Blog Archives


Baby Sword WigettBaby and Sara

From the photograph, it’s impossible to tell who has the wider smile — Baby or Sara. A hint: Sara’s the one with the toothy grin, while little Baby had 8 of her small doggy teeth extracted. After being rescued from two homeless men on the street, 5-year-old Baby quickly became young Sara’s assistance dog. For Sara, who suffers from epilepsy, spina biffida occulta, cerebral palsy and gastrointestinal issues that require her to have a feeding tube, Baby is the center of her world, of her life.
But when Baby’s eating slowed and it was obvious that she had serious dental decay requiring sedation and surgery, Sara, who relies solely on her monthly SSI payments, was both heartsick and desperate. She applied to us for assistance and we promptly provided her with a $200 grant to cover the cost of the operation. And so, despite the stitches and the post-op pain, Baby is doing well, and both dog and “mommy” have their smiles back.


Isabella wigett 2Her gentle brown eyes say it all: thank you for helping to stop the pain. Thank you for giving me a chance at a normal life again. In February, while Bella was recovering in the hospital from surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in one of her hind legs, she ruptured the ligament in her other leg, rendering her virtually powerless, and jeopardizing the success of the original surgery. Once home, she was sedated and medicated to keep her calm and moderately pain free, forced to eat and drink lying down, and carried outside to potty. What she needed was a second operation. But sadly, Bella’s young owners were both unemployed and had used all of their resources, along with some financial aid, to pay for the first operation. Desperate to save the dog they adored, they applied to us and we gave them a $500 grant, enabling the surgery to be performed immediately. Now, despite the pills, the dreaded “cone” and “bed rest” in her kennel for several more weeks, Bella has thankfully started her long journey toward a full recovery.



This sleek, black beauty could barely see the bright color of her blanket because of the advanced cataracts in her young eyes. What Lulu needed was an expensive surgery that Nancy, her loving owner could scarcely afford. Not only was she working full time, but she was also pursuing a nursing degree. In spite of this, she spent the next several months exploring every avenue open to her. She applied for grants, emailed foundations and shelters across the county, attended fundraisers, and established a gofundme account on her Facebook page, all in a desperate attempt to raise the thousands of dollars she needed to save her precious dog’s sight. We approved a grant to help towards Lulu’s cataract surgery and were pleased to learn that the operation was performed successfully. We are happy to say that Lulu is seeing bright colors again!


Cliff Whipple widgettKimmie

One large man plus one small cat equals one huge love! But recently, kissable Kimmie was in trouble and in excruciating pain. At first, Carl thought her hind quarters had been grazed by a car, but when pus began flowing from her back, he quickly called a nearby animal hospital that operates on a sliding income scale. Unfortunately, they couldn’t see Kimmie for another 12 days. Terrified of losing his only companion, he took his ailing cat on a bus to an animal hospital, where it was estimated that Kimmie’s care would cost $700. A frantic Carl, who lives on a fixed monthly income, contacted the Humane Society clinic that promptly referred him to us. We provided him with a $300 grant and he borrowed the remaining funds from family and friends. Following a 4-hour wait at the vet’s office while Kimmie was treated, the two returned home by bus with paws and fingers crossed. Happily, Kimmie is now healthy and playing like a kitten, and a grateful and gracious Carl has pledged “to give back what was so freely given to me, so that you can continue to give aid to those in need.”


LacyBill and Lacy

Nothing compares with the soft, soulful gaze of a gentle Lab. No matter the pain she feels or the pain she senses around her. For Lacy and her loving owner Bill, all was well until his mother passed away. And then, in short order, the musician suffered one medical mishap after another, and was unable to work. Fortunately, he received some funding from Musicares and the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund to help with his mortgage and medical costs. But his main concern was his only companion and the love of his life, Lacy. How would he pay for her ongoing medical costs? We provided him with the answer and the means, paying for a full vet exam, heartworm test, heartworm, flea and tick medications, as well as medication for a wound on one of Lacy’s legs. With some of his burden eased, Bill can breathe easier knowing his Lacy is safe and well.


images-1June had a double burden to bear. Not only was she undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer and suffering terribly from its side effects, but she was also deeply concerned about the welfare of her beloved 14-year-old min pin. As the elderly woman’s sole and most precious companion, he had been boarded at a local kennel to ensure his wellbeing while she underwent treatment. However, with limited means and limited family support, June’s growing concern was compromising her own wellbeing. After being contacted by her sympathetic and resourceful oncology social worker, we provided the funds to continue her pet’s boarding for one month while she continued her treatment. Now, with her chemo completed, Jane and her cherished min pin are once more happily together at home.



Have you ever seen a happier face or a wider smile? For 3-year-old Sammy, however, it wasn’t always like this. Not after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in one of his knees. Then it was excruciating pain and limited mobility for this handsome and friendly chocolate Lab. Surgery was the only option, and Amy and Ken, his young, loving owners were already in dire financial straits. Not only were they raising a young family, but also they had already reached the limits on their credit cards to pay for their everyday expenses. With the operation estimated at $1,500, we provided the couple with a $300 grant, while their family and friends loyally and generously contributed the rest. Is it any wonder that Sammy is smiling happily now?


lexyLexy’s Story –

It began as an act of compassion and turned quickly to love. Robert rescued a beautiful young Pit bull named Lexy from a friend’s indifferent neighbor. Their daily lives assumed a pattern and a routine, one of sweetness, safety and stability. And then, their stable world was suddenly flipped, like a coin, turning from heads to tails. Robert lost his job and even worse, the apartment that allowed its tenants to own dogs. Desperate, he tried again and again to find a temporary home for himself and his beloved Lexy. Without success. Together, man and dog spent five weeks in the heat of the summer as transients, moving from place to place. Finally, a despairing Robert went to an animal shelter to relinquish his cherished companion. Thankfully, the shelter told him to contact us. We provided safe boarding for Lexy for 3 months until Robert found an apartment that he could not only afford, but that would allow him to keep 4-year-old Lexy as well. There is nothing more satisfying than witnessing two halves of a whole become one again.

Mr. Noodles

Mr. noodlesWhen Mr. Noodle’s family approached us with their story, it compelled us to do our best for this little schnauzer and poodle mix. Mr. Noodle had a bad case of kidney stones and was suffering in spite of being given a diet to help break up the stones.
His condition worsened as the stones had moved further causing Mr. Noodle great distress.
His family approached us, being unable to pay for the emergency surgery, and we were happy to help!

Your support makes it possible for us to help a pet family in need. Consider donating to STARelief today!

Princess Bella

IMG_0527Princess Bella was suffering from seizures, a problem enough to scare any pet parent. However, Bella’s owners were on a fixed income and had their own monthly medication bills to pay. When they approached STARelief requesting assistance, we provided Princess Bella with an exam, blood work and medications to help stop the seizures. We were also able to provide some pet food to help get Princess Bella all better!


GuideStar Exchange


STARelief and Pet Assistance
P.O. Box 3035
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone: 203-636-0971
Fax: 203-883-0325
Email Us