When shelter animals, and animals whose owners cannot pay for life-saving treament, come to the Lois Acheson Bates Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a portion of the cost of their housing, surgery, and care may be paid by the Olive K. Britt Endowment for Emergency Medicine.

When OSU alumna Olive Britt died in 2006, her will created the endowment. However, there are many more animals in need than there is money to help them. Over the years, many generous donors have supplemented the fund and saved the lives of hundreds of wonderful pets and pets-to-be.

Here are just a few of the animals who have been saved by the Olive K. Britt Hope Fund:

Assistance Dog Gets High Tech Help

Merlin is an assistance dog to a veteran of the Gulf War. He is specially trained to retrieve his owner’s asthma inhalers when she is suffering from a debilitating attack. When his owner went into the hospital for back surgery, a kind neighbor offered to care for Merlin. Unfortunately, Merlin developed a fungal infection in his sinuses that was difficult to treat. His veterinarian was concerned that too much topical medication could cause sinus damage and compromise his brain. He suggested Merlin go to OSU for a CT scan. With an unreliable car and not much money to spare, the kind neighbor was determined to find a way to help Merlin. She found the Tails of Hope Foundation who provided half the cost of the CT scan. The Olive K. Britt Hope Fund provided the rest.

The CT scan revealed bone damage in Merlin’s sinuses so he was switched to a long process of anti-fungal pills. Thanks to the kind neighbor and the Hope Fund, Merlin is now a healthy companion again. The kind neighbor says, “A disabled U.S. veteran and her loyal companion should never feel unloved!”

Yes, I would like to donate!

Hope Fund Saves Cat for Beaver Fans

Over the years, the Hope Fund has saved many wonderful pets, but none were more popular in Corvallis than Pebble, a black cat with orange eyes. Pebble’s journey from stray cat to OSU mascot began at the Oregon Humane Society. She was brought into the shelter vomiting and lethargic, and tests revealed a serious flaw in her liver called a portosytemic shunt. She needed delicate surgery ASAP. The Humane Society received help from the OSU Hope Fund to pay for Pebble’s surgery and a student drove her from Portland to Corvallis. There, OSU surgeons shut off the wayward blood vessel that was bypassing her liver and filling her little body with toxins.

Pebble came through the surgery fine, and while she was recovering, had the good luck to be cared for by OSU veterinary technician Nichole Hovelsrud. “She was so tiny, scrawny, and stinky, I couldn’t help but love her,” says Hovelsrud. “It also didn’t hurt that she was Beaver colors!” Hovelsrud adopted Pebble and took her home to a house full of avid Beaver fans. They even bought her a custom-made cheerleading costume.

Yes, I would like to donate!


Heart Repair For Tiny Puppy

Lola was the runt of the litter, but when you are a Chihuahua puppy, being tiny just makes you cuter. At the Heartland Humane Society, a nice, retired couple fell in love with Lola and applied to adopt her, but first she had to be examined and spayed. That’s where the happy story hits a bump in the road.

Lola’s exam revealed the reason for her tiny size: the left side of her heart was enlarged due to a congenital defect. Untreated, it would lead to congestive heart failure and a premature death. Fortunately, Lola’s condition was curable with a surgical procedure so Heartland contacted OSU to see if the Hope Fund could pay for her surgery. Luckily there was money in the fund at that time and OSU repaired her heart. In just a few weeks, she was completely
healed and her new Mom and Dad were able to take her home.

Yes, I would like to donate!