Valley woman eases pain of pet owners who must say goodbye to their dogs and cats

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

It's a decision Rondell Lezha and her daughter wish they didn't have to make - taking their 14-year old springer spaniel "Moose" to the veterinarian, to be put to sleep.

"They say you'll get over it, but it's really hard because everything in your house reminds you of them," said Lezha.

Moose had a lot of health problems, so the Phoenix family decided he shouldn't have to suffer any longer.

But choosing to end the life of your pet isn't easy.

That's where Cheryl Wade comes in.

Wade goes all over the Valley providing comfort and support to families who've decided to say good-bye to their dog or cat.

"As part of the rescue world and rescue community, there's a big push to save them all," said Wade. "Some are not saveable. I will never let an animal suffer."

Wade recently started up a non-profit called "Bridging the Gap."

In addition to helping pet owners with the grieving process, she raises money to help pay for euthanasia and cremation costs,  that can run between $300 - $600.

Wade said it's up to each individual pet owner to decide when its time.

"I kept my personal dog alive longer than I should have, and it was completely selfish of me," said Wade.  "It was because I wasn't ready, but she was."

Dale Teille said that Wade made such a difference helping him and his wife with the loss of their cat Lucky, that they reached out to CBS-5 to Pay it Forward to the woman who eased their pain.
     
 "I want Cheryl to be able to continue what she does on a day to day basis," said Teille. "She does this from the heart."

 A CBS-5 news crew was there when Teille surprised Wade at a Phoenix Panera Bread restaurant.

"What you do for people with Helping Hands and Bridging the Gap really means a lot," said Teille. "I don't think you comprehend what it means to people. On behalf of Tanya and I, and CBS-5, we'd like to Pay it Forward to you with $500 to be able to continue what you do ."

"She really cares about animals, and she cares about people and she combines that," said Teille.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

Hide bio