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Critter Crusaders will host benefit concert this month to help pets in need of care

Group helps pay for veterinary care

Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette

Dr. Jennifer Feuerbach gives Peanut, an 8-year-old male chihuahua, a brief exam before performing an ultrasound exam Aug. 12 at Frey Animal Hospital in southwest Cedar Rapids. Vet tech Scott Labath is holding Peanut, who is being cared for through Critter Crusaders.
Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette Dr. Jennifer Feuerbach gives Peanut, an 8-year-old male chihuahua, a brief exam before performing an ultrasound exam Aug. 12 at Frey Animal Hospital in southwest Cedar Rapids. Vet tech Scott Labath is holding Peanut, who is being cared for through Critter Crusaders.
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Sometimes an owner no longer can afford to take care of a sick animal or pay for necessary treatment.

Enter Critter Crusaders, a nonprofit that raises money for medical care.

Animal shelters, veterinarians or rescue groups usually contact Critter Crusaders about a particular animal, said Jana Crane, a Critter Crusaders volunteer.

The group’s efforts began in February 2008, after an owner surrendered a 2-year-old Siberian husky named Ellie, who was going blind due to cataracts and needed medical assistance.

Volunteers at the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter were determined to restore Ellie’s eyesight and, thanks to contributions from Eastern Iowa residents, Ellie underwent surgery in Ames. After recuperating, she was adopted in May 2008.

That’s when Friends of Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter formed. Two years later, in spring 2010, the organization changed its name to Critter Crusaders.

Critter Crusaders recently helped Lilly Rose, a beagle who was born with heart abnormalities and was surrendered by her owner. She underwent successful surgery in July at Colorado State University, which “improved her chances of a long-term survival,” according to a Colorado State publication on the procedure.

Last year, Critter Crusaders helped 360 animals, Crane said. This year, the organization had helped that many by May alone.

“People are learning that (animals) can be helped and they don’t have to euthanize,” Crane said.

The organization has a seven-member board of directors and a group of active volunteers, Crane said. It accepts donations all year long at www.crittercrusaderscr.com or PO Box 10111, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52410.

The group also is host to a benefit concert Sept. 11 featuring musician Alice Peacock. All proceeds from the concert at Kirkwood’s Ballantyne Auditorium will go directly toward veterinary bills for the animals, Crane said.

If you go

• What: A benefit concert for Critter Crusaders featuring Alice Peacock

• Where: Kirkwood Ballantyne Auditorium, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids

• When: 7:30 p.m., Sept. 11

• Admission: $25 in advance, $27.50 at the door

• For more information or to purchase tickets: Call (319)213-2130 or go to www.crittercrusaderscr.com

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