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Amelia & Snowy: “She was like my other half”

ameliaAmelia Loran lost her dog last week. Snowy didn’t die, or run away. The Maltese mix, injured when run over by a bicyclist, just started accumulating more medical bills than her family could bear.

I’ll let Amelia, who wrote me yesterday, tell the story.

“Hi my name is Amelia Loran. I’m from the Bronx. I am 14 and I had a dog. Her name was Snowy. She was a white long fluffy dog. She was like my other half.

“The accident that happened with my dog, it was a warm sunny Sunday and me and my mom and two cousins were on our way 2 the park so my mom parked the car. We didn’t want 2 be in the jungle gym area. We wanted 2 be in open space where we could run, play, jump.

“So Snowy was on her leash but we let her go so she could be free a little bit, and there was this kid riding his bike in the open space and he ran over her right limb.

(Amelia’s mother, Myra Loran, drove to an animal hospital, and paid for the first vet bill, $629, with credit. She worked out a payment plan for the second one, $275, as well. But the cost of the surgery vets said was still needed — estimated at anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 — was more than she could handle.)

“So my mom had 2 give Snowy up for adoption,” wrote Amelia, whose last night with the dog was last Thursday.

“So Thursday was a night 2 remember. She had a white and blue cast. Me and my mom put on her blue and white pajamas 2 match her blue cast and me and my mom slept together with her … Friday it was a rainy morning so me and my mom went to the humane society and gave Snowy to the adoption agency. I was so sad that I couldn’t say goodbye to her. The ride from my house to where we took Snowy was the longest ride ever. I cried the whole night before that morning and I was crying thru the night. I still cry. When me and my mom go outside I feel like I’m missing a big part in my heart and I feel like I’m forgetting something…

“I have cystic fibrosis and I’m at home most of the time and she was like my twin. I am a only child. My mom works side jobs, babysitting, washing clothes, taxi, to get me extra stuff. I get SSI. So in the daytime I’m home taking meds. I miss lots of school days because of my disease. Snowy keeps me company. She loves to get dressed and lay down and look cute as you see in the pictures. And she is not too active. With my CF I really am not 2 active. We just got her a month ago, but it feels like I been with her my hole life.galleryloran

“I do not understand why I had to give up my bestfriend because we didn’t have $3000. I had a make a wish about 5 years ago. I went to Florida, and if I can have that gift, I would ask for Snowy. My mom tries to do her best to try and make my life easier because she knows I’m going to need a transplant in the near future.”

(Myra Loran says she now wishes they hadn’t surrendered the dog — even though it would have meant going even deeper in debt. She says she has tried to call the humane society to get updated on the dog’s condition, but her calls haven’t been returned. Amelia’s also an artist. The work to the left was exhibited in 2007 by ArtWorks, a program that provides children and young adults suffering from chronic and life-threatening illnesses access to creative and performing arts.)

Amelia, meanwhile, is holding out hope that Snowy, after she gets her needed surgery, will be put up for adoption — and that maybe she can get her back then. If so, she’d never let the leash out of her hand again, she says. “I swear not to ever let go when we are at the park.”

Amelia’s email address is amelialoran@yahoo.com.

Her mother’s is mloran169@yahoo.com.


Comment from Lisa
Time June 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Oh, man, this is heartbreaking.

I understand that humane societies can’t just start offering free medical treatment to everyone who can’t afford it, but this isn’t right either. I don’t know how common it is, but what does it accomplish to take a pet out of a loving home, then give it medical treatment and adopt it out to someone else? The only purpose I can see is that taking the pet might dissuade owners from abusing the services. But they still spend the money to treat the animal, and taking in that animal decreases the homes to homeless animal ratio at their shelter.

Is this the best way to ensure the services aren’t abused, though? What about having some kind of system where they could offer medical treatments to genuinely deserving families, maybe in exchange for help cleaning kennels, doing laundry and data entry, manning adoption booths? That way, they’d be helping animals stay in their homes, which is almost always best for the animals and their families, and they’d have one more potential adoptive home for another homeless pet.

I don’t feel entirely comfortable criticizing animal welfare agencies that are really doing the best they can, but it seems that all too often, we don’t focus enough on helping animals stay in good, loving homes like Amelia’s.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time June 17, 2009 at 9:33 am

When I was a youngster and we had lots of dogs, our vet volunteered one day at a time occasionally at an organization called Tail Waggers in Washington, DC. Its objective was to provide veterinary care for animals whose humans were in situations like Snowy’s. No pet was turned away. I recall his saying that if each vet volunteered, there could ample care for all. I just looked for the group, and apparently it’s not there any more, or at least they don’t have a web presence.

We’re approaching the time where having a dog (or cat for that matter) is the privilege of the wealthy. It’s a great loss, because the dogs don’t care how much money you have. It doesn’t matter to them if they’re living in the White House, a Hollywood mansion, a modest apartment, a homeless shelter–or under an overpass. It is just galling to think that Paris Hilton can have as many little dogs as she wants and not even bother to get them spayed or neutered, while this little girl has had the one dog she loves snatched away.

I hope we hear good news about Snowy. And I agree with Linda 100%. We need to find ways to keep dogs in good, loving homes. And “home” does NOT equal “mansion.”

Comment from Miss Jan
Time June 17, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Yes – Anne ‘n Spencer – that is definitely the way society is headed – already, the wealthy are the only ones who can afford even human medical care. Vets out here in Oregon and assume other areas too, raise their fees 500 percent or more “to make up for” lower incomes due to the recession. My own vet’s response about “give back, volunteer medical care at a shelter” was “people lie to get freebies.” Well – maybe sometimes they do – but not as much as my vet seems to think. ALL SHELTERS and ALL VETS need to network with volunteers for veterinary medicine AND with organizations such as IMOM and many others who offer funding for animals with medical needs to individuals who cannot afford same. BTW I am sending this story to the IMOM folks(“In Memory of Magic”) to see if they can somehow help. Particularly where this dog amounted to being a service dog for a challenged child, this should simply not have happened.

Comment from myra loran
Time June 17, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Im amelia loran mother, myra loran, I will like to thank you all.I have a good feeling that snowy will be back in our lives,Especially with people like you all who visit this web site thank you.Follow me in our mission to get snowy back…… @ateamcf@twitter…

Comment from myra loran
Time June 18, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Hi dog lover! Hope you see yourselfs well tonight. Well we have not had any lucK,But as long as ihave a beat in my heart i will keep having faith that snowy will be back with my amelia and i . GOOD NIGHT..