SHELTER & RESCUE
Breed Rescue is fulfilling but it can be agonizing. Were it not for people like Kathleen Prince, dogs like this precious little Miniature Pinscher would have nothing. Abused, starved, at death's door, this dog met another Angel and in her last hours, she was loved...
Kathleen Prince © TheDogPlace.org - April 2010
When we saw the picture of Karen, a homeless Miniature Pinscher in the shelter, there was no way we could turn away, even though we were not wanting another dog at the time. Had Karen made it, she would have had a loving home with us. We will have another minpin but it will be a ways down the road.
Please tell this Minpin's story. If she helps one dog to not suffer then it will all be worth it.
She was nothing more than a piece of trash, to whoever it was that owned this precious girl.
I only learned of this old lady minpin (miniature pinscher) a few days ago, through an email generated to many minpin loving people throughout the country. As soon as I saw her photo there was no doubt in my mind, I was going to do whatever it took to give her a chance. The first step was to get her out of the shelter. Since she was in the one I don’t normally work with a few strings had to be pulled.
Thankfully, they were or she would have had to continue waiting her stray time. Another 4 days in the shelter would do her no good. She needed immediate veterinary care.
She scored a 1 on the body condition chart. No way to go any lower. All her fat reserves were gone and the muscles were also wasted away. It takes a long time for a body to starve. To think of the weeks and maybe months she’s been hungry makes me sick and angry. She wasn’t out on the streets starving. She was in someone’s home, watching as they ate, but there was never any for her. I’m sure she wondered what she had ever done wrong. What did she do to deserve this?
She had extreme dental disease. Worse than any puppymill dog I’ve ever seen. One would think maybe this is why she’s emaciated, she couldn’t eat because her teeth were so bad. Wrong.
When food was put in front of her she ate it, with much appreciation, by the way. It doesn’t take a millionaire to feed a small dog. There’re even dog food pantry coalitions now that are helping those in financial trouble by giving them food. There is no excuse.
That hunk of brown you see above her teeth is tartar, plaque and infection. In other words, pain and discomfort. She had every right to lash out at all of us but she didn’t. She was calm and trusting. Anyone who met her was taken in by her grace and kindness.
She had heart damage, clearly from malnutrition. She was severely dehydrated so we could only give her subcutaneous fluids for immediate relief instead of having her on a full catheter set-up for hours of fluids. To do so would have put her into congestive heart failure. Heart meds were going to be eminent.
She had a large mass on her neck. This probably wasn’t causing much trouble but would’ve had to be checked for cancer. The plan had been to remove it at the same time we removed her rotten teeth. We were all still being very optimistic. We’ve certainly pulled many dogs from the brink of death, so it wasn’t beyond possibility.
That is until we saw the results of her x-rays.
The shelter staff had noted she was having trouble walking. We quickly realized the trouble was she couldn’t walk at all. The question was if it was trauma or something else. She had slight feeling and a few slow reflexes in her legs and feet but she was basically a limp dishrag. Could this simply be from weakness? Oh, how we prayed it was.
The x-rays showed lesions in her vertebrae. She’d become paralyzed immediately whenever it happened. Surgery could have been possible to repair her back had she not been starved. Even at her advanced age, it could have been possible. If only the people who were supposed to love her had taken her to the vet. Or, if they couldn’t afford the vet care, take her to a shelter where they could find the help she needed.
Instead they allowed her to lay, motionless in her own urine and feces. They allowed her to go hungry. When they couldn’t take it anymore they called the authorities and claimed they found this stray dog in their front yard. That’s where she was picked up, in the cold, laying paralyzed in the front yard. This beautiful soul was let down by those she loved most.
In the short time she graced me with her presence I told her how much I wished she had been ours. No harm would have ever come to her. As I drove her from the shelter to my veterinarian’s office, I held her head in my hand and tried my best to let her know she was a good girl. We would do all we could to help her. I can only guess at what she experienced before we met. I do know the day we adopted her she became Karen, she felt love and respect. She got a warm bath, ate some yummy food and made a deep impact on all who saw her.
We came to the harsh conclusion that the only thing we could give Karen was a loving death. I knew going into this situation that could be the end result. She’d only been ours for a mere 8 hours. It was so unfair and our hearts were broken once again. People knew this was going on and did nothing. Why? If you see an animal suffering you are obligated to help. That is what we must do. It’s our responsibility as humans. So, shame on the ones that let this girl down! You allowed her to think she was unloved and unwanted. You allowed her to be in pain and suffer indignity. You will get your payback in the end, for what goes around, does come back around.
Karen is now truly a precious angel. She no longer will know hunger or pain or the heartless cruelties of man. Many came together to pray for her and now we cry. We cry for her life. We cry for her death. My tears came hard and true for she deserved so much better. Her remains will be added to the rest of our beloved pets and she will be home with us always. My only peace comes from knowing she was welcomed at the Rainbow Bridge by Ramirez and the others who have gone before.
She mattered to us.
She meant something to us.
Wind to thy wings, Precious Angel Karen, wind to thy wings.
"Sendto" has been through 8 weeks training and loves his job
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