A happy, healthy Zuko with his new family.

JACKSON, WY — It happened twice in just two months: an animal was found in need of medical attention, and there was no human in sight to speak for them — or, more importantly, to pay for their treatments.

Cases like these are exactly what PAWS of Jackson Hole’s MedFund is for. Thanks to PAWS and Spring Creek Animal Hospital, a cat and a dog both recently got the treatment they needed and found new homes, and paid nothing for it.

Charlie was in the worst shape. A property manager found the roughly nine-year-old tabby cat trapped in an unoccupied garage. He was so close to death, they thought he was already there. Vets estimated he’d been there for as long as 3-4 weeks with no water and hardly any food.

Charlie was in bad shape when someone found him in an empty garage.

The people that found him acted quickly and brought him to Spring Creek. The only indication he was alive was a tiny movement on the vet’s table.

“He gave us a glimmer of hope,” said Spring Creek’s Practice Manager Sumayah Holden.

Charlie made a rather miraculous recovery thanks to PAWS MedFund

Then there’s Belle. The young Golden Retriever mix was found on the side of the road after having been hit by a car. Her injuries were less severe, but she still needed x-rays, laceration repairs, and minor surgery. She spent two months under Spring Creek Animal Hospital’s care.

Both Charlie and Belle were clearly someone’s pets once upon a time. Charlie was declawed and neutered, and incredibly sweet with humans. Belle was (is), by most humans’ standards, a perfect dog: beautiful, well behaved, and overwhelmingly loving. But no one claimed them. Spring Creek and PAWS made numerous and far-reaching attempts to find their owners — photos of Belle reached more than 100,000 people across the country on Facebook and was shared more than 2,000 times. No one spoke up. One can only speculate how they got where they did, but it’s a stark reminder that bad things happen to good animals, even here in Jackson.

But thanks to PAWS and Spring Creek Animal Hospital, both animals found happy endings and happy new homes. Neither the animals nor their new families had to pay a dime for their recovery. PAWS’ MedFund exists for these exact cases: animals who need immediate medical attention but can’t afford it. It helps more than just abandoned animals. PAWS also steps in when humans need help paying for their pets’ urgent medical needs.

Spring Creek heavily discounts their services or even offers them for free when possible, and will board animals in need for free for as long as necessary. But someone needs to cover the hard costs. That’s where MedFund steps in.

Little Orphan Annie, now Belle, with her happy adopted family.

“We’re so fortunate to have PAWS and the MedFund,” Holden said. Knowing they have that financial backing means that Spring Creek can take care of any animal that comes through their doors, no matter what.

“It gives us the ability to say, ‘absolutely, we’ll take this pet in and do everything in our power to save its life.”

If you want to get involved to help future pets like Charlie and Belle and make a direct, immediate impact on an animal’s life, you can make a donation to PAWS MedFund to help cover necessary medical treatments. Visit PAWS’ website and click “Get Involved” to donate or join PAWS’ membership program.

PAWS MedFund has assisted over 1,000 Teton County, WY owned pets since 2002. This year, PAWS MedFund has been extended to our sister communities of Star Valley, WY and Teton Valley, ID. Learn more about the PAWS MedFund for owned pets.