So, you’re looking for an online resource center for amputee pets and their people?
Then look no further than the Tripawds Foundation!
The world’s largest community for animal amputees and their guardians, Tripawds started as a blog in 2006.
It began when Jim Nelson’s and Rene Agredano’s dog, Jerry, got cancer and has grown into a network of more than 1800 three-legged dog and cat blogs. It also includes a radio podcast, video interviews with leading oncologists and surgeons rehab specialists, photo galleries, and discussion forums, where people respond to each other’s questions.
Having created a sense of community, Tripawds Foundation now hosts a number of direct assistance programs to help people facing amputation, recovery, and care for their cats and dogs.
According to Jim, who is a co-founder,
“We never want anyone to ever go through what we went through when our dog lost a leg to cancer, feeling lost and alone.”
Rene, another co-founder, added,
“We like to say that we’re the club nobody wants to join. But, if they have to, our community is here to offer emotional support and bring up good questions to ask your veterinary team about what to expect with your tripod dog or cat.”
Tripawds Foundation as a Community Off of Social Media
With more and more cases of animals losing one of their limbs, Jim and Rene established the 501(c)(3) charity to help pet parents even before their companion animal receives a cancer diagnosis that affects their pets’ limb.
“There’s something like 7 million dogs alone that will get diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. A good percentage of those are cancers that affect limbs,”
To which Jim continued,
“We also get dozens of people joining each day, so that…really tells you quite a bit… And the thing is, our community is not just about cancer. We have seen dogs kicked by horses, shot, bit by snakes, and bone infections… There are all sorts of reasons, but cancer is the number one reason…”
For this reason, Jim himself admitted that their number one product is the “warm, fuzzy feeling” you get from the community that they have established at Tripawds Foundation.
“When people gather around a specific topic, especially when your best friend has lost a leg, there’s really a bond that gets created among these people. That is the most heartwarming thing we’ve ever seen. And that is why we pour our heart and soul into making it work. There’s a new normal pet parents need to understand and certain responsibilities. We have to make sure they (our animals) live long, happy lives on three legs.”
Tripawds Foundation on the Basic Standard Advice You Need Upon Hearing Your Pet Needs Amputation
Yet, even though there have been plenty of amputation cases in companion animals, not many pet parents are well-aware of what to do should it happen to them.
Luckily, Jim and Rene shared,
“One of the first things we say is, ‘Breathe. You’re not alone.’ That’s the first thing we like to say. Other people have been through this, too. ‘Cause when you get that news, you feel like you’re the only person this has ever happened to you. But until you actually have a three-legged dog or cat, you don’t really notice them, but they’re out there. It’s kind of like when you buy a red car, all of a sudden you see red cars everywhere. It’s like that with tripods.”
Aside from that, wanting to be of practical assistance to these newbie amputee pet parents, Jim and Rene also ask things like the amputee pets’ pain management, the environment they’re in (e.g., slippery floors), weight management, and rehabilitation therapy.
“We make the disclaimer that we’re not veterinarians. But because we have interviewed dozens of them through the years, we kind of know a little roughly about what to ask vets and what pet guardians can expect with side effects and things like that.”
With plenty of ongoing projects for the foundation, Tripawds also offer assistance programs, including:
- A toll-free helpline
- A free rehab session for new Tripawds members
- Veterinary financial aid
- A harness donation program, and
- A cancer care package.
Learn more about the Tripawds Foundation!
Visit their website at https://tripawds.org/.