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Patriotic Pets Photo Contest Winners Announcement

Join us in congratulating the winners of the Patriotic Pets Photo Contest!

We had a tie for First Place, therefore, we have 2 winners: Mary Sedlacek Benion with her smiley pup posing in front of the flag and Tonya Kimbrell with another smiley face sporting a patriotic bandana.

Thank you all for your participation. Follow our Facebook page for information on our upcoming auction in August.


Gertrude and Don - A story of Love

During our Father's Day Photo contest, FHFF got to hear about a man and his dog, and the long battle that brought them together. Gertrude and Don Fox Brown first met the day before Thanksgiving in 2015. Gertrude quickly became Dirty Gertie, a rough and tough ball of love with the cutest gray beard, just like Fox. They immediately became best friends and were inseparable. Fox is a USMC Veteran and Gertie’s companionship was just what the doctor ordered!

In June of 2018, Fox began a new kind of battle, a battle against Stage 4 throat cancer. Fox fought through chemo, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, a feeding tube, and a tracheotomy. But it didn't stop there, Fox also tossed in a hip replacement to keep things interesting! The battle was grueling, Fox lost 75 lbs and wasn’t able to eat for 10 long months. The radiation side effects made it impossible to swallow and chemo and immunotherapy made him so sick it was a miracle he made it through that year! Throughout all this, Gertie was his guiding light and the best nurse. She never left his side, snuggled next to him at every opportunity, and provided him a comfort that was impossible to duplicate.

However, unbeknownst to Fox, Gertie wasn’t well either. After a year it became obvious something was wrong. Gertie had 17 bladder stones and required serious surgery. The vets had to remove her entire bladder to get all of the stones out and then surgically place it back in her. Yet through all of this, Gertie rallied on for Fox. Gertie healed from her surgery and after 2 years of remission, Fox graduated from Hospice! Knowing what mountains they had just conquered together, Gertie and Fox set out to check off many items from their bucket list. Now, wherever you see Fox, Gertie is not far. They are just two ornery grey-bearded souls navigating this crazy world with gratitude and love in their hearts.

In late 2022 Fox’s health began to decline and he entered Hospice again as the cancer had returned. But Nurse Gertie was not going to let cancer take her Fox that easy. By his side 24/7, Gertie is the miracle dog Fox needed. Fox thought he was rescuing Gertie, but instead, Gertie saved Fox! From Fox "Cancer changes a lot of things in one's life and gives a person a great perspective on what’s the most important thing in this life!…. It’s love. It’s all that ever mattered. Love of man and love of our Gertie!"

We hope this story reminds us all of the power a pet can have in our lives.


Dogs and Dads Photo Contest Winners!

The results are in! Join us in congratulating the winners of our Dogs and Dads Photo Contest! 🥳

Our winners for the Dads and Dogs photo contest are:

Mary Sedlacek Benion with Fletcher and Daddy's heart-to-heart in first place.

In second place we had Jen Lynn Bemer with Dewey hanging out on the deck.

Thank you, everyone, for participating, we look forward to seeing you in our future giveaways! Make sure you follow us on Facebook to stay updated on upcoming events!


Animal Welfare Grant Program

The Friends Helping Friends Foundation of Cedar Rapids (FHFF) is pleased to announce the FHFF Animal Welfare Grant Program. This grant program was developed in collaboration with the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation to support live-saving animal welfare initiatives within the Cedar Rapids/Marion communities that directly or indirectly affect the ultimate success of the Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control.


Thank You Lucky Paws Sponsors!

A huge thank you to our fellow CR community animal advocates and sponsors of our Lucky Paws Casino Night!


Surgical Suite Autoclave

When the new shelter was built in 2013, FHFF provided additional equipment and supplies to the shelter for the surgical suite, such as dental equipment, a second surgical table, a lift table, and digital floor scale. FHFF has continued to repair or replace equipment as it became necessary due to daily wear and tear. The surgery suite’s autoclave recently gave up the ghost and needed to be replaced. The shelter submitted a request for the new autoclave through the FHFF grant application process. The cost estimate was $5500. FHFF was happy to support this request and awarded the shelter the full $5500 for a new autoclave.

Lucky PAWS Casino Night

The Friends Helping Friends Foundation (FHFF) is planning their first-ever Lucky PAWS Casino Night to raise funds to support to the many needs of the homeless animals at the Cedar Rapids Animal Care & Control Center...