The Seneca Zoo, US Geological Survey, and NY Department of Environmental Conservation released sturgeon into the Genesee River in Rochester, N.Y. on Oct. 1, 2022. The zoo has been raising sturgeon since 2003 as part of an initiative to reintroduce them to their native habitat after the effects of decades of pollution and overfishing nearly caused their extinction.
The Mia Foundation
Sue Rogers created the Mia Foundation in 2012 to rescue animals born with birth defects from being euthanized. She works out of her home in Hilton, N.Y. and has saved the lives of 3,000 animals. Breeders who intended to sell the animals cannot profit from the “defective” stock so when there are any physical disabilities present, the animals are typically put down. Often the medical conditions are treatable with corrective surgery or physical therapy. That’s where Sue comes in. Veterinarians from across the country call and email her, then she coordinates with her network of foster families to connect the animals with a good home. She shares posts on Facebook to 170,000 followers to find the animals permanent homes once they are rehabilitated and strong enough to thrive. She personally fosters as many of animals as she can, most recently 4 puppies born with cleft palates, a common defect among overbred dogs that can lead to starvation or aspiration of fluid in the lungs. “It takes a few months of tube feeding but they should live full lives after that,” Roger said. She is also treating a puppy with “swimmer’s legs,” a condition that causes the front paws to splay out. This is also highly treatable, requiring leg adjustments and swaddling everyday until the legs straighten and the dog is able to walk on their own. Rogers has 10 “forever” dogs at her home that are a kind of mascot for the Mia Foundation. They provide extra care and affection to new arrivals who have been removed from their mothers at birth. They also attend school programs (in Pre-Covid times) to help children learn about disabilities, seen and unseen. Rogers hopes that with increased awareness of the risks associated with overbreeding that breeders will limit the number of litters that their animals endure. She has rescued many “unsellable,” “defective” animals but she knows that the problem is far from over and largely unseen.
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