ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Amidst the pandemic, many families are struggling to pay their bills. Health emergencies, like family members getting sick, can worsen the strain. So, when a local family needed three emergency surgeries for their dogs in the span of a few months, the Priviteras didn’t know where to turn.
First, the family’s Teacup Yorkie ‘Rosie’ needed surgery. Then, their Great Dane ‘Little Miss’. But, when their third dog, a Teddy Bear pup named ‘Tee’, needed surgery after getting stung by ground bees, the expenses became too much.
“Because we had two dogs in a couple of months that had emergency surgery, and the cost is just so extreme, we couldn’t get the extension. So, it kind of put us in a place of ‘do we have to put him down?'” Lori Privitera said.
Privitera applied for numerous grants to help with the cost of vet bills, but didn’t receive any responses.
Then, at the last minute, she received a call from Krista Brown at Rochester Hope for Pets, a local not-for-profit organization.
“We were literally saying goodbye to our dog, and four minutes after they closed is when she called and saved him,” Privitera said.
“I don’t even have words to say how grateful [we are]. When you love your pets like your own children, you can’t look at these little faces and say ‘Okay, we don’t have the money, it’s time for you to go to heaven,'” Privitera said.
Krista Brown is the Coordinator at Rochester Hope for Pets and said making these types of lifesaving calls means so much.
“To be able to reach out and be able to help families in that situation, especially during the pandemic and when families are already struggling, to be able to help them just a little bit means the absolute world to me,” Brown said.
“We’re forever grateful for what these organizations do to save our pets for us, and let us continue to give them a good life,” Privitera said.
While the Priviteras are still working to pay off the vet bills, the $500 ‘Grey Muzzle Grant’ and $500 ‘Rochester Hope for Pets’ grant came just in time.
“Four minutes could’ve been the difference with us saying goodbye,” said Privitera.
Brown said since May 1, Rochester Hope for Pets has helped over 100 companion animals receive necessary services.