Often we meet animals in shelters who are not good candidates for adoption. These animals usually have chronic health conditions or temperament issues that require that they be closely monitored for safety.
Over the years, CAPE has been able to save the lives of dozens of animals who were brought into our ALP which is designed to provide animals who are not candidates for adoption with permanent foster care in the home of a loving CAPE foster volunteer. Volunteers who sign up for this program make a commitment to care for the animal for the remainder of the animal’s life, and CAPE covers all expenses.
The huge success of this program has been due to the kindness and commitment of our wonderful volunteer team, who we are deeply grateful for.
If you are interested in becoming a foster volunteer for an animal with special needs, please click here to fill out the Foster Application.
This sweet female chihuahua, estimated to be about 7, came into the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter as a stray. Bree’s toenails are painted, so it looks like she had a guardian at one time, but has clearly not been cared for in some time. She has a sizable mass on her face that will need to be removed and she also needs a full dental, plus normal vet checkup, bloodwork and grooming.
Two of CAPE’s beloved long-time fosters, Jan and Carlos, went to evaluate this chihuahua and another dog, Ruthie, who Santa Cruz County Shelter asked CAPE to consider. When Jan and Carlos met Ruthie and Bree, both older dogs with pretty substantial medical needs, they agreed to foster both of them. Bree and Ruthie’s medical bills, food and care costs will all be paid for by CAPE for the remainder of their life, thanks to the generosity of our wonderful donors.
Now that Bree has settled into her new cozy home in Santa Cruz, she’s meshing well with the other dogs. Shes a bit timid still, but is sweet and interested in playing. Bree had her initial vet appointment this week for bloodwork and to create a care plan- which will include removal and testing of the mass, and a full dental cleaning.
When CAPE brings a dog into one of its rescue programs, the dog’s history is usually one of neglect and/or abuse. This was not the case for 15-year-old Chloe. While Chloe was deeply loved and cared for throughout her life, after her family moved to a location that was not safe for her, they made the difficult decision to find her a new home.
From Chloe's foster guardian:
Chloe went into her CAPE ASSISTED LIVING home with many trust and fear issues. With time and patience, her guardians are educating themselves as to what her triggers are and how to help her avoid them. Her mom says she’s rarely known a dog who is so tuned into her people and her surroundings and who learns so quickly from them. She loves her daily outings and can easily walk 2-3 miles at a time, moving at high speeds all the way. She remains independent and solitary but in spite of this, a deep bond has formed between all of us.
15-year-old Daisy was confiscated from a home where she was severely neglected and charges were filed against her “owner”. When she arrived at the shelter she weighed 12 lbs. (Note that an adult beagle normally weighs at least 20 lbs.). Per shelter personal, Daisy was “completely emaciated” and “covered with fleas”. Daisy was also leaking urine due to a raging UTI, suffered from painfully rotten teeth, and was diagnosed with a 4/6 heart murmur. Thanks to Animal Control Officer Caralyn Figone, Daisy was immediately seen by the shelter vet, placed in a foster home, and CAPE was contacted.
In February 2022, she was placed into one of CAPE’s amazing Assisted Living foster homes where she is now living with three other dogs and is settling in wonderfully to her new life. All of her care and medical costs will be covered by CAPE!
From Daisy's foster guardian:
"She seems like instead of going on 15 she is going on 10. She still loves warm cozy spots on the couch to sleep but she’s always up for a walk. She keeps an eye out through the front window to see if any of her neighbor friend’s are coming by and spends a lot of time in the backyard being a beagle and sniffing around to investigate what wild creatures visited during the night.
She loves a new place to explore and quickly figured out how to navigate the steps in the RV to get in and out (she is quite short). Everywhere we have gone, she gets a lot of attention and I’ve noticed that she is more excited to meet people. It appears she finally agrees that most people are actually nice too.
She has taught her people how to properly massage those big floppy ears; when you rub her ears, she groans and does her doggy version of a purr. It’s so precious. Daisy is a silly, curious, and affectionate dog now. She is a dog that you watch and can easily tell she is enjoying her life. When she came to me in February she was only barely surviving, now she is thriving and is living her life fully. I am so honored to be the person that gets to try to make up for all the love and adventures she missed out on in the time I have left with her. She is such a beautiful joy and inspiration to our lives."
Enzo, a 13-year-old chihuahua, was surrendered to our wonderful rescue partner, Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. This four-pound sweetie, nervous and confused in the shelter environment, had MAJOR dental issues and would require extensive dentistry. He was not neutered and was cryptorchid (only one testicle descended) and would need specialized surgery for his neuter. When the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter reached out to CAPE to see if we could help Enzo, we knew he would be a perfect fit for our Assisted Living Program!
After assessing Enzo, he was placed with one of our wonderful, long-term fosters. Last Friday Enzo, AKA Wee Elf, had surgery. He had 11 rotten teeth removed and the surgeon was successful in removing the undescended testicle. Enzo is home and resting comfortably. His foster mom reports that "all is well... no tumors or other problems".
We are thankful to be able to provide Enzo with a safe, loving home for the remainder of his life. With consistent vet care, time, and lots of love, we are hopeful that Enzo will thrive and enjoy his golden years. We are looking forward to more photos and updates - so stay tuned!
From Enzo's foster guardian:
"Enzo Lorenzo Francisco Fernandez, aka the wee ELFF, is doing so very well. After coming to his new home at a meager 3.9 pounds, he is now a hefty 5.5 pounds of love and affection, and he gives the very best Chihuahua hugs. The vet diagnosed his painful flinching as a pinched nerve in his neck between c-7 and t-1. So he is now on a regimen of an anti-inflammatory/pain med every day, and it is doing the trick. He is such a funny little guy. He is still wary of eating out of a bowl, and he still wants nothing to do with being on a leash. He often barks at the TV at night after dinner. He also loves to bark at his own reflection in the fire screen.
We were adopted by a tomcat (neutered) who used to live at the neighbor's after being abandoned when his people left him behind when they moved away. The neighbors are quite happy that he is now with us, as they already have three dogs and four cats, and they know that he has a good home with us as an only cat. I call him Mr. Kitty, and he and Enzo are wonderful friends. I never cease to laugh when Mr. Kitty stalks Enzo and then swats at the ELFF's paintbrush tail. Enzo loves to chase Mr. Kitty, too. They are so cute together."
The newest member of CAPE’s Assisted Living Program was rescued from the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter after they reached out to us about her. Ruthie (AKA "Lil Roo") is a 13-year-old, six pound Chihuahua who has multiple health issues.
Ruthie is suffering from severe dental issues and was diagnosed with stage four kidney disease. Surgery and anesthesia to address her dental issues are not an option at this time. A care plan has been created to address Ruthie’s medical issues and she'll be re-assessed to determine the possibility of surgery at a later date.
Jan & Carlos, one of CAPE’s beloved, long-term foster families, took Ruthie and Bree, another little dog with medical needs, into their loving home. Jan & Carlos have worked with CAPE for 30 years and we are thrilled that both Ruthie and Bree landed in their loving arms! Please note that we recently learned that Bree will need surgery to remove the growth on her lip.
Thanks to your generous support, CAPE is able to cover the cost of food, medication, and vet care for all the dogs in this program!
CAPE welcomed Izzy into our Assisted Living Program in early February. We would like to share Izzy’s story with you and welcome her into the CAPE family. Izzy, a 12-year-old MaltiPoo (Poodle mix), was forced by her previous guardian to live outdoors. Sadly, she ended up with a multitude of issues, mostly due to neglect - allergic dermatitis and severe matting, skin lacerations, bad breath and dental calculus, ear infection, mammary gland tumors, and a cataract causing blindness. Luckily, her guardian was convinced to surrender her so she could get the care she needed.
After several vet visits, Izzy is thriving in her foster home! Her foster mom, Linda, reports that Izzy is a very sweet dog who only barks when she is waiting for her dinner. She is house trained, uses the doggy door, and spends most of her time indoors! Izzy has settled in nicely with her canine foster family. Welcome home, Izzy!
The story of each CAPE rescue is unique and often unusual. Bucky’s story, however, is uniquely unique and unusually unusual. He is a playful, sweet and gentle boy whom his Assisted Living foster mom describes as “an almost perfect dog.” Why is that?
In 2018, CAPE rescued Bucky, a young Lhasa Apso from a local shelter. A vet exam found a urinary tract infection as cause for his lack of bladder control. When several rounds of antibiotics didn’t cure it, x-rays and an ultrasound were done. Bladder stones, requiring surgery, were found. The problem remained. Alas, another set of x-rays and an ultrasound found a very old, partially crystalized foxtail in his urethra! It had caused damage which required several repairs and surgery.
Bucky will live a full life in one of CAPE's amazing
homes where he will always be loved and cared for. We thank you for all the Bucky’s you’ve given homes, good health, happiness and zoomies to.
It’s hard to imagine the shock and fear in the heart of Coco, when he found himself in the animal shelter; strange sounds and smells….his guardian nowhere in sight. He tucked his little body into a corner, hiding as best he could from unfamiliar surroundings that frightened him.
CAPE answered the shelter’s call, placing Coco in an Assisted Living foster home where the tender care he receives has brought him out of the corner and into the center of family activity.
Little 12 year old Roxie’s life took an unexpected turn when her guardian was no longer able to care for her. CAPE was contacted by someone who pledged to cover all Roxie’s costs for the rest of her life if CAPE would find a home for her.
As Roxie has special needs, CAPE found the perfect Assisted Living home for her where now she spends glorious days curled up in the blissful comfort of her new guardian’s lap.
Roxie's blindness doesn't hinder her from exploring her new setting and snuggling up in the sun.
CAPE's Assisted Living program was the perfect answer for little Vito. He’d been terribly abused before being relinquished to an animal shelter. Because of the abuse he’d experienced, which led to his fear of people, the shelter rendered him unadoptable. CAPE placed him in an Assisted Living foster home where he is learning to love and be loved; where all his financial needs will be covered by CAPE.
Rico is 17. He was rescued from an overcrowded shelter after being confiscated by animal control from a neglect case. He came to CAPE five years ago with severe glaucoma and an untreated leg injury after being hit by a car. His eyes were removed after we realized that the glaucoma was getting worse and he was in pain. His leg healed and he is living pain free.
CAPE came to the rescue and placed Rico in a loving Assisted Living home where he now lives happily--with all expenses paid by CAPE--loved by people who are striving to make up for the world of pain and neglect that was once the only world Rico knew.
“"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."