Little did I know six weeks ago, I would learn firsthand about rescued puppies and their struggles. Now I personally experienced the results of a puppy mill breeding and conditions.
My friend Denise asked me to let her dogs out while she helped in a huge dog rescue from northern North Dakota. Over 80 dogs were voluntarily surrendered from a very poor situation to many rescue groups. Denise thought she was getting was a mother dog and eight four-week old puppies. She had raised several litters in the past, and knew she could handle the mother dog and puppies. Her biggest concern was how her female yellow Lab would accept the mother dog.
The day of the surrender, the person decided to keep the mother dog because “she was sick and would die soon.” Everyone thought it was just an excuse to keep a dog for breeding. No “bells” went off. The eight puppies survived a very long day as they were transported from northern ND to Fargo, ND and then Minneapolis, MN. The four-week old Golden Retriever puppies did great. RAGOM, Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota, volunteers were ready to help Denise.
All was well for the first few days. Quickly several of the puppies got sick with diarrhea and vomiting. The sick puppies were separated and tested positive for Canine Parvovirus, a highly contagious virus that attacks the intestines and can affect the heart. Parvo spreads through the dog’s feces. Unfortunately there is no cure for Parvo and either Parvo or a secondary infection can kill the dogs.
Eventually all the puppies showed the signs of the horrible virus. All eight of the puppies were first treated at VCA All About Pets in Golden Valley, MN and then moved to the ICU at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital. Not a stone was left unturned in trying to help all these beautiful puppies. All the volunteers were diligent about washing their hands, wearing booties on their shoes so not to spread the virus, and washing their clothes in a bleach solution when they got home. All towel, blankets, and toys were washed in the bleach solution. Denise used aromatherapy and TTouch® with the puppies. I energetically cleared the puppy room using Healing Touch for Animals®, energy medicine like Reiki, and tuning forks. Denise played soft music to calm the puppies – nothing was spared.
At 5+ weeks old, Ali lost his fight against the horrible virus. He was followed across Rainbow Bridge by Pacelle, his brother at 6+ weeks old. Lwood spent 9 days in the ICU fighting the virus and looked like he was going to beat it. Then he started vomiting again – his esophagus was damaged and he couldn’t swallow. He spent another day in ICU and RAGOM decided to give him a feeding tube in hopes of healing his esophagus. Lwood was feed every four hours and I help him during two feedings. The squirmy guy quickly relaxed as I did TTouch® and Denise carefully feed him by the feeding tube. Lwood was playful and full of life as he played with his siblings – he wore an infant’s onesie and a puppy life jacket to protect his feeding tube. Unfortunately he had complications and joined his brothers across Rainbow Bridge at 8 weeks.
The other siblings Rona, Qigley, Hank, Ardis, and Kitra are thriving puppies. When they are ready, they will be going very special homes. RAGOM has worked so hard to help these puppies survive. I heard they spent over $30,000 to help these puppies become healthy and are accepting donations to help pay the veterinary bills.
These puppies, especially Lwood, have a special place in my heart and many other people’s hearts. Please be sure your dog(s) are current on their vaccinations or titers. For more information on how you can help stop inhumane breeding in Minnesota, Animal Folks MN are a wonderful source in Minnesota. Please check with your state for other organizations helping animals.
Update March 14, 2011: Rona, Qigley, Hank, Ardis, and Kitra are going to their forever homes by the end of March after treatment for sarcopic manage (scabies) and being altered!