Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids
Providing Advanced Medical Care to Homeless Animals in Eastern Iowa
Help Repair Broken Lives
VERY HAPPY NEWS!
Do you remember Justice? She was the severely injured kitty who had been snared in a tube trap, then became lodged in a vehicle engine compartment as she tried to escape the pain of the trap. The vehicle was then driven many miles before she was discovered injured and severely burned by the heat of the engine. She was admitted to Eastern Iowa Veterinary Specialty Center through Critter Crusaders on November 22nd, 2017 with very dramatic multi system trauma. She underwent days of critical care and a front limb amputation. Fast forward her story…and a drum roll please…….JUSTICE is ADOPTED! Her new momma is Gina Ballestrasse-Ernster, a wonderful local business owner, animal advocate and well-known supporter of many animal organizations! While Gina followed Justice’s story and struggles, she knew she was meant to be her mom! Justice hit the kitty jackpot! Gina says she is quite shy but is a purring machine! We could not be happier for Justice, Gina and her new family! Congratulations!
Justice was the first animal in a string of very critical medical cases that we handled through the winter months of Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb and continue today! Justice survived and beat the odds.
A big shout out goes to a great friend, Tracy Belle from Wildthunder Rescue and Rehab in Independence. Justice was under her care at the time of the injury. Tracy contacted CC due to the severity of her injuries.
What an adventurous journey we’ve had with this puppy Poseidon, from Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue. He was critically injured in a dog attack, then became critically ill with complications from the attack. One complication was the huge esophageal strictures that formed and blocked him from swallowing. He then had a state of the art self-inflating balloon esophageal tube inserted through the side of his neck. His foster mom Dr. Katelyn Marlowe at UW Madison inflated this balloon daily to flatten out the strictures without the use of anesthesia. This was good for Poseidon and ultimately saved CC over $800 per treatment cost. The world renown Animal Medical Center in New York City developed this specialized e-tube and this was UW Madison’s first experience with it. No doubt this will change the lives of pets all throughout the Midwest. Our little ground breaker Poseidon is living proof that it works! He is a rock star!
Poseidon has been very adventurous lately! He remains at UW Madison Veterinary Teaching Hospital with Katelyn and the stinker decided to chew a gastric tube out of his tummy that had been inserted during his e-tube surgery! Yikes! He is feeling sassy and frisky so the docs decided not to replace it. He is eating now but slowly with multiple meals and soft food. He has had a couple of regurgitation episodes but nothing like before. His esophagus is still healing. The “P” Man is on month 5 of ongoing treatment from his devastating dog attack injuries and it has been quite a ride! In his photo, Katelyn decided to get the boy something super tough to chew on and play with, besides a g-tube! His puppyhood is in full swing! This has been a truly amazing journey with one incredibly, resilient pup. He is a true warrior and survivor! We thank you all for your support of this boy️!
In Loving Memory
On Thursday, November 9th Critter Crusaders suffered a devastating loss to our organization. Tina MacNaughton, suddenly passed away at age 44 from complications of cancer treatment. Her commitment to Critter Crusaders and the animal rescue world was amazing. Her death has left a hole in our hearts and in the animal rescue community. One that we will never be able to fill.
Tina became a volunteer with us in 2011. She served as Board Secretary from 2012- 2016 and organized multiple fund raisers over the years with the last one on August 5, 2017. She fostered multiple medically challenged dogs and several litters of kittens totaling 29 animals. The animals with medical conditions received their care through Critter Crusaders. Tina worked tirelessly caring for these medically challenged animals who suffered from conditions including cancer, meningitis, recovering from various surgeries, seizures, Cushing’s disease and blindness, until they were adopted. In usual Tina fashion, she did adopt two of the dogs herself.
Most of the animals she fostered came from Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control. She began volunteering there in 2011. She recorded 4,264 hours of volunteer service which included organizing pet adoption events, animal transports for the shelter, adoption outreach events, was a volunteer orientation dog team member and helped at many fund-raising events.
In April 2013 Tina began transporting homeless dogs for PAWS – Pushin’ Another Waggin’ To Safety. Doing 18 transports until her last trip on Sept. 23, 2017, she saved the lives of 195 dogs and puppies transporting them over 2,213 miles to safe rescues and shelters. Sometimes driving two or three legs of the journey when no one else was available.
In July 2014, Tina was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite the diagnosis, she didn’t slow down with the animal rescue work that was so important to her. She had courage and strength like no other, fighting the whole way, never feeling sorry for herself, never giving up, and always putting the needs of animals and humans ahead of her own. She saved the lives of hundreds of animals and inspired many during her lifetime. Tina’s last foster dog, Heike has since been adopted to his forever home.
Our hearts are broken with the loss of a friend and fellow volunteer. We take comfort in the knowledge that she awaits at the Rainbow Bridge for those pets we are unable to save. God speed Tina.
OUR MISSION “Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids exists to provide and guide lifesaving advanced medical care for homeless or stray animals. We offer this service to shelters and rescues in the area to reduce euthanasia numbers and restore broken lives.”
Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids is a 501c3 non-profit all volunteer organization made up of a Board of Directors and volunteers that has been in operation since 2008.
Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.