Found in a shelter with a severely damaged eye, Pirate the cat was given the very minimum dose of painkillers while waiting to be euthanized. But when The Little Angels Project heard about Pirate’s plight, he was pulled from the shelter and given the veterinary care he needed—ultimately saving his life.
“The Little Angels Project is a nonprofit veterinary hospital that supports rescues with veterinary care,” explains Darlene H. Geekie, RVT, Veterinary Angels Medical Center’s CEO and founder and director of The Little Angels Project. “If we effectively lower their cost, they’re able to save more animals.”
One of the major challenges with animal rescues is that they can’t always afford the costs associated with veterinary care.
“They tend to skip over the ones with eye problems or animals that need amputations because they can’t afford it, so they get euthanized,” Geekie says. “The ones that need help get skipped over because the costs are too big for the rescue.”
Although Pirate’s eye couldn’t be saved, he remained with The Little Angels Project during his recovery, adding more time to his life and leading to his stay at a foster home. Almost a week after arriving, Pirate played, purred and bonded with his foster family.
“Luckily, Pirate’s transition was flawless. He is now in a very loving home enjoying life as a healthy one-eyed cat,” says Geekie.
Pirate is just one example of the lifesaving work of The Little Angels Project, a nonprofit organization that was created to help all types of animals with various levels of need.
Mission & Purpose
Officially founded on Jan. 1, 2015, the mission of The Little Angels Project is to reduce euthanasia rates of domestic and exotic animals with advanced medical needs throughout Los Angeles County and surrounding areas by providing surgical and medical treatment.
“From primary care to providing surgical procedures for more complex issues and emergency treatment, we feel this much-needed help will contribute to making our community a better place for people and animals alike,” says Geekie.
The Little Angels Project treats all types of farm animals, exotics and small animals.
“We are also a teaching facility helping our next generation of RVTs learn,” Geekie says. “We encourage other veterinary facilities to learn more and to get involved with our efforts in helping these animals in need.”
In addition to aiding both domestic and exotic animals from rescue facilities and sanctuaries, The Little Angels Project leads education efforts while encouraging other veterinary facilities to follow suit in their communities and continues efforts to partner with other animal welfare organizations who are working toward the same goals.
“We’re very selective on the rescues we choose,” Geekie further emphasizes. “They must have a good foothold; they must be legitimate and have the same goals that we have of trying to get animals out of the shelters’ red list and into good homes. We are very careful about who we select; we make sure that they’re a rescue that’s looking for the best interest of animals in their care.”
Coming to the Rescue
Another recent rescue involved a 3-year-old tabby named Charlie, who was brought to a local animal shelter after he was hit by a car and his guardians declined to pay for his medical care. The shelter staff put Charlie on pain medication, but unfortunately, there wasn’t much more they could do.
Charlie’s severely fractured femur and pelvis required extensive—and expensive—surgery.
“After an urgent appeal went out on social media, one of our nonprofit rescue partners, FixNation, rescued him and brought him to us in the nick of time,” Geekie remembers.
The Little Angels Project’s expert medical team operated on Charlie’s broken body and made him whole once again.
“The amount of suffering and fear that this innocent creature had to endure is simply unfathomable,” Geekie says. “Charlie went on to find a loving, forever home, where he now lives happily ever after with his new family.”
Growing the Vision
Currently expanding its project space and building an animal care and adoption center at Veterinary Angels Medical Center, The Little Angels Project continues to grow its mission to bring hope and healing to animals in need.
Says Geekie, “We hope to bring the community a well-rounded veterinary hospital that not only cares for clients’ pets, but also helps the abandoned, neglected and hopeless animals in need.”
The Little Angels Project is located at 29348 Roadside Drive, Unit B, in Agoura Hills. For more information, visit LittleAngelsProject.org.