strictly confined right now, he will be a very active young man. Dante is a charmer and we are happy to know he will once again be able to run and play on four legs. Dante's bills are estimated to be about $3,500 when all is completed with his healing.
Update: 1/27/12 - Dante's leg has now completely healed and he will soon be up for adoption.
Charlie also came in on the same day as Cosmos and Dante (above). It was a trio of need for the Serenity Fund. Charlie was once a child's show pony, loved and adored and cared for. But Charlie ended up being put in a field and neglected. His feet are so badly overgrown and he has also foundered. He is only 11 yrs. old but most likely his riding days are over. We are awaiting radiographs to determine how bad the damage to his feet and legs has been. We have already started the process of trimming his feet and giving him a more stable platform on which to stand. But we have to go slowly as his tendons, ligaments, and muscles must also now readjust and that is a painful process. Charlie, however, is a survivor and is very good natured, gentle, and kind. He already is responding to all of the attention being heaped upon him. So much so, that we can already post a progress picture. The above photo is how he looked upon arrival at Spring Farm. The photo below is how he looked only 2 days later. He has a long way to go yet, but he is on his way. Charlie's bills will be ongoing over a longer period of time. He will not be put up for adoption, but like all of the horses in our sanctuary, will be given a place to live out the rest of his life and not have to worry about being able to be ridden or driven again. He most likely will be a part of our humane education program, helping children to learn the importance of good care, and charming them all in the process. We welcome Charlie to the farm and will update his progress periodically.
The photo on the left is what his front feet looked like the day he arrived. The photo on the right is 2 days later after being cleaned up and receiving his first foot trim. It is a huge leap forward but still a long way to go.
Update: 1/27/12 - Charlie now has feet that are just about normal size and has acclimated very well to his new home. He is quite the character and can get pretty pushy for his treats!
“I have to hope because hope is all I have.”
Look at her face and hear her message. This is Sadie. When I saw her today for the first time, that was the message she gave me. When you hear her story, you’ll understand how meaningful that message is.
Sadie was brought to us by a good Samaritan late one evening. She was found beside a dumpster in the parking lot of a convenience store/gas station. Apparently she’d been there for 2 days and people had called various places for help but no one came to get her. Someone knew about us, picked her up and brought her here to see if we could help her.
Now please don’t stop reading. Because no one wants to hear the truth about what happened to Sadie. But listen to her message above, because she has hope that we will listen, and we mustn’t let her down.
I have shared many such stories on our website before. We usually don’t get many responses because people feel helpless, angry, upset at humanity and don’t want to look at things like this. And chances are high that if you are reading this, you are not one of the people directly responsible for her plight. Year after year we preach to the choir about how animals give love unconditionally and how so many of them need that from us now. But many of you feel helpless in the face of something so big that it seems easier to turn and walk away.
But, Sadie has hope that we won’t turn and walk away. Our world is in a state of great change and shifting. And, as such, it feels like things are swirling all around us, and indeed they are. This is not just another sad animal story and a plea for donations. Because, frankly, you like many others may not have anything extra to give. But no matter how strapped you feel, no matter how busy you are, all of you have love to share. All of you have prayers and kind thoughts to offer. And all of you have compassion to give. And, like Sadie, you have hope.
We - all of us - can share some piece of ourselves in a loving way each day. Isn’t that what our animals show us? It can be a small random act of kindness. But kindness spreads and fills gaps in our hearts and brings a healing with it to all who are touched by it. You know that firsthand. Look how you feel when you come home to your animal friends each day.
Little Sadie had nothing left to call upon in her life for help. But she clung to the idea and hope that someone would come. And someone did. Someone who had no resources whatsoever in her own life and is struggling herself, yet she shared compassion for this desperate kitten. Someone who stepped outside of her own need and said, “I have to help somehow.” She didn’t know what to do, but she kept on trying. And her persistence and dedication became the hope that Sadie needed to survive.
The truth of Sadie’s injuries became apparent when we took her straight to an emergency clinic. And this is the truth that no one wants to hear. She was not just abandoned alone by a dumpster. But she has multiple fractures in both back legs with one of them also dislocated. The veterinarian told us this was the result of a forceful kick, not a car accident as we had assumed.
Little Sadie has all the reason in the world to give up hoping that people will embrace compassion. But she didn’t. She hoped because that was all she had left, and that hope became her strength. She hopes that you will hear her because although you cannot change what happened to Sadie, we as humanity can change the world that we all live in.
We are hopeful that Sadie will walk again one day with the help of an orthopedic surgeon and the rehab to follow. That is what we will now set forward to do with her. When I asked her what she would like to say to people, this was her response:
“Thank you for listening to me so that I could find safety. Don’t give up. There is always hope.”
Think about that. Amazing isn’t it?
Update: Sadie underwent major surgery on her leg and after months of rehab and lots of TLC in one of our foster homes, she has fully recovered. Sadie runs around the house like a bullet, never slowing down for anything. Her foster mom fell so much in love with her that she has now adopted her and Sadie is now safely in a wonderful loving home.
Reggie was first spotted on a Sunday morning walking across our lawn. When one of the staff stopped to call to him, he aimlessly bolted across the highway. Just one hour before, we had another cat dumped here as a stray who we found dead in our driveway, having just been hit by a car. The staff person knew he didn't look well and was very thin, but we didn't realize just how bad he was. An hour later, another staff person saw him collapsed near the side of the road, covered in a blanket of flies. He was alive, but very weak. We rushed him to the emergency vet clinic where they evaluated him, shaved him to remove the fly eggs, and began a series of tests. He is about 7 months old at most and was totally emaciated and near death. He would have died out there within a day had we not gotten him. His blood work shows no signs of disease, just starvation. Undoubtedly, someone dumped him thinking he'd find his way to one of our buildings where we'd find him. Or they assumed he'd fend for himself and survive. But just like Serene, the cat who the Serenity Fund was created in honor of, he instead headed out away from people and his fear prevented him from coming where he could find help. Luckily, Reggie has a fighting chance to survive. It is a very slow process to begin giving him food in small amounts at first so his body can get used to processing food. But he is eating and he is gaining weight and getting stronger everyday. He is a complete love bug and we hope that one day he will be able to be adopted into a loving home of his own.
Update: After weeks of slowly building Reggie back up, he made a full recovery. Very shy and timid, it took a while to gain his trust. One of his caretakers fell in love with him and he with her. The rest as they say is history. Reggie is officially adopted into his new home.
Shelby is a four month old Shepherd mix who came to us badly injured. No one knows for sure whether her injuries were accidental or intentional however, whatever happened, no one got her any help when she most definitely needed it. When finally found by someone who could help and gotten to a veterinarian, it was determined that both of her elbows were badly broken. She was brought to us when it was determined no one could care for her and we accepted her through our Serenity Fund.
Unfortunately, all the best care in the world cannot surgically fix these legs. An orthopedic surgeon examined her but determined that the breaks were too old, over 3 weeks, and already set in a misaligned way. Shelby also has problems with both knees on her hind legs as well. Shelby can walk, although not very well at this point.
We have now started an intensive rehabilitation program with Shelby and hope that we can get her to a point of living a normal, comfortable life. She may never do things like jump for a frisbee or jog or walk for miles, but she can hope to have a normal life in a home.
She is currently in a foster home where she is safe and loved and where we can continue to work with her on a daily basis as well as with the help of a rehabilitation facility. Below is a one minute video of Shelby the day after she arrived at our facility.
Update: After several months of intensive rehab, Shelby has made a full recovery. Her foster mom fell in love with her and Shelby was so attached with her foster family, that they all decided it was a great fit, and she has now officially been adopted. She has a wonderful lab friend who she plays and plays with.
Below, left, is Shelby in rehab using the underwater treadmill. Right, is Shelby in her new home with her new friend. They are rather attached to one another as you can see.
Below is a video of how Shelby was the day she arrived here. What a difference 4 months made in her life. Your donations helped us to be able to get her the help she needed to heal. Shelby now turns the page from a tragic story and starts a new story of a very happy life.
Teddy's story is heartbreaking, like all the rest who have been abandoned and in critical need of care, but with a happy ending. Teddy was dumped at a farm where the farmers fed him for about a month. He showed up at the farm with a huge mass on his neck that grew to about baseball size and eventually began to bleed. They knew he needed medical attention and brought him to us. It turns out that Teddy had a large tumor that outgrew itself and got infected from him digging at it. Our vet determined that Teddy is an older gentleman. He is also declawed. He was dumped and left to fend for himself when he just could not. This cat is one of the most affectionate cats we have ever seen. He wants nothing more than to sit on your lap and have a good cuddle.
Thanks to the Serenity Fund, we could give him the quality care that was needed. The tumor has been removed and we are now doing the nursing/aftercare of the incision. We are awaiting results of the biopsy to see exactly what kind of tumor it is and what the chances are of it coming back. Regardless of the outcome of that test, Teddy already has someone interested in offering him a home. It was love at first sight and they are interested in just having him in their lives for however long that will be. And hopefully, it will be for a long time! This is one incredibly special cat who now will have a second chance at a life he wasn't finished living.
Update: Teddy has been adopted into a wonderfully loving home.
Zack was found abandoned as a young kitten by another rescue group. But Zack ended up having special needs that they could not meet and they contacted us for help. Zack is positive for feline leukemia virus and had a very involved ear polyp that regrew twice after two seperate surgeries. Because of that, he ended up having to have a third very invasive surgery into his middle ear to take care of the problem. That surgery appears to have been successful now, although he will probably always need special care for his ear. Over the past several months that he has been with us, Zack has grown into a gorgeous adult cat with the most endearing personality. Unless someone steps forward to offer a home for him, with his special needs, Zack will live his life with us. His many surgeries and specialized vet care took a lot of resources that we were very thankful to have the Serenity Fund to help him.
Eddie was found huddled on someone's porch with a badly bleeding back leg. After trying several places for help, they contacted us. We picked him up and took him directly to a vet hospital. He had a very bad wound on his leg. However, further tests showed that Eddie also had a previous injury to that leg where it had been badly broken and obviously not medically treated. He had bone rubbing on bone and was in a lot of pain and could not use the leg at all. Because the injury was so old, nothing could be done but to amputate the leg. But Eddie was in rough shape and we first needed to let the wound heal and get some weight on him before undergoing the surgery. We waited 2 weeks but it was so obvious how much this leg was hurting him. He also had other old scars from old injuries and a more recent eye injury as well. So off to surgery he went, both to amputate the leg and to try to save his eye.
We are happy to report that Eddie did magnificently with the surgery. In fact, he was so relieved to be out of pain, that he immediately began walking around and being much more active. It was amazing to see the relief on his face. The treatment for his eye was also successful and now Eddie will not have to have the eye removed. Eddie is also very fortunate to have someone already interested in adopting him. For Eddie, a life of pain and struggling to survive, just changed dramatically for the better. He is a real character and a loving guy. Thanks to the Serenity Fund, Eddie now has a second chance at life.
Update: Eddie is doing wonderfully in his new home where he is totally loved and adored.
Tebo was rescued by two good samaritans who went out of their way to help him. Out on a motorcycle ride, a kitten darted across the road in front of them, narrowly avoiding being hit. But they noticed that he was dragging his leg as he ran. They pulled off of the road and ran back to the field where he had run into. They were able to find him and determine that his right front leg was badly injured and it was not fresh. It was quite disgusting actually. Undeterred by the look and smell of the leg, they knew this little guy needed assistance quickly. He was incredibly friendly and only about 10 weeks old. The man took off his shirt and wrapped the kitten securely inside of it and tied it around his neck, while his passenger held him securely between their bodies so that they could get him to safety. Tebo stayed amazingly calm on the motorcycle and they brought him to us for treatment. We took Tebo directly to our veterinarian where it was determined the leg was already dying and had to come off immediately. The injury was indicative of having been caught in a leg hold trap. Unfortunately, an injury we see animals suffer from every year, but never one this young.
Tebo did very well with the surgery and is adapting right away, as most 3 legged animals do. He is a delightful, loving, playful kitten, full of personality. He is 7 toed on his remaining front leg and already is very adept at using that one front leg. Tebo will be up for adoption as soon as he is cleared by our veterinarian and also is neutered and up to date on his vaccinations. Thanks to the good samaritans and the Serenity Fund, Tebo should live a normal life, just on 3 legs instead of 4. He otherwise would have died shortly due to the infection in his leg.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Serenity Fund
1. How can I donate to this fund?
Answer: You can go directly to our Donations Page and put in the Comments section that you would like it to go to the Serenity Fund. Or you can mail a check to: Spring Farm CARES, 3364 State Rt. 12, Clinton, NY 13323. Please include a note that you want your donation to go to the Serenity Fund.
2. Are my donations tax deductible? How much of my donation goes directly to the care of the animals?
Answer: Yes. Spring Farm CARES is a 501c3 organization and your donation is tax deductible. 100% of your donation will be put directly towards the care of the animals.
3. Can I apply to the Serenity Fund for my own animal who is injured?
Answer: No. The Serenity Fund is only set up for abandoned animals taken in by Spring Farm CARES. These animals would have no other place to go and do not have homes. We can only take in an animal when we have the space, and resources to do so.
4. Can you help pay my vet bill for my own animal?
Answer: No. Spring Farm CARES is not able to assist with private funding for your animals. Our first priority is to the animals in our care at our facility. We do not have funds available to help outside of that, with the exception of spay/neuter assistance. Please see our Happy Hearth Spay Neuter page for more details. This program is open to Oneida County residents.
5. Are the animals helped by the Serenity Fund up for adoption after they recover?
Answer: In many cases, yes, the animals will be available for adoption. It all depends on the severity of the injury, how they recover, and if they have any special needs. Being an animal sanctuary, those who are not adoptable will live out their lives with us.
6. Can I volunteer to help with the animals?
Answer: We do have an active volunteer program and always appreciate volunteers for many things. Check out our Volunteer Page for more information.