The 3-month-old puppy’s face was swollen and huge. She had bite wounds across her neck and face, and was unable to move her neck. Her ear canal was ruptured, and she was clearly in pain. We weren’t sure what her future would look like, but we were determined to do everything we could for this sweet puppy.
We had transported the puppy in from one of our Central Valley partners that day. Our partner shelter suspected she had been attacked by an animal, and they were concerned that her skull or spine may have been fractured in the attack. They didn’t have the resources to help a puppy with such complex medical needs, so they reached out to us asking for help. Our Rescue team brought her in and immediately rushed her to our Medical team so they could assess her.
After the team checked her out, they cleaned the wounds again, started her on antibiotics and pain medication, and tried to get her to eat a little. Because she couldn’t move her neck, it was difficult for her to eat from a bowl, so our veterinary technicians helped her by feeding her wet food from a syringe. They named her Hope, and made her comfortable for the night.
By the next day, sweet Hope was already feeling so much better. She was sitting up, wagging her tail, and begging for attention from the staff members who came to visit her. She still couldn’t move her neck normally, though, and her wounds would need time to heal.
Over the following days, Hope continued to improve. The swelling in her face and neck decreased, and she began to regain some movement in her neck. Every time a staff member came to check on her or provide care, she would squeal and jump at their legs, ecstatic to see them. With the movement in her neck increasing, she was able to eat normally and no longer needed to be syringe fed. Our Medical team determined that Hope had made enough progress that she was out of the woods. She still needed time to heal, so they decided she should go to a foster home where she could receive more individualized attention that a puppy needs in its early life.
She went to an experienced foster home that could help her through her recovery and ensure she received the care she needed. Hope was still on several pain medications, and had difficulty sleeping due to her discomfort. She would have periods of being energetic and playful, but as her meds wore off throughout the day, would become uncomfortable and start to whine.
Her foster family did an amazing job keeping her as comfortable as possible. They checked in with our Medical team often, allowing the team to update her medications to increase her comfort. After five days in her foster home, Hope turned a corner. She was feeling so much better and began acting like a real puppy – stealing shoes, sunbathing outside, and showing off her nonstop wagging tail.
Finally, after nearly a month in our care, sweet Hope was healed. She had full movement in her neck again, her wounds had healed, and her spirit hadn’t been dampened by what she had been through. It was time for Hope to find her family. After just a single day on our adoption floor, she found an amazing family who promised to love and care for her like she deserved.
We are so grateful to the support of our incredible community. Thanks to their generosity, we’re able to provide the care that animals like Hope need to thrive. Want to support more animals like Hope? Make a gift to the animals! And if you haven’t already, sign up for our eNewsletter to get stories like these delivered straight to your inbox!