Local nonprofit helps animal owners pay medical expenses

Owners of Zelda’s Pet Grooming started organization in June



Co-founders Dani, left, and Melanie Voorhees created the local animal nonprofit in June to help animal owners pay expenses during emergency situations.

LOREN NEGRON, Evergreen reporter

A local couple created an animal nonprofit called Saving for a Storm to serve the community by helping animal owners cover expenses for emergency medical treatment and by helping animals get adopted.

Saving for a Storm was co-founded in June by Melanie and Dani Voorhees, owners of Zelda’s Pet Grooming. Currently, the nonprofit has five board members.

Melanie said the nonprofit started when a pit bull named Storm was taken to a veterinary hospital due to heatstroke. Storm’s owner was told the dog would have to be taken home if she could not pay for the dog’s treatment, which amounted to several thousands of dollars.

The owner called the Voorhees for help, Melanie said. They were able to help Storm. The owner was also able to apply for the Good Samaritan Fund, which helps owners pay for their animals’ care.

She said Storm received the treatment she needed and currently resides at Zelda’s Pet Grooming.

“We realized this was something that people needed where if you have an emergency surgery that’s needed for your animal and you can’t afford it, there’s not a lot of options out there,” Melanie said. “We really wanted to fundraise and provide funds for emergency surgeries for animals.”

Dani said the nonprofit serves to help people who struggle to pay medical expenses for their animals. She said owners usually take out loans, sell their cars and use their savings in order to cover medical payments. However, owners still do not have enough money to cover all expenses.

“There’s so much uncertainty around if your dog is in an emergency situation,” Melanie said. “The last thing you want to worry about is how you can afford it.”

Melanie said the nonprofit helps house animals when shelters and humane societies are full. They mostly work with cats because Zelda’s Pet Grooming has a room set up for cats, which makes it easier for them to accommodate them. She said they are still willing to take in other animals, and they have backup foster families for dogs.

“We started all this kind of figuring it out as we get along,” Melanie said. “We’ve never done a nonprofit or anything like this before, so we’ve had amazing amount of resources and people helping us out.”

Two seven-month-old cats, Nos and Nebula, were saved by the nonprofit, Melanie said. When the Whitman County Humane Society was full, a lady called the nonprofit and brought in a cat who had five kittens. Three of the kittens and their mother have homes now. Nos and Nebula are the two kittens that are waiting to be adopted.

“It’s been really nice to see [the cats] in their homes,” she said. “The most amazing part for me is getting the pictures of them in their homes after. I love update pictures … and seeing them in their new environment.”

They also helped a cat named Eden find a home, Dani said. The cat was adopted twice and was then found alone in an apartment after the owner moved out. They kept the cat for about a month before a lady adopted Eden. The cat’s name is now Socks and lives in a barn where she is spoiled, she said.

“Seeing her transformed [through] the power of adoption and love was awesome,” Dani said.