More Than A Kennel

Mango*, an elderly Yorkie with black and brown curly fur and a little pink nose, came into our emergency shelter with his person, Carly*, after Carly experienced a life-threatening medical emergency caused by spousal abuse. Mango was suffering when he came into our emergency shelter. He had a belly bulge, which is an enlargement often resulting in an infectious disease. He had a dry cough and difficulty breathing. And, as Mango aged into his senior years, he began to lose control of his hind legs and would often fall. These health concerns could have been preventable and/or curable if addressed in a timely manner. Unfortunately, veterinary services cost money.

Carly had been in an extremely abusive marriage in which her spouse controlled the household finances. Due to the financial abuse, Mango was not able to receive medical attention as a form of power and control over Carly.

Beyond financial abuse, Carly’s spouse escalated to physical violence which caused her to be hospitalized with various injuries to her head. Carly knew that the abuse needed to end—for her, for her children, and for Mango. Carly realized that medical care is a priority and life-saving necessity that both humans and pets deserve. The medical staff at the hospital saved Carly. Now it was Carly’s turn to save Mango.

Carly was referred to Harbor House’s 24/7 crisis line where she was able to speak with an advocate and find safety in our emergency shelter. Carly, her two daughters, and Mango were able to break the cycle of domestic abuse and shelter themselves in a safe place. But that’s not where their story ends.

The Harbor House Paws for Peace Kennel was more than a kennel to Mango and Carly. Not only did they find a safe shelter, but the two were shown a world where medical treatment and finances weren’t a negotiation. Mango’s medical needs were of top priority to our Kennel Advocate. Within days of being at our emergency shelter, Mango received professional veterinary services including x-rays and exams to diagnose his condition. Because of medical attention, Mango was able to receive life-saving heart medications and treatment to keep him alive.

Unfortunately, Mango was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), both of which require either life-long or extensive medical treatment. Luckily, due to the amazing Marvin’s Fund for the Harbor House Paws for Peace Kennel, Mango was able to receive treatments, medication, and more, all free to Carly. Our kennel is more than a kennel. It is a life-changing service.