Rescuing animals is tough work. You need a strong heart and soul to keep going, but the reward is knowing that you’ve saved innocent animals from lives that no one would wish on their worst enemy. Some days are even harder than others. On December 30th New 2U Rescue picked up a 2 year old Golden Retriever that came out of a puppy mill. This girl almost lost her life and she has touched the hearts of our volunteers and those that follow our rescue. Her name is now Hope because we have so much “hope” for her to have a wonderful new life and here is her story.
Hope was taken to a vet by a puppy mill owner after “something happened” to her leg where the skin was almost removed. We don’t know how long she was left in this condition. By the time the miller brought her to the clinic she was in shock from blood loss. He wanted her put down, but thankfully, the clinic had him surrender her to them. Sadly her leg was too badly damaged by the time she arrived so it had to be amputated. After her surgery, she was stable and her new life was about to begin. New 2U Rescue picked her up from the clinic and transported her back to Rochester to begin her healing and training outside of the puppy mill cage. Dogs are very resilient but Hope’s “before rescue” story made even Deb, the president of our rescue, feel ill and she has heard all of the stories of dogs in need after having worked in rescue for so many years.
After picking up Hope, it was a long drive home to Rochester from Buffalo for Deb and her husband, Jay. Jeanette Darlak-Prohaska, one of the volunteers had driven from Buffalo, NY to Danville, OH to pick her up from the clinic where the miller surrendered her. The road conditions were poor, but they all felt she was worth the trip. They got her home and Hope was finally in a safe environment, but she couldn’t know what a gold mine she had struck yet. When dogs come out of horrific conditions, they need some time to decompress from their former situations. They need some time to unwind and relax. Hope had a new bed but she opted not to use it yet. After life in a cage, she didn’t know the purpose of a dog bed. She did not know what was happening to her and she was not happy, but she did eat and drink a little. Thankfully, she took her pain pill in her food which made it easier to administer. It was heartbreaking for everyone involved knowing what she had been through and that it almost cost her her life and not just her leg.
On January 2nd, Hope was taken to Animal Hospital of Pittsford. She stayed at the clinic for the day to get some fluids and a culture on her incision because it looked infected. Her ears were cleaned because they were very bad and she had her pain medication increased to help her feel better. The estimate for this one visit (not including her original care and surgery) was $400 – $600. If you would like to donate to Hope’s care, add a note to your donation and we will make sure it is directed to her. All of the funds our rescue collects at this time are going to her medical costs. Hope returned home that evening with new pain medications, antibiotics and fluids prescribed for her. The poor baby girl was not happy yet, but time was now on her side.
On January 3rd, Hope appeared to be doing better and she was not as shutdown as she had been. Deb put a sweater on her to cover her pain patch so that she didn’t take it off. She still wasn’t happy or drinking the way she should have been but it was a start. Everyone in the rescue prayed for her continued improvement. She was very good about taking her fluids sub Q but not very good about taking her pills. She would spit them out if she was allowed to.
On January 4th, Hope’s blood-work came back. She had a major infection and was still very anemic. The vet felt comfortable that time would help her recover from her anemic status because she is young. The anemia was due to the amount of blood she lost from her leg injury before the miller got her to the clinic. The follow up at the hospital revealed that she had a few different infections, including one that was very antibiotic resistant and she needed a special antibiotic that wasn’t available at the clinic. Deb and Jay had to be very careful because the infection could be passed onto them or the other dogs in their care. Hope stayed in a room all to herself so disinfecting the room minimized any contamination to others. The original clinic only did internal stitches which were easier to rip open, which is what happened. After a while they began to close up. This poor baby had been through so much.
There was another trip to the hospital the next morning for a check up but she was definitely acting better, moving around more and she was interested in watching the puppies play outside her room when she got home. She still had a long way to go. If you like, you could also donate to Hope’s medical costs directly through Animal Hospital of Pittsford.
Dr. Sara Heslop at the clinic has been wonderful with Hope. She even called when she wasn’t in the clinic to check on her and squeezed her appointment in between surgeries. They all love her at the clinic even though it breaks their hearts to know what she went through. We are so grateful to them for taking her in. She is such a special girl. We couldn’t wait until her full personality came out. Our rescue could not help this beautiful girl without everyone’s support including the team at the Pittsford clinic and those who have already donated to her care.
By January 8th, Hope was doing much better. Her incision site looked good, but there was still a long way to go to gain her trust. Her health was starting to improve. By January 12th, her leg was healing nicely and the goal was to get her interested in life outside of the mill life she had been living. This was accomplished by getting other dogs to go into her room to “say hi”. The gate to her room was removed and she was introduced to the other dogs in the house, Chase (the Golden) and Merlin (the Eskie). The next step would be to get her interested in things outside of her room.
Hope’s weakness was discovered – CHEESE. It was a baby step, but a start. She actually ate it out of Jay’s hand with Deb and all the other dogs in the room. Cheese was the treat to motivate her. She didn’t even want steak when it was offered and she moved away from it to another part of the room. Just getting her to try something new and learn to like it was a challenge, but she figured out that she likes cheese. PROGRESS!
It was difficult to get a photo of Hope standing up. Most of the time she would immediately lay down in a corner and tried to hide when she saw Deb or Jay. One of the foster dogs, Jacquie, been tried to get her to play and would go in to say hello regularly which looked as though it helped. Chase was the dog that the new dogs who were scared would bond to but Jacquie, one of their fosters, was far more attentive with Hope.
Joan Powell stopped by for a visit with her dog Rikki. Hope decided she could rest her head in Joan’s lap. The stitches came out on January 20th and then she was finally able to be bathed to get rid of the puppy mill smell. She felt much better after that and didn’t appear so defeated. Deb was a worried that she couldn’t “read” her or understand what would help her come out of her shell like she could with other rescue dogs.
By Sunday, January 21st, Hope sort of started playing with a ball. She batted it a bit and then picked it up. Most puppy mill adult dogs have never had a toy. This was great progress. Hope sees Jacquie playing with balls all of the time so that example helped her to learn. That afternoon she was taken out to the backyard and roamed around for the first time. She even managed a few stairs to the deck. It was a joy for Deb and Jay to see her enjoying herself and acting like a dog. She definitely wanted to be with the other dogs. Hope’s vets felt that she should be able to adapt well to life without a prosthetic leg.
At her January 25th checkup, Hope was doing well. Her blood work showed that all of the values were within normal range and the infections were clearing up. She was still very leery of people and needed to be carried out of her room to get moving. Leaving the room on her own was the next major goal. She didn’t like being brushed out or have a bath and Deb found out that bathing a dog that is laying down is much more difficult than you think.
Hope discovered a new favorite toy. The toy mouse was too irresistible and she had to play with it. She even picked up the foster dog’s favorite toy which is actually a cat toy that chirps. Playing with toys was a very good milestone for Hope to show that she was coming out of her shell.
By January 29th, Hope went outside for the first time on her own. It was really an accident on her part and a bit of trickery on Deb’s part. By the next day she was enjoying the snow. She would walk outside on her own, but she was still not coming back in on her own.
Hope had her final blood work tested the week of February 8th and all of the values were where they should be. She also became more accustomed to going outside and coming inside on her own with a little encouragement. The biggest thrill of all for Deb was when Hope walked up to her and licked her hand. Tissues please.
A new arrival from the mill became Hope’s new buddy. A little Cavachon boy who has part of his rear foot missing but does not seem to let that slow him down at all. Jay named pup Sparky as he is just full of life, wiggles and kisses. Someone will be adopting a very special dog when she is ready.
Hope is now healthy but there is still a need to help her adjust emotionally. She had progressed to actually chewing on a knuckle bone and relaxing out in the living room. She still has a long way to go, but our rescue is now looking for someone to help her with that journey.
By the first week in March, Hope was doing great, she became comfortable out in the living area of the house and hung out with Deb, Jay, and the other dogs. She loved cleaning out a bowl that had sour cream in it and learned that treats are good. She loved going out into the snow and didn’t hesitate to trudge into it for potty. One morning after Jay woke up, while Debbie was outside with Chase, Merlin, and Jacqui, he was watching the morning news and looked up to see Hope coming across the living room. He said, “This is the first time she has ventured out of her room on her own accord. She goes outside with a little encouragement but this time she decided to do this on her own. She continued to stay out with us for the next several hours. Tonight when we ate dinner she actually stood up and tried to investigate the contents of my plate. She is still at my feet even now. All of these things, even a couple days ago would have been a huge accomplishment for her. She seems like she is starting to figure out this dog thing.”
The second week in March, Hope decided to stay out in the living area full time and join the family. She is doing wonderful, getting more playful, joining the other dogs in begging for treats and looking for attention. She is meeting with 2 families and we are hopeful she will select on of them to be her new home. Both are great families and would be a wonderful home for her, we are just letting her decide which she would prefer. We hope to have her starting her new life once the snow melts.
New 2U Rescue would like to thank the people who have been instrumental in Hope’s recovery, especially Dr. Sara Heslop at the Animal Hospital of Pittsford, the Danville Veterinary Clinic in Ohio, Jeanette Darlak-Prohaska who drove to Danville, OH from Buffalo to pick up Hope, and to the Democrat and Chronicle for bringing Hope’s story to the public. Also many thanks to all who donated to the costs of her care and helped support her care. We could not have done it without supporters.
Hope is one of the lucky dogs that managed to get into a loving rescue home, but there are many other dogs who are not as fortunate. If you want to help, there is new legislation being proposed in New York State that could be wonderful news for animals and hopefully put a few Puppy Mills out of business. Please show your support for this bill by writing, emailing and calling, Senator Michael Gianaris and local representatives to keep this one moving forward. NY Lawmakers: Bar Pet Stores From Buying From Puppy Mills
Please help share the word about Puppy Mills. Our beautiful girl, Hope, is just one of the casualties of puppy mills. She was 50 lbs when she was initially taken to the vet in Ohio. She is now over 60 lbs. The clinic felt she had been left with injured leg for some time. Going by the semi antibiotic resistant e-coli infection and other infections it is amazing she even survived. She thankfully is improving although still very unsure about life inside a home and people. Education is key, if the puppy mills don’t have businesses to supply their “products” to they will lose the market (people buying) and it will end their terrible breeding practices. Laws need to be in place and enforced, stopping the sale of the puppies will put an end to it sooner.
Puppy mills are not illegal, but they should be. The puppy mill owner allowed this to happen to Hope and then ignored it until it almost killed her. How can it be legal to treat an animal this way? Whatever way her injury happened, it should not be legal to ignore it and then when it looked as though she was not going to be able to bring in money because she was injured, he casually took her to the clinic to have her put down. We were so grateful the Danville Clinic took her and got her into a rescue. Taking care of Hope, her leg surgery, her medical costs, and all the follow-up care has put our rescue in financial straits, but it has been worth it to know that this Golden Girl is now in safe hands. Anyone wishing to help with the costs may do so by donating through our website New 2U Rescue Donations. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated.
If you agree that Puppy Mills need to be shut down so other dogs don’t have to go through situations like this and worse, please take a look at the Puppy Mills by State map. You can help dogs who are in the hands of puppy mills by educating your friends and family about where those cute puppies come from when they are sold online and in pet stores. When people no longer purchase animals from them they will have to stop breeding them and, ultimately, it will put puppy mills out of business.
Share Hope’s story on Facebook using the share button below to make people aware of Puppy Mills.
Update: March 26th, 2018
Hope has gone to her forever home and is doing great there. Her new family created a page for her on FaceBook where people can continue to follow her progress. Her FB page is https://www.facebook.com/HopeTheThreeLeggedGolden/ We are thrilled with how well she has adjusted without any setback with the change.