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Keeping senior pets in homes

Maria lost her husband when her son was only one-and-a-half years old and then later lost her son when he was only 27. “After all,” she says in Spanish, "Tengo a Sebby" (I have Sebby). She continues, “Sebby was with me when my son passed away. He dries my tears when I'm sad and keeps me company no matter what I'm going through. He has been through everything with me”.

Maria found Sebby in Sebastian, Florida, and that’s how he got his name. Sebby was found in a deep ditch full of trash. When Maria saw him, she didn’t hesitate to get in the ditch to rescue him and then nurse him back to health. She says, “If he died, I don't know what I would do. He keeps me calm and doesn't let me fall into depression.” Aside from the tremendous loss and all the emotional stress she’s endured in her life, she also suffers from diabetes and is currently undergoing medical treatment for other chronic conditions.

Maria didn’t know Sebby also had diabetes until he recently had to be hospitalized at an emergency veterinary hospital. “He almost died,” she sadly remembers. Sebby was diagnosed with diabetes before being released. Maria’s father helped pay for all the unexpected medical costs but couldn’t help her any further after that.

Maria reached out to Asheville Humane Society’s (AHS) Helpline. One staffer recalls listening to her voicemail, “I need help for Sebby. I can’t afford his medication and I don’t want him to suffer or die. If he can’t get medical assistance at your shelter, I will surrender him, for his own sake,” she said in tears.

AHS no longer had any available veterinary assistance funds, but thankfully, they had just received their Grey Muzzle grant to help keep senior pets in their homes. Since Sebby is almost 12, he qualified for the help. Maria had already done all the calculations and knew exactly how far any financial assistance could take her and AHS was able to give her three months worth of support for Sebby’s treatment and medications.

Today, Maria is happy to report that they are both doing well and she feels much better and relieved now that she knows she can continue caring for Sebby who she said, “Es mi vida” (He is my life). She is saving $50/month toward Sebby’s treatment and her family is also supporting her toward raising the money she will need for his treatment in the future.

AHS staff is grateful for their Grey Muzzle grant. They don’t like to turn away people who need help, especially when that someone has endured so much in life and has such a tight bond with their beloved pet.

Thanks to you, Sebby is able to remain in his loving home and maintain his health. You can help keep more pets with their people.