The rescue group spends from $7,000 to $10,000 a year to have the dogs spayed or neutered as well as vaccinated, and that doesn’t cover major surgeries if the dogs need it.
“It also includes minor things the owners should have taken care of but didn’t,” Juenke said.
To help offset those costs, Juenke and four other rescue groups worked together on Saturday in a fundraising effort at the Sparks-based Kreature Komforts Animal Hospital. The groups divvied up $4,500 equally to get dogs who are left in their care ready for placement in foster homes.
The rescue organizations included For Pets’ Sake, Saints of the West, Sierra Nevada Bulldog Rescue, Feral Feline and Northern Nevada Ferret Rescue.
“We’re hoping to make (the fundraiser) an annual event,” Juenke said last week. “We got everything, the only thing we’re missing is the kitchen sink.”
Karen Vigil of Cold Springs partners with Patti Hawkinson in Lemmon Valley to run the Sierra Nevada Bulldog Rescue. Vigil said bulldogs are an expensive breed.
“They have flat faces and can have breathing problems,” she said. “They also have wrinkles that need to be cleaned. They’re chubby and fat so they can’t clean themselves. They’re not an easy breed.”
Sierra Bulldogs gets about 20 dogs a year and their care can get costly as they’re dropped off for a number of reasons.
“We have a female dog with a really bad ear infection,” she said. “Her vet bill was going to be high. She’s 10, her name is Shadow and her owner is actually down in the Bay Area. He’s in the service and he’s being deployed, so he had to give her up after 10 years. It was very sad.”
Vigil has had her own bulldogs for seven years and said she spends about $1,200 a year for their food and vet needs and estimates Sierra Nevada Bulldog Rescue spends about $3,000 to $5,000 annually on vet costs and other needs.
Juenke, who has been breeding Saint Bernards for 20 years with her husband, said animals are in need of homes but people have been strapped financially.
“This year, it’s been really tough,” she said. “People can’t afford (dogs).”
Yet, even with the need to find foster homes or adopted homes for the dogs, the rescue groups are particular about the kind of homes they allow the dogs to go into to keep them well.
“We don’t give dogs to just anybody,” Juenke said. “They need fenced yards in good condition and (the applicants) need to own their home.”
Vigil said Sierra Nevada Bulldog Rescue will also ensure the animals are appropriately placed.
“(Bulldogs) do live up to their name,” she said. “They’re very bullish and will not start fights but they also won’t back down from one.
“Right now we have one who’s a year and a half old and he’s a wrecking ball,” Vigil added. “He charges through the house and he’s big. He weighs about 70 pounds. He’s not going to be placed in a home with a toddler because he’d knock it over. He’s not vicious or mean, he’s just a big goofball and he doesn’t understand he’s a big dog.”
Vigil said she was grateful for the help she received on Saturday and that the effort also helps raise awareness of the need these rescues have.
“A lot of people know about the SPCA and the (northern) Nevada Humane Society, but there are so many rescues that are not a part of them, although we all work together and it’s very helpful,” Vigil said.