Almost Home receives $20,000 from the city to care for abandoned animals

Ty Thompson
Press Argus-Courier
Travis McMillan and Quinn Smith, 9, are joined by a rescue dog, Merl, at the Almost Home Shelter booth in the annual Earth Day Festival, Saturday, April 24, in historic downtown Van Buren.

Since serving the area with a total number of 1,394 dogs saved since 2017, Almost Home Animal Shelter in Van Buren will be receiving $20,000 from the city to continue its work. 

This partnership between the city of Van Buren and Almost Home has been in the works since December as the city worked on its budget for 2021.

During Almost Home's quarterly report, Connie Martin thanked the council. 

"I'd like to thank you guys for funding the shelter," Martin said. "I can assure you that we will be good stewards of the money."

The city will receive an outline of what the money was spent on. Typically, the money will go towards food, needed surgery for dogs, and basic needs for the shelter.

So far this year, Almost Home has taken in 65 dogs, 26 of which were claimed, and two were locally adopted. Nearly 50 dogs have been transported to other shelters that Almost Home has partnered with in Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Martin shared a story about a dog that had been brought into the shelter with health problems.

Sabian, a 10-month-old dog, was brought into the shelter by Animal control in January. When he was brought in he was unable to walk more than a few steps before collapsing. A volunteer for the shelter brought Sabian to the vet and was told to bring him to an orthopedic vet clinic as the veterinarian suspected severe elbow dysplasia. 

It was determined that Sabian had a condition called osteochondritis dissecans. This is where blood supply is cut off between the cartilage and the underlying bone. According to Martin, it was the worst the doctor had ever seen. All six of Sabian's joints were affected by the condition.

Money was raised for the procedure by a partner of the shelter, as the surgery was typically around $2,000 to $5,000 per leg joint. 

Sabian is now in a foster home, and will possibly be adopted by the woman fostering him.

"She spent $200 on a little stroller so she can take him out on his walk," Martin said. "He's being very pampered."