Skip to main content

The Flint water crisis: What about the Pets?

Everyone seems to know about the tragedy in Flint, Michigan.  In many cases, residents have been drinking lead-tainted water for over a year with potentially frightening side effects, especially in children.  But, what about the pets?  Sadly, many dogs and cats also were drinking contaminated tap water.  What does this mean for the pet population in Flint?

Thanks to a $10,000 BISSELL Pet Foundation grant to All About Animals Rescue in Warren, MI, the situation looks brighter for the future.  Today, pets are definitely suffering from lead toxicity.  Some of the side effects for pets include anemia, gastrointestinal distress, kidney failure, teeth and gum erosion, dulling of cognitive function, and many more serious health concerns.  The exposure can’t be reversed, but we can prevent it from being passed from cat and dog mothers to their litters.

All About Animals Rescue will be handing out 143 free spay/neuter vouchers with their grant from BPF.  This boost to a distressed community reeling from crisis will prevent a future influx of lead-exposed puppies and kittens.  Flint is a hard-working, low-income area where many pet owners are not able to use scarce resources on veterinary care.  These vouchers, in combination with free vaccinations also provided by All About Animals Rescue, have brought Flint residents to tears with gratitude.

All About Animals knows how to get things done.  In order to help their distressed neighbors in Flint, they are sending a transportation van once or more each week to pick up pets for sterilization and will care for the pets post-surgery until they are returned to their owners.  They are currently looking for ways to increase the number of transports and plan to take a mobile on-board surgery van to Flint this summer.  Their goal is to meet the needs of every pet parent in the area.

The Flint residents have so much to worry about and these vouchers take important concerns off their plate.  Not only will the spay/neuter surgeries prevent future litters from receiving lead toxicity from their mothers; they will also work toward solving the pet homelessness problem in the Flint area.  Fewer unplanned litters mean fewer unwanted pets ending up in area shelters.  While we can’t undo the past, the future for pets in Flint will be better thanks to this great work!