A Jack Russell terrier puppy, hit by a car and left to die along Route 724 in Cumru Twp, Berks County in December 2004 was an event that tugged at the hearts and wallets of area businesses and residents in Berks and Montgomery Counties to help cover this poor dogs medical costs. With a broken pelvis, two broken femurs and several lacerations, this puppy underwent several surgeries at a local emergency veterinary hospital since the Animal Rescue League (ARL) did not have a veterinarian on staff. She made a full recovery and was adopted by the ARL's executive director, Harry Brown. Still without a name, Harry decided on naming her Noel. Why not? It was Christmas time and seemed appropriate. Out of Noel's experience arose The Noel Emergency Medical Fund established for future medical emergencies that may come through the ARL's door.
Nearly eight years later, the ARL's Noel Fund has helped treat many injured and abused animals. Though it may not be tapped into for months, there are times when it is used non-stop. In 2012 alone, seven dogs have been brought in that required medical attention including vet visits, x-rays and surgeries. These services depleted the fund, not once, but twice. With the help of the social media site, Facebook, pleas for financial assistance went viral and the Noel Fund was once again financially stable. Had it not been for the financial generosity of the community, these dogs may not have had such a happy ending.
The ARL does not turn away any animal. From injured dogs and cats to a goat in kidney failure, malnourished horses, neglected pot-bellied pigs and even a resident turkey that fell ill, all have found medical care because of the Noel Fund. A malnourished horse, Guinness and her companion were finally adopted together into their forever home after spending a lengthy time at the ARL regaining their health. A pregnant Chihuahua, in dire need of an emergency C-Section, gave birth successfully to two pups. Though the other pups died, the two surviving pups and mother were successfully adopted.
There are no special fundraisers set aside for the Noel Fund; however, a recent rash in abuse cases has caught the attention of the community. From July 1-25, 'It's All The Rage' Hair Designs in Wyomissing will be hosting Christmas in July, specifically for raising funds for the Noel Emergency Medical Fund. All funds from the sale of raffle tickets and a cocktail party on the evening of the raffle drawing will be donated along with 10% of all retail sales to help support the Noel Fund. The cocktail party is July 25 with a $1.00 cover charge or donation of one can of dog or cat food for the ARL. Don't be surprised if Santa makes a visit to help support the furry friends he loves too! Even children have been stepping up to help the animals by forgoing birthday presents, asking for donations to be made to the ARL and holding their own fundraisers.
As for Noel, the fox terrier puppy that inspired the fund's establishment, she continues to thrive and comes to the ARL with Harry Brown every day. She serves as a reminder to everyone at the ARL why they fight so hard for the safety and survival of all of the animals. A special thanks to the ARL for caring and to all those that unselfishly support the Noel Fund.