The Extra Mile


We at Secondhand Mutts never shy away from the hard cases. We respect the dog. We welcome dogs with everything from basic house training issues to mange cases, heartworm positive dogs to those sick and quarantined with pneumonia, dogs with broken legs and occasionally those who need focused and more intense behavior modification. We go The Extra Mile.

We know how to keep our chins up and work, work, work until we have prepared our dogs for the rest of their lives: medically, behaviorally and otherwise.

We’re pretty good at picking dogs that will get along with other dogs. Our primary focus when taking dogs in is to pull them from high-kill, no-option shelters. All of the dogs coming into our program are temperament tested first. We don’t mind committing to a dog whose little head and body is covered in mange, heartworm dogs find solace and recovery in our program and dogs that are scared of the world are taken under our wing time and time again

Sometimes everything can look great, “on paper” and turn out to be a challenge we never expected so we go The Extra Mile to get the dog prepared for adoption.  We respect the dog.

We have had dogs come through our program that were ill when we met them, we helped them get well and different personalities start emerging from them, personalities and traits that prove to be challenging to our program, our fosters, our board members, our volunteers and the staff at The Mutt Hutt, who graciously help us with almost every dog that finds a new home through Secondhand Mutts.


Penny Lane’s chest X-Ray. She had the worst case of heartworm’s we have ever seen in a dog in our program. Penny is now adopted and living an active life.

We’ve also committed to taking in seemingly perfectly healthy dogs that we felt confident could be placed “in a minute” because of their amazing personalities.  Sometimes there is fault in their appearance and behavior or an illness is discovered while they are patiently awaiting placement.  Some health issues delay placement…we just have to get them healthy first and we do whatever it takes and keep them in our program covering all of their expenses until we are confident they’re ready

There have been dozens of dogs over the years that we’ve gone The Extra Mile for.  Some of our more memorable dogs from this past year include:


Sam – whose behavior requires very specific training and management skills. Adopted by his foster after living in her care for over a year.

April – whose initial fear of the world and of men in general, along with her very specific taste in dog friends and protective nature limited the homes she could be placed in.

Sweet Potato – clearly a backyard breeding dog who was left to fend for herself when her “usefulness” was over. Came to us heartworm positive and with serious food and digestive issues.

Clark – came to us with mange, received treatment and had severe reactions to the mange medication including temporary blindness, coupled with an emergency room visit and he was in the top 10 of our most expensive dogs this year.


India was sick with pneumonia for 4 weeks and in isolation

Adoption fees rarely cover the cost of getting a dog ready for adoption. On average it costs us just about $150 – $175 (varies by size for the spay/neuter) for us to get a dog “ready” for adoption, and that’s if the dog can get adopted within a month and has no medical expenses other than needing basic vaccinations, de-wormer, preventives, a spay/neuter and a rabies. Most dogs require all of the above and also require antibiotics for kennel cough, Capstar for active fleas and/or additional treatments for worms.

Each month a dog remains in our program we continue to provide its’ preventives and continue to incur fees for food and boarding when necessary. These expenses can add up very quickly.

Not everyone is equipped to handle dogs that need The Extra Mile taken for them. We are fortunate because we have so many volunteers and so many foster homes: They help us go The Extra Mile.

We’ve had a rough year and now we need some additional company on The Extra Mile, and that’s where you come in. Please help sponsor our mission to Respect the Dog by donating to The Extra Mile fund. These are needed monetary donations to help us cover our over and above expenses ranging from medical bills to training, stay and train/boarding to the cost of maintaining dogs that just, for no fault of their own, are in our program an extra long time.

sweetpotato_sickAny gift is welcome and all donations are greatly appreciated, always.
What we’re asking for now is a new gift, the gift of sponsoring The Extra Mile. By making a donation to The Extra Mile fund you’re standing with us, taking the journey with us, helping make it possible for us to continue what we do. Can we challenge you to monthly giving? Monthly giving helps our operations and provides the financial security we need to help pulling dogs in need.
Have you ever considered what your monthly gift of $10 means? That would microchip 12 of our dogs for a year. $50/month for a year? That would mean nearly completely sponsors three dogs to go through our program.

There truly is not a gift too small. Donations add up, and donations to The Extra Mile fund help us continue to take the hard cases.

Please consider donating today. Please consider donating monthly. Please spread the word.


The Extra Mile Sponsorship Levels

We have created five ways to support The Extra Mile and sponsorship levels starting at $25 all the way up to $250.


Scratch and Sniff
Mange is itchy…and if you’ve ever known a dog with mange you know it’s kind of smelly too. Sponsoring our ‘Scratch and Sniff’ dogs helps pay for treatment of mange.

$25: One skin scraping
$50: One skin scraping and one bottle of prescription shampoo
$100: One skin scraping, one bottle of shampoo, office check and the average cost of Ivermectin medication for mange treatment (first round)
$150: One skin scraping, one bottle of shampoo, office check and the average cost of Ivermectin medication for mange treatment (first round) along with cost of oral antibiotics
$250:  One skin scraping, one bottle of shampoo, average cost of Ivermectin medication for mange treatment (first round) along with cost of oral antibiotics and average cost we paid in 2014 for histopathology

Pictured: Cecil who arrived with over 50% of his body missing fur that required bi-weekly baths and oral mediation.


Breathe Deep
Sponsorship that helps us treat dogs suffering from major episodes of kennel cough, upper respiratory and pneumonia.

$25: Covers one round of fluids for a dog
$50: Covers one round of fluids and the average cost of one Baytril prescription
$100: Covers one chest x-ray, one dose of IV antibiotics (average cost) and one night of hospitalization
$150: Covers one chest x-ray, two doses of IV antibiotics (average cost) and two nights of hospitalization
$250: Covers an average ‘per encounter’ treatment for a dog with pneumonia; x-rays, all medications, average of three doses IV antibiotics and three nights hospitalization. Most dogs we have treated go through at least two full encounters.

Pictured: Rosie came down with a severe case of pneumonia shortly after arriving at our facility. She was hospitalized and then quarantined in foster until place in a forever home


Heart of Gold
Sponsorship helps alleviate the very high cost of treatment for a heartworm positive dog. . The overall cost to alleviate heartworms in one dog, including hospitalization, medications, x-rays, blood work and office visits office visits most often exceeds $700…for just one dog.

$25: Four months of Heartgard treatment for a heartworm positive dog
$50: Average cost of one heart x-ray
$100: Covers one heart x-ray and the average cost of oral antibiotics taken (usually for at least one month) along with one month of Heartgard
$150: 1 CBC and one month Heartgard
$250: Cost of one average-sized dose of Immiticide, two months of Heartgard treatment, anesthetic, pain meds and one night of hospitalization

Pictured: Penny Lane had the worst-ever case of heartworm disease and received three treatments over a year


One The Mend
Sponsorship helps pay the often extreme cost to ‘fix’ a physically broken dog. We are lucky that we don’t see too many injuries but when an injured dog is welcomed into our program, there is a serious financial dedication on our end and we go in for the long haul, without hesitation.

$25: Average cost of two rounds of pain medications we paid for in 2014
$50: Average cost of one veterinary examination and first round of pain medications
$100: Average cost we paid for laceration repairs in 2014
$150: Average cots we paid for x-rays per injured dog in 2014
$250: Average amount paid in 2014 for a first treatment for an injured dog. Includes anesthetic and pain medications, fluids, injury repair and one night of hospitalization.

Pictured: Hunter arrived with a torn ACL that required surgery and months of cage rest


Teach Me The Way
Sponsorship of dogs whose behaviors leave a little bit to be desired. We work with skilled trainers and offer training and evaluations to potential adoptive families to ensure the training needs of the dog they are interested in can be adequately met and managed.

$25: One, discounted evaluation by a trainer of a Secondhand Mutt
$50: One training session with a Secondhand Mutt and a foster-to-adopt applicant
$100: Two training sessions with a Secondhand Mutt and their potential adopters (Secondhand Mutts pays for this out of pocket for amy dogs [up to two visits] to ensure we are making a good fit for our dog and the adoptive family)
$150: Three training sessions
$250: Five, one-on-one training sessions, often needed for some of our tougher cases
$500:  One month ‘Stay and Train’ boarding at a training facility

Pictured: April spent months in quarantine meeting small groups of select dogs while working under a trainer with volunteers and eventually a foster to adopt family