Retire the Vet Debt – Hope for the Future


We began our campaign to Retire the Vet Debt on October 31st and you’ve opened your hearts to the cause. Today is the final day to donate and it also is the last day to make charitable donations that you can claim on your 2014 taxes.


Each year we incur quite a bit of veterinary debt caring for these animals and we rely on you to help us pay that debt so that we can continue to help animals in need.

We’ve met many wonderful dogs that needed extensive veterinary intervention to survive. We’re more than happy to provide that care, but it does come with a cost. Your donations will help defray the cost of all that care. We believe the pets are worth it – do you?

PollyThe last dog we would like to introduce to you is Polly. She was brought to us from a good samaritan who got her from a breeder. Those are massive tumors on her chest. She was surrendered by the breeder because she was no longer good as a breeder due to the tumors. Polly is just one example of the dogs we still care for on a daily basis. She represents the future of Last Hope and we want to be able to help more like her. She deserves so much better than what she’s gotten in life, but now she is being cared for and loved and your donations help us do that.

On this last day of 2014, won’t you help these defenseless but loving animals? Help dogs like these by making a donation HERE.

Julia Black

RTVD – Landon

Landon was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe, just maybe, if you look at it the right way… he was in the right place. He may have had a long, hard road to get there but thanks to Last Hope this sweet boy has found his forever home.

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Landon was hit by a car on Hwy 30 in Benton County. He had broken both legs on the right side of his body. He was only 11 months old, just a baby when this happened. Last Hope quickly stepped up to help him as no one stepped in to claim him.

Landon Surgery

He was taken in for surgery, with costs upwards of $1,500. His first surgery was on his rear femur. A couple days later they operated on the front leg. They put 2 pins in. He was in a lot of pain so they planned on keeping him at the vet’s office through the weekend. Unfortunately, his pain levels didn’t decrease as quickly as we had hoped. He was there for another week before he began regaining movement in his legs and  was able to be moved to his foster home.

Once in his foster home, Landon’s recovery was slow. We found out that there were some problems with the way his leg was healing. He was taken to Ames for a second opinion and again, for a second surgery. Since then things have started to look up for Landon!

Landon After  Landon After 2

Landon’s foster fell in love with him. She quickly became what we call a “foster failure.” She says, “Landon is doing wonderfully :-). He is such an amazing boy! We always joke around that Dr. Reimer may have put springs in his legs when he had his fractures repaired because he’s so happy and constantly jumping and bouncing around.”

This young boy may have started his time with Last Hope with a streak of bad luck. But thanks to our donors and supporters we were able to give him the care he needed and he very quickly made himself at home in his new forever home.

To help dogs like Landon, please donate to Last Hope HERE and help us Retire the Vet Debt!

Julia Black

Microchipping Your Pet

Statistics show that more than 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen every year, according to the American Humane Association. Additionally, one in three pets will become lost at somMicrochipe point in his life.

We now have the capabilities and technology to help recover lost pets: Microchipping. A tiny microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted in the back of the neck of the animal via a needle; this causes only a slight discomfort to the animal. The chip is then programmed with your information such as name and phone number.

The registration of the microchip is very important and it is how your information gets programmed into the chip! Some veterinarians will register the chip for you, but whether you do it or your vet does it, make sure it gets done. The chip will do no good if it is not registered and programmed. Also, if you move or change phone numbers, make sure you update your information on the chip. If your pet is lost, all that has to be done is to scan the back of the neck with a special machine (this does not hurt the animal) and your information will be displayed. This can be done by a veterinarian or animal shelter that has the equipment.Scan

Of course, it’s important to train your dog well to help prevent him from escaping in the first place. But, as added security, it is well worth the money and time to also microchip your pet. Last Hope holds microchipping events where you can get your pet chipped for added security. The next microchipping event will be at the Cedar Rapids Petco on January 3rd, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Please come out to help make sure your pet will return home in the event of an escape or home emergency such as a fire.

If you would like to help Last Hope defray the costs of microchipping animals, please donate HERE.

Julia Black

Flea and Tick Prevention

Flea and tick prevention keeps your pet healthy. Your pet won’t pick up tapeworms or have flea bites that cause itching misery and flea allergy dermatitis. In addition, you can help prevent diseases that fleas and ticks carry such as Lyme Disease, ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick paralysis. Don’t let your pet get bitten by fleas when modern medicine has provided wonderfully effective and safe flea products.

Flea and tick preventatives can help your pet avoid:

  • Flea allergies
  • Hot spots
  • Biting adult fleas
  • Skin infections
  • Tapeworms
  • Lyme Disease
  • Ehrlichia
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Fleas and ticks in your home


Fleas are insects that are ubiquitous in the environment – meaning they can be found almost everywhere. There are more than 2000 species of fleas, but the common cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) is the one that most commonly afflicts dogs and cats.

A disease of concern that can be caused by fleas is flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), which is a severe allergic reaction to flea bites. Some pets are so allergic that even a single bite can cause a reaction. FAD makes pets miserable. In severe cases, it can cause severe itching and inflammation that, if left untreated, can lead to excessive scratching and chewing that can damage the skin. Secondary bacterial or fungal infections can develop as a result.

Fleas can also play a role in transmitting parasites, such as tapeworms, and bacterial diseases, such as cat scratch fever (bartonellosis), to humans.

Finally, in very severe infestations, particularly in old, ill, or young animals, fleas can remove so much blood through feeding that they can weaken the animal.

Fleas are prevalent throughout the United States. They prefer warm, humid conditions, so infestations are typically worst during mid to late summer and early fall. In some parts of the country, they can be a significant problem year round. Even during the cooler months, fleas can survive very well indoors once an infestation has been established.


Ticks are not insects, but they are closely related to spiders, scorpions, and mites. There are approximately 80 tick species found in the United States, but only a handful of them are of real concern to pets and people. Some of these include the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis). The brown dog tick is the only species that can complete its entire lifecycle on a dog and can infest homes and kennels.

Tick bites can be painful and irritating, but the real concern with ticks is the number of serious diseases they can transmit, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These diseases can cause significant illness and even death in both pets and people.

Ticks are found in virtually every region of the United States. They are most prevalent in the early spring and late fall, although some species are well adapted to temperature extremes and can be found any time of year. In general, however, they prefer dark, moist, brushy places in which to lay their eggs.

Flea and tick prevention is very important for the health of your pet and your family. The best way to ensure the prevention of flea and ticks is to treat your pet year-round. It is relatively inexpensive, but the costs add up for Last Hope because we treat all of our dogs and cats. In order to help us continue to keep our animals pest-free, please donate HERE.

Julia Black

RTVD – Hannibal

Sometimes things happen beyond our control and then there is no one to care for a beloved pet. An unavoidable thing happened that caused Hannibal to be in our care. However, Hannibal had a disease that complicated things. Last Hope stepped in to help him.

This is our story of Hannibal

IMG_20141028_073957282Hannibal was living the life every animal would be lucky to have; a home to call his own, a loving owner and a place to lay his head and to be warm and safe. Hannibal’s  whole life changed in an instant when  his owner he had known his whole life passed away, leaving Hannibal, a 12-year-old Labrador Retriever, German Short Hair Pointer, Dalmatian Mix with  such a loss. Hannibal’s owner had a son that tried hard to care for Hannibal the best he could, but his finances were just enough to care for Hannibal for you see Hannibal has Addison’s Disease, an endocrine system disorder that when the Adrenal glands fail to produce enough hormones for normal functions, left untreated is fatal, which means he needs to be on a special medication the rest of his life, and his prognosis is short. The costs of the meds were too expensive for the son to continue to pay for so he contacted Last Hope Animal Rescue to help him.

So we brought  Hannibal in and placed him with a foster mom, who took very good care  him and loved him very much, until he was placed with his end of life family.  Hannibal was fitting in well until he became very ill and lethargic one night. Hannibal  was rushed to the emergency vet where they found he had an extremely large prostate and his liver was distorted and the texture was concerning and there were several  lesions on it.  The vet sent Hannibal home with high doses of Baytril, Amoxicillin, and Prednisone, for 2 weeks. Hannibal finally did start to feel better and is having the life a dog should have.

We thought everything was going be  fine until we received a call from the vet today on her prognosis of Hannibal. It is with a sad note that his liver is shutting down and his enzyme levels are the highest they have ever seen, so by the time you read this Hannibal will have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

It is with a heavy heart that I need to tell you  his story to let everyone know that with all obstacles, he was a loving, gentle, sweet dog.  Hannibal never gave up, and he never let you know the pain he was in, all he wanted was to cuddle you, give you kisses, and go for long slow walks, and to smell the fresh air. Hannibal is being adopted by his foster mom and dad so he can have his forever home and a place to call his own once again. We will always remember his love of people, cats, other dogs and the loyalty he had.

This is the story of our Hannibal, may he run free of pain and be loved by whomever he meets. My husband and I will never forget how amazing and  rewarding having Hannibal in our lives has meant to us; he was such a gift to us.  We will always love him.

There are many animals that require extra veterinary care like Hannibal. Please help us pay for these bills by donating here. Thank you for your support!

Julia Black

RTVD-Charlie and Lola

Charlie and Lola had a rough start. They were with us only a few days before it was discovered they Charlie & Lola 2had Parvo. For those of you who don’t know, Parvo, or the Canine Parvovirus infection, is a viral infection characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of appetite. It is most often seen in puppies between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 months. Parvo affects the animal’s ability to absorb nutrients, and an affected puppy will quickly become dehydrated and weak from lack of protein and fluid absorption. Treatment for Parvo is focused on the symptoms, since Parvo is caused by a virus there is no real cure for it and the puppies bodies must fight it off on their own. The prevention of secondary infections and intense system support are key to recovery.

They were checked into a 24 hour clinic to receive the around the clock care they needed. At only 9 weeks old their bodies fought hard to get rid of this virus and return to us to find their forever home. They were in the clinic’s ICU for 3 days before they were able to fight off the infection.

Charlie & Lola 3Charlie and Lola quickly found their forever home thanks to Last Hope (with a little help from the vet clinic)! Without treatment, 80% of infected puppies will die. Treatment for the 2 of them was nearly $2,000. But they received the care they needed and now they are happy and healthy in their new forever home!

To help Last Hope continue to help dogs like Charlie and Lola click here to donate today!

Crystal Black