Bear's Bites Foundation
History behind BBF
In 2016 we rescued Tank from a woman that said if we didn't find him a new home she would have him put to sleep. We loved him so we took him in. What we did not know was that he was sick and we would spend the last 6 months of his life trying to make him healthier.
Tank started getting sick in May of 2016. Trips to the vet with numerous testing showed nothing was wrong. That September we rushed Tank VCA in the middle of the night because he was having continuous seizures. VCA diagnosed him with meningitis. The first visit was over $6,000 He spent 3 days at VCA being treated. The bigger the dog the higher the cost and he weighed around 125 pounds, thus, costing us around $1000 that month. The next month, Tank was again rushed to VCA with a perforation in his stomach due to long term Prednisone use. We made the decision to have them perform the surgery despite knowing it may or may not work. Following his successful surgery, we continued to go to VCA for multiple checkups with his specialists for the next 4 months so they could perform mri's to confirm the medicine was working. We started to take him off of the meds in Jan of 2017 and had to take him back up for an mri in Feb of 2017 because he started having seizures again and during his last mri his heart stopped and we lost him.
Tank's last 6 months of life cost us $36,000. We maxed out credit cards, emptied bank accounts and took out loans. This is not something we expect anyone to do but this made us think that we were lucky to be able to find the means to spend this money but not everyone has those means. Not everyone can just spend money to save their animal. This is when Mike and I decided that one day we will help people pay for emergency medical bills for their animals because they shouldn't have to make a decision to save their fur family based on if they can spend the money or not.
Having a love for dogs, we met Bear and adopted him. After adopting him, we noticed behaviors that were linked to food allergies. Finding treats for him that did not have chicken or other known ingredients he had sensitivities too was hard. I wanted to give him treats that were not just free of allergens he had, but wholesome without filler ingredients. I began making treats. I knew that if I was struggling, more pet owners probably had the same problems. I began growing Bear’s Bites as a small business focusing on 1 ingredient dog treats. As my business grew I was able to make this my full time job. We began branching out to chains throughout the US. and even began the process of adding food and cat treats to the line up.
After a very short time, we knew it was to move forward with our dream. Bear’s Bites Foundation launched on August 1, 2020. We held a market with vendors, rescues, and more. We then spent the rest of the year and following raising money and putting in place a solid plan for the foundation to assist pet parents. Our main goal is to help pet parents who are faced with a crisis that they can find support. Our website is loaded with information for Central Illinois pet parents. We will also have information and apply for a BBF medical scholarship. At this time, BBF will only be able to help a pet parent with up to $500 with an emergency vet bill. Our goal is to be able to grow the foundation to support more families and look at increasing the scholarship amount.
Bear's Bites Foundation will help provide assistance up to $500 fo medical emergency that is a life or death situation. Our mission to lesson the burden pet families might face when a medical emergency happens to their pet and they are faced with a situation of having to put their pet down or surrender their pet due to their financial situation.
Please keep in mind that all criteria must be met to qualify.