Cheddar, a stray Jack Russell Terrier mix, came into our care in need of lifesaving treatment after being found near local Harrisonburg business, Grilled Cheese Mania around Thanksgiving of 2022. When Cheddar came into our care, her health was in rough shape. Our veterinarians examined her and found that she was suffering from dental disease which had led to a severe infection in her little body, nearly causing her kidneys to shut down. It became clear Cheddar would need surgery to remove her teeth and treat the infection in her body.

Enter Kathleen Mania-Casey and the team at Grilled Cheese Mania. Kathleen, a lifetime animal lover and supporter of the RHSPCA, graciously agreed to help us fundraise for Cheddar’s treatments. Grilled Cheese Mania challenged their patrons to match their $500 donation to the RHSPCA’s Have a Heart Fund. Within a matter of weeks, they raised enough money to cover the cost of dental extractions and additional funds to cover the ongoing medical needs of getting Cheddar ready for adoption.

Cheddar was placed in the care of foster Shannon Bower while she recovered from her dental procedure. Before her surgery, Cheddar was slow, lethargic, drank a ton of water, and had trouble eating. After her surgery, Shannon says Cheddar is “so much brighter, she runs around the yard constantly and never stops moving. Her quality of life has massively improved.”

Cheddar’s story is just one example of how the power of community can help change a life. From the person who first spotted her on Route 11, to the patrons and team at Grilled Cheese Mania, to fosters like Shannon, the RHSPCA would not be able to care for as many animals with needs like Cheddar without the support of our community.

If you are a business interested in sponsoring a pet, please email our Executive Director, Huck Nawaz to discuss sponsorship opportunities. Or Donate to contribute to the lifesaving Have A Heart Fund to help animals like Cheddar live a happier, healthier life.