June 16, 2016
Hurt and homeless cats Nolan and Mulan get help from the Sparrow Fund
When ownerless pets are hurt or need help, the Pacelle family's Sparrow Fund steps in with financial assistance
Story by Karen E. Lange
Nolan had just two legs and bad wounds on the stumps of his missing ones when a woman who saw him thrown from a car brought him to a Wyoming shelter in 2014. A vet couldn’t tell whether Nolan’s missing legs had been amputated following an accident or whether he’d lost them to cruelty. It didn’t matter. The cat needed surgery to repair his front stump, take out six broken and infected teeth and remove a big, fortunately benign tumor on his spine. The cost for Second Chance Sheridan Cat Rescue, where Nolan ended up: $1,142.01.
Luckily for Nolan and the Sheridan rescue group, HSUS President Wayne Pacelle and his wife Lisa had created the Sparrow Fund the year before to provide money for injured and sick animals without owners. After Second Chance posted a request for donations on its Facebook page, the Sparrow Fund stepped in to help.
The cost of healing Nolan, who is now in long-term foster care, eventually rose to $3,500. A $1,000 Sparrow Fund grant went toward covering that amount, says Rachel Kristiansen, director of program services at Second Chance. “We never give up on a cat,” she says. “We would have found the money [somehow], but it was a big relief. It was a reassurance that another organization shares our values.”
Early this year, another cat was found with a bone sticking out of her leg, probably the result of a car accident weeks before. Like Nolan, she was brought to Second Chance. Krista Rakovan of The HSUS heard about Mulan through a friend and referred her case to the Sparrow Fund.
Mulan became the 41st animal helped. A $1,000 grant helped pay for her leg to be amputated, surgery to check for organ damage, spay surgery and a month of hospitalization. By the time she was released, two families had applied to adopt her.
Thanks to the Sparrow Fund, lives are saved, says Kristiansen. “You can eliminate their pain. You can give them a good quality of life.”