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Pay it Forward: Critter Crusaders helping animals in need

(John McMahon/Iowa's News Now).
(John McMahon/Iowa's News Now).
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Injured or sick pets living in shelters and on the streets often face euthanasia due to high medical costs and the severity of their conditions. One organization in Cedar Rapids is looking to change that, and give them a fighting chance at life.

Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids helps homeless and shelter animals find appropriate medical care, footing the bill for all medical costs.

"We look at it this way: the tough cases are the ones that will be euthanized first," said Jan Erceg, the Founder and Medical Coordinator of Critter Crusaders. "Those are the ones we want to get our hands on, so we can help them."

The organization helps transport the animals to that care, often all around the state of Iowa and to out of state facilities. Most recently, Erceg says they have pets headed to Wisconsin and Florida to for operations.

"We take cases from shelters and rescues all across Iowa," said Erceg. "Our goal is to bring each animal back to adoptability and to have a happy and healthy life."

"It's worth everything! It's exactly why we do it, this is our mission, returning health and adoptability to these animals."

The organization has a can and bottle donation center in Cedar Rapids, appropriately dubbed, 'Cans for Critters,' with volunteers sorting the donations and redeeming them for cash. All proceeds go towards medical bills for animals.

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"We’re always in need of volunteers, said Erceg. "Whether it's at Cans for Critters, or upcoming events this spring or summer."

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