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Wine for waggers

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With more than half of available seats open for a fundraiser this weekend, organizers of a nonprofit animal group called No Pet Left Behind are starting to worry about the many animals that depend on them for medical care.

The fundraiser, Wine, Wags and Whiskers, is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Paschal Winery to raise money for medical expenses such as surgeries, prescription medications, adoption costs and other supplies.

Medford resident Pauline Redon, who founded the three-year-old nonprofit with a trio of women in 2016, said the abundance of low-income and homeless people who needed help for their animals in recent months have drained the group’s coffers.

Last week, Redon met with clients to assess their medical status and to set eyes on the faces she’d heard so much about.

Redon sat at Pfaff Park in Central Point with Hawk, a dog of questionable ancestry and a scruffy white mug to which she’s become decidedly attached.

“Hawk, heel,” Redon said, albeit with no response from the pup standing some 10 feet away under a shade tree.

“Good boy,” she said, grinning at his non-response.

Redon and Hawk met up with Central Point resident Kimberly Collins and Grants Pass foster mom Leah Trevino.

Collins, with an almost hairless Chihuahua named Chloe in tow, leaned down to pet Trevino’s foster pup, Miss Piggy. The bulldog mix was brutally attacked by two other dogs in April. After the first attack, by dogs that belonged to her former owners, infection set in. A second attack exacerbated the infection. Trevino agreed to take the dog to give her a chance, but initial medical care required removal of one ear — the other is covered in scar tissue — while awaiting a handful of additional surgeries that could cost between $1,000 and $4,500.

Without the surgeries Miss Piggy may have to be euthanized.

Chloe has a handful of health issues, including some serious dental problems that Collins is in need of funding to address. Collins said Chloe’s dental work will prevent infection and give the pup a pain-free lease on life.

“A lot of teeth are bad. We’re told that her tongue might hang out a little bit when she’s done, but it’s OK, I’ll still love her as much as I already do,” Collins said. “We just want her to be healthy.”

Redon scratched as close as she could to Miss Piggy’s remaining ear, so as not to upset a bright teal gauze bandage covering several deep holes in the dog’s head and neck.

A retired sheriff’s deputy, Redon started rescuing animals during her years in law enforcement, when she would encounter pets in need, even adopting some herself.

In the last three years, Redon said she has lost count of how many animals the group has helped with life-saving surgeries, vaccinations and other types of care.

Smiling at the motley crew of canines as she petted Miss Piggy, Redon marveled at the dog’s willingness to trust after such a horrible start to life.

“We estimate that our average bill per animal is about $300. If we aren’t able to help, a lot of times they go without or they have to be put down. Right now, we’re completely out of money. But we’ll keep doing what we’re doing for as long as we can because how can we not?”

Wine, Wags and Whiskers will feature a silent auction with gift baskets, art pieces, weekend coast getaways, jet boat rides, quilts and other prizes. Registration is $55 and includes wine and hors d’oeuvres. T-shirts will be available for $20. For more information, call Redon at 541-292-0169 or see https://greatnonprofits.org/org/no-pet-left-behind.

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at buffyp76@yahoo.com.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Kimberly Collins hugs Pauline Redon as they meet in Central Point with their dogs.
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