So I had been suckered (by myself!) into taking some cutie dogs from South Carolina. The how had yet to be figured out, but I was committed. Then I got an email that this dog was at the same shelter the dogs I was taking had come from. They only hold them for about four days there, then the dogs are killed. :/ This is the email I saw:
My heart snapped in two when I read her story, so I put her up on Facebook just in case someone in South Florida saw her and was able to help. And what do you know, a potential foster and a potential adopter stepped forward, as did another rescue that specializes in chihuahuas so she had a backup plan.
I flew yesterday to South Carolina and rented a car to drive the three dogs home. The other dogs are there own story, but here is Katie’s.
Katie came into the shelter on August 24, in labor. She gave birth to one puppy, who was dead. Five days later she would be killed unless someone came forward for her. So we did. A rescue in South Carolina had a temporary foster mom, Deana, pick her up for us, and then I picked her up yesterday from Deana at her office. I guess after reading her story and seeing her sad picture, I thought she’d be a frail little girl and have to be carried. But nope! She pranced along side Deana right down the steps to come see me. She was very scared of me at first and wouldn’t let me pet her, but when Deana handed her over to me she took to me right away.
Deana was great to her and gave her a bath and something to take care of her fleas. Here she is post-bath:
I had been told she had a hot spot by the people who saw her, but I was not prepared for what she in fact looked like.
She rode on my lap (on a towel) to the pet store where we bought her a new carrier and pad to get comfy for the ride. While I was driving I kept looking at her and just feeling horrible that someone would let her get in such a condition. Pregnant, giving birth at a shelter, her puppy dead from what I’m sure was horrible care while she was pregnant, THIS.
Yet despite the neglect she has suffered, Katie loves people. She cried when I put her in her crate; she wanted to be on my lap. She is so sweet it breaks your heart. Here she is looking up lovingly at Deana.
I got home with her early this morning and by this afternoon she was at the vet. Our vet is very tender-hearted when it comes to the animals and I could tell that her condition bothered him. He would not even guess at her age because of her condition. Over 5 years, but that’s as much as he could commit to in her neglected state.
It turns out the skin condition is just flea dermatitis – something like I’ve never seen. The vet said she must have had a horrible case of fleas, and for a very long time. She just scratched and scratched until her skin looked like this and got infected.
She is anemic from parasites. She has whipworms. She is severely emaciated. One eye is larger than the other, probably from a birth defect. She recently gave birth and her body is still recovering from that. We did bloodwork and the results should be back within the next couple of days. Hoping and praying that she is not heartworm positive on top of everything else.
She was shivering on her towel on the floor of the vet’s office (cold or fear, I don’t know) so I put her on my lap and she snuggled right in for a nap:
Katie is now in her temporary foster home, and will go to another on Sunday where her foster mom has committed to “fattening her up” with lots of good food. She’s on anti-parasitic drugs and antibiotics while we wait for the results of her bloodwork. The vet wants her to be spayed as soon as she is strong enough for the surgery, so we are working on that and hoping she is well enough in a few weeks for surgery.
We are hoping Katie is a match with the lady who came forward wanting to adopt her, but if not we will keep her in a good foster home until she finds a wonderful home where she will never suffer from fleas, parasites, and hunger again. We hope to share happy-Katie pictures very soon.
Obviously Katie’s care has been expensive — well over $300 so far, not including transport — and we are not done yet with her care, nor has she been spayed. If you would like to contribute to Katie’s care, please visit her Chip-In page: http://goodkarmapetrescue.chipin.com/katie-the-sad-sad-chihuahua-in-south-carolina. You can also mail donations to: PO Box 480273, Fort Lauderdale, 33348.
Please keep Katie in your thoughts!