Stay up-to-date on what's happening at the Regional Animal Protection Society

A sad story – and a cautionary lesson

The RAPS family is sad to report an incident that took place last night.

A beautiful dog that was adopted a few months ago from the RAPS-run City of Richmond Animal Shelter was brought to us in distress yesterday evening. RAPS staff returned from their homes to the Shelter around 10 p.m. and called our volunteer veterinarian, who rushed to the Shelter to diagnose the dog.

The dog’s owner brought the dog to us suffering immense pain. Our volunteer vet, Dr. Assaf Goldberg, who lives 35 kilometres away from the Shelter, rushed during the late hours to diagnose the dog as having a twisted intestine that had necrotized and, with the help of the Shelter assistant manager, Maddison, rushed him to the 24-hour Burrard Animal Hospital & Emergency Clinic in Vancouver for emergency surgery. Tragically, it was too late, and the dog died of complications while in surgery.

RAPS wishes to thank Dr. Parm Dhillon, Dr. Lin Khoo and Dr. Roey Kestelman from the Burrard Animal Hospital, who kindly and vigorously assisted RAPS in this matter.

The nature of the dog’s condition was treatable – if he had received medical care within time. The estimated costs for these kinds of tragic events can be as high as $10,000. Many people are financially unable to manage potential surgery costs and so delay seeking medical care. This is an understandable and sad reality for many people in our community, where the cost of living is already extremely high.

At practically any other Shelter or jurisdiction, the dog would have been immediately euthanized. But this is an opportunity for RAPS to share some important messages that can save lives.

  1. RAPS is a NO-KILL animal-serving agency. Our vet warned us that treating this dog could cost thousands of dollars, but the decision was made to do everything possible to save this life. The NO-KILL ethos is at the heart of everything RAPS does. This was an extreme case, but RAPS saves thousands of lives of animals that, in other jurisdictions, would be immediately euthanized.
  1. In this instance, very sadly, medical attention came too late. If RAPS had an operational Animal Hospital, this event could have been prevented – without financial impacts to RAPS. We would have been able to operate hours earlier on the dog and without fear of cost to the organization.
  1. RAPS is here to ensure that animals are cared for and receive the medical attention they require. We subsidize veterinary care (and pet food) for families in need.
  1. While the cost of veterinary care is high, we are constructing the RAPS Regional Animal Hospital, which will allow us to provide more care for more animals, changing the world one life at a time. That means that we will care for and save animals with severe and costly medical needs – without affecting our budgets – by bringing vet care in-agency.
  1. Similar to last Christmastime, when RAPS saved Isabelle, who had second- and third-degree burns, despite enormous financial costs that are very hard to bear, RAPS chose to honour our NO-KILL philosophy and save this dog.

The RAPS Regional Animal Hospital is nearly under construction. We are asking 5,000 animal-loving people to contribute $200 each so we can open the doors by the end of this year!

Let’s make the vision of community-supported NO-KILL animal care a reality. For so many animals, it’s a matter of life and death.

When you Give…They Live!