Gypsy, a German shepherd mix who was brought to the Burbank Animal Shelter with an injured knee, earned her nickname “hero girl” after having to endure two more weeks of pain and a trip to an outside clinic for an X-ray.
But soon, others won’t have to endure Gypsy’s trials. Veterinarian Centers of America Animal Hospital in Burbank this week kicked off a fundraising drive by donating $4,000 to the shelter for an in-house X-ray machine that should cut down on the diagnosis times and lead to faster treatment.
“When an animal comes in that might have been hit by a car or looks like it has a leg injury, it has to be transported to confirm where the injury is located and how bad it is,” said Denise Fleck, president of the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter. “The animal has to be driven around and put through the commotion and chaos of leaving the shelter.”
The $4,000 check presented Thursday morning to the volunteer group brings the campaign to within nearly half the $10,000 goal. Officials said they want to raise the funds necessary to buy, maintain and prepare the building to house an X-ray machine for the animals.
“This will definitely speed up the care for the animals,” said veterinarian Leah Greer. “If a puppy has a broken bone, it will start to heal on its own soon after, and that could hurt it more in the long run.”
Lulu, another shepherd mix at the shelter, has been walking with a bit of a limp, but veterinarians have to take a “wait and see” approach before deciding to send her to an outside facility for screening.
“We have to treat a lot of animals with pain medication and wait a week to see how it progresses or if it gets better,” said veterinary technician Jeanette Dease. “With an X-ray machine, we could find out in half an hour.”
Ideally, the shelter would prefer to have a machine donated and are asking for anyone who might be switching over to a digital model to consider giving it to the shelter, Fleck said.
“We know it’s expensive, but we are being humble and even going old school while everyone else is asking for newer machines upwards of $80,000,” Greer said.
Even with a donated machine, the Burbank Animal Shelter will still need additional funds to buy plates, protective aprons and gloves for the staff, build a shield wall, rewire the room and pay for continual inspections.
“We want to give every animal with a good prognosis the best chance possible,” Fleck said. “Although this will certainly save the shelter money in the long run, we especially don’t want the animals to go through the pain and stress of transport anymore.”
The Burbank Animal Shelter will continue its fundraising drive throughout the spring and at its vaccination day on April 9 in the Burbank Police Department parking lot.