The Roosevelt Effect

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THE ROOSEVELT EFFECT epitomizes the message and mission of the Animal Defense League of Texas; every innocent pet’s life is worth saving, so we work earnestly to accommodate even the harshest neglect, abuse, and abandonment cases. Once a year, we remember a pooch named Roosevelt, who was one such case, and memorialize him through fundraising and public education. In addition, we honor him daily through life-saving efforts to help other pets in crisis. Roosevelt came to ADL in 2012 with painful arthritis, mange, several infections, and internal parasites – all a result of living on the streets of San Antonio for years. Our medical team embraced him and worked tirelessly to save him, employing every effort. Sadly, it was just too late. Roosevelt passed peacefully in our hospital, surrounded by love, care, and kindness – a sweet ending to a tragic life. It is in his memory that we keep working tirelessly.

OVER THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS, many Roosevelts have passed through our hospital, where they receive critical care, comfort, and emotional support. As an actual NO KILL shelter, we endeavor to save them all! Here are two of those stories from this year.


Sweet Tart arrived at ADL in January, as one in a litter of five. During the routine physical on each kitten, our Veterinary Doctor felt a vibration coming from Sweet Tart’s chest. An ultrasound revealed a grade 5 holosystolic heart murmur. Left untreated, Sweet Tart would have a very short life.

Realizing the risks, our vet team got to work finding just the right surgeon/surgical team to fix Sweet Tart’s heart. On April 10, the opportunity came from Firehouse Animal Health Care, a specialty health clinic that graciously took Sweet Tart into their care and performed his specialty surgery. He is expected to live a long and happy life.

Like Roosevelt, Sweet Tart was a lucky little boy who received love, care, kindness, and medical attention from ADL and, in this case, our community partners. Roosevelt’s effect is felt all across South Texas.

In February 2023, a good Samaritan found a severely injured canine and took him to San Antonio’s municipal shelter. What at first appeared to be wounds from a vehicle hit and run were quickly discovered to be critical 2nd and 3rd-degree burns over nearly 50% of his body. Yet, the dog still tried to walk even though he was in severe pain, malnourished, emaciated, and dehydrated.

After a month at the city shelter to stabilize, Champion was transferred to the ADL. He was still in acute pain, and his burns required daily wound care. Unfortunately, he had also begun exhibiting upper respiratory symptoms.

In keeping with The Roosevelt Effect, ADL’s veterinary team sprang into action and gave everything to save this precious pup. He was prescribed pain medications, antibiotics, and daily bandage changes. He was given kind, loving attention and treated with utmost care. Champion was wagging his tail and stealing kisses by the end of his first day, so grateful for the love. After another month, his wounds had started to heal nicely, and finally, on April 4th, Champion moved to a foster home with a devoted ADL alums foster family.

Champion’s road to recovery is far from over; he still requires daily bandage changes and burn cream application to his wounds. No matter what happens from here, The Roosevelt Effect was in full operation through ADL’s determined efforts to love and care for a homeless and helpless companion. We will continue to honor Roosevelt daily through life-saving efforts to help other pets in crisis.