Policies and Practices

4 Paws 1 Heart was founded by Gina DeLuca, Licensed Veterinary Technician, and Diana Rascano. Since its very first fundraiser in August 2010, 4 Paws 1 Heart has changed the lives of thousands of cats and dogs and the lucky families who have given them “forever” homes.

4 Paws 1 Heart’s mission is to reduce the number of homeless cats and dogs by paying for needed medical treatment and assisting with the permanent placement of these animals through our partnerships with local rescues and shelters. Whether the animal comes in through an emergency hospital, a rescue organization, or a good Samaritan, we will work together to meet the medical needs of that animal. Sometimes that means mending a broken bone, treating for heart worm, spaying/neutering, treating serious infections/viruses and, in some severe cases, amputation of a leg/arm. Once it has been determined by the animal care professionals that the animal is treatable and will have a good quality of life, 4 Paws 1 Heart jumps into action to cover the medical expenses.

It is important to note that 4 Paws 1 Heart is limited by the dollars collected through individual donations, partnerships, and fundraisers.  Medical assistance will not be provided unless there are funds to pay for it.  Consequently, our policies are as follows:

1) 4 Paws 1 Heart can never guarantee to pay the full medical bill until we know what we are dealing with. When we authorize to pay for an animal to go the vet it is either for very clear treatment – such as spay/neuter, vaccines, upper respiratory infection treatment, etc. In emergency situations or when there are injuries or unknown medical issues, the vet will always be asked to contact Diana Rascano or Gina DeLuca.

2) Anyone requesting medical assistance will be told the limit to which 4 Paws 1 Heart can help. Therefore, if the rescuer feels they may need more funding, they can start to get backing ahead of time.

3) 4 Paws 1 Heart will always consider the animal first. But, anyone requesting our help must understand that it is our responsibility to maximize the number of animals we can help with the limited funds we have. This means that if the dollars needed far outweigh the probability of the animal living or living a good quality of life, we may not pay for the medical treatment. In all cases, it will be up to the rescuer to decide what will happen next. But understand that veterinarians are responsible to the animal and may strongly recommend an animal not leave the hospital.

4) All of the veterinarians we work with understand that 4 Paws 1 Heart is not a rescue and does NOT own the animal. Our only decision is what amount of money we are willing to pay for medical treatment (as explained earlier). Anyone taking an animal to the veterinary should be prepared to make decisions related to the animal’s future placement and treatment. Keep in mind that there can be many people working in a veterinary hospital and not all may understand the policies. It is up to the rescuer to ask questions and make decisions.

5) Authorization for a veterinarian to treat an animal and bill 4 Paws 1 Heart will be made by e-mail (with a copy to the rescuer) or telephone. All payments are made directly to the veterinarian.

Our founders and Board of Directors don’t stop with funding medical care. 4 Paws 1 Heart is always working to inform others of the issues and needs of companion animals and ways in which the public can make a difference. The President has written letters to the newspaper, had articles published in local newspapers, and communicated with local community leaders, officials, and legislators about issues important to the well-being of companion animals and the people who rescue and care for them.:

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