A Rough Road to Recovery

Josephine TempongkoUncategorized9 Comments

Atticus needed help, and he needed it quickly. When a partner shelter didn’t have the resources to treat the sweet pup’s dangerous wound, we took him in. After receiving emergency care and recovering in a foster home, he was adopted into a loving family. Save the lives of pets like Atticus by donating today!

He arrived at one of our partner shelters in the Central Valley with what staff believed was an injury from a gunshot wound. The shelter gave him fluids, pain medication, and antibiotics in case the wound was infected and to prevent a future infection, but they knew he needed more care than they had the resources to provide. They reached out to us to let us know of Atticus’ emergency situation, and we rushed to bring Atticus in.

The sweet Pekingese was brought in the next day through our Regional Rescue Program. Our Rescue team rushed him off the transfer vehicle and straight to our medical center. One of our amazing veterinarians, Dr. Campbell, and a team of medical staff got to work right away examining Atticus. He was lethargic and had a large puncture wound in his abdomen with bruising extending almost to his neck. They rushed to get him an x-ray to see what was going on internally, and found that he had multiple rib fractures and lung contusions. It was going to be a rough road for this brave little fighter.

The team was concerned that the injury may have caused internal injuries, so they elected to do emergency exploratory surgery. They were pleased to find that the injury did not puncture through Atticus’ abdomen, and his other organs were intact as well. But they were concerned about his breathing, and performed another x-ray on his lungs. They found that he was having difficulty filling his lung capacity and they were worried about his ability to make it through the night. We didn’t have the staff to provide overnight monitoring, and he wasn’t stable enough to stay in a foster home without the equipment to monitor his breathing, so we elected to send him to an overnight emergency clinic where he could be monitored and provided with oxygen support. Atticus stayed in an oxygen tank overnight, and was already starting to look much better by the time we picked him up in the morning.

Over the next few days, our veterinary team kept a close eye on Atticus. He was given pain medication, fluids, and antibiotics to prevent infection. He was encouraged to eat, and gradually his appetite improved. His breathing had also significantly improved, and after a few days of watching him breathe normally, eat more and more, and begin to walk around and wag his tail a little bit, they decided a quiet foster home would be the most comfortable place for him to continue his healing.

Michelle, a staff member and experienced foster, took in Atticus and provided him with a safe, quiet, comfortable place to rest and recover from everything he’d been through. She ensured he received plenty of rest, but was surprised and happy to see that Atticus’ energy levels improved quickly as his body began to heal. He was a friendly little man and loved to follow her and her dogs around, tail wagging and hoping for attention. Michelle continued to give him plenty of rest and he was still on a cocktail of medications to aid in his recovery, but his future was looking so much brighter.

Atticus was supposed to be taking it easy on bed rest, but he couldn’t wait for his chance to play with Michelle’s dogs! Even though he wasn’t able to romp around with them while he was still healing, we were happy to see his playful, curious energy coming out – a sure sign that he was on the road to recovery.

Finally, after more than two weeks in his foster home, our medical team received just the update they were hoping to hear. He was doing so well walking and acting like a normal dog, and had finished out the course of almost all of his medications. Atticus was a new dog.

The team brought him in for one last medical exam to make sure he was healed and recovered both inside and out. They saw a completely different dog than the one they had performed emergency surgery on just weeks earlier. He was walking on his own, wagging his tail and happy to see the veterinary staff who had saved his life. New x-rays showed that his lungs were completely clear and healed. It was time for Atticus to continue his journey.

It didn’t take long for Atticus to catch the eye of a loving family. He was adopted just hours after being made available for adoption, and we’re so confident that he’s going to have a happy life. We are so grateful that we were able to provide Atticus with the critical, lifesaving care he needed. For Atticus and so many others just like him, we are here as a safety net, ready to provide a second chance to those who need us most. To help us continue to save and support animals like Atticus, make a gift today. And if you haven’t already, sign up for our eNewsletter to get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox!

9 Comments on “A Rough Road to Recovery”

    1. What a wonderful story, and I amso thankful he was saved from what looks like an abusive situation. Blessings on the HSSV staff and his foster mom.

  1. God bless you….I like reading stories about saving a life. I pray
    there will be many more of those stories. I wish I could donate a lot but I’ll donate what I can.

  2. I love reading your wonderful, caring stories of the fur babies recovering and getting a new lease in life.

  3. All of you at hssv are a blessing.
    I love reading happy endings such
    as this one. I donate regularly and
    will continue to support saving animals.

  4. Thank you for all your great work! We adopted our puppy, Dorothy, six months ago from HSSSJ, and we are so lucky to have the most loving , cuddly dog ever. HSSSJ is the safe heaven for all the misfortune dos and cats in our society.

  5. I’m so glad that you were able to save him! He and all of the other innocent pets deserve the world!
    I’m so glad you do what you do HSSV!! 🙂 <3

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