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How PetSmart Charities Helped Gentle Giant Jake Survive the West KY Tornadoes

Grant Awarded to Kentucky Humane Society Supports Animals in Areas Impacted by the December Tornadoes

Jake the Gentle the Giant

Jake is a senior Rottweiler who miraculously survived the deadly tornadoes that devastated the Western Kentucky region last December. He cowered in his tiny doghouse as 100-mile-an-hour winds ripped through the area. The winds destroyed his family’s house and flung Jake’s doghouse into the air – with Jake in it.

After the storm, FEMA officials arrived to help Jake’s family and discovered that the poor Rottweiler was injured. The family, now homeless, was unable to take care of Jake or help him with his injuries. The FEMA officials turned to the Marion County Animal Shelter (MCAS) in Lebanon KY to get Jake the help he needed.

MCAS discovered that Jake is a gentle giant. “He gets scared really easily and his teeth will chatter, and he loves carrying around stuffies,” reported the Shelter’s Director Candi Taylor.

MCAS took Jake to a local veterinary clinic to assess his injuries. The storm had left him bruised but he also had an unusual leg injury.  X-rays revealed that Jake had been shot in the leg. It was full of buckshot that was causing a life-threatening infection. To make matters worse, the buckshot had begun to calcify in Jake’s joints, making it unsafe for the veterinarians to remove it.

The X-Ray showing buckshot calcifying in Jake’s joints after he was shot

To fight his infection and give Jake a chance to survive, he needed four expensive antibiotics, pain medication and two weeks of veterinary care, totally $800. Thanks to a PetSmart Charities disaster grant, Marion County Animal Shelter was able to pay for Jake’s medical bills and give him a second chance.

The funds used to save Jake’s life were part of a $125,000 regional grant PetSmart Charities awarded to the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) in December. KHS is distributing the grant to shelters in 10 tornado-impacted counties through its Love 120 Program, which works to positively impact the lives of companion animals in all 120 Kentucky counties. Shelters are using grant funds to pay for veterinary care, vaccines and essential supplies to help animals like Jake in their communities.

“Just a few days after tornadoes devastated Kentucky, PetSmart Charities called to ask how they could help. We are beyond grateful for the compassion PetSmart Charities has shown to Kentucky’s vulnerable pets and to the animal shelters who were on the front lines in helping pets and their families after so many lost their homes,” said Kat Rooks, KHS Kentucky Initiatives Director, who oversees KHS’ Love 120 program.

“We are so thankful to have PetSmart Charities’ support. We are a small shelter in a rural county, and we have a limited budget for veterinary care. Funds from this grant are allowing us to pay for medical care and purchase essential supplies such as vaccines so we can keep pets in the shelter healthy,” said Candi Taylor, MCAS. Today, a trusted rescue partner of MCAS is caring for Jake and he is recovering well. The gentle giant has made friends with other dogs and the doting staff and has plenty of stuffed animals to carry around.

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