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Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 9:47 am | Partly Cloudy 56º


Letter to the Editor: DAWG Needs Your Help to Save the Life of Mother Dog

Most of the nation judges when spring has arrived by whether a groundhog sees his shadow or not. At DAWG, we know spring has arrived when we start getting calls to rescue puppies. This spring, it was one special call that caught our attention and introduced us all to a very special girl we named Perdy.

Perdy was a stray in Lompoc, where the Animal Control officers had been keeping an eye on her and trying to catch her for quite some time. When they finally reached her, they realized the fight had only begun — Perdy was pregnant and had a very loud heart murmur.

In our county shelters, puppies that have not been born yet are more frequently than not aborted and the mother dog is spayed, but the county vets will also not operate on dogs with heart murmurs as severe as Perdy’s. This left us with two options: Save Perdy and her unborn puppies, or let them all die.

When Perdy arrived at DAWG, she was smelly, frightened and cautious around new people. Volunteers sat with her and gave her treats, and eventually Perdy understood we were people she could trust.

Just a week after she arrived, Perdy gave birth to 10 beautiful, healthy babies. They all came into foster with our shelter director, and Perdy was a wonderful mom — protective, but nurturing. She didn’t leave a single puppy out and never slept to make sure they all got the nourishment they needed.

After just a week, Perdy developed mastitis, an infection that prevented her from nursing. Perdy was distraught to not be around her puppies, and we all lost a lot of sleep bottle feeding her babies every three hours. We all fought long and hard — and successfully brought all of the babies and Mama Perdy to good health (and we wish you all could have been there when Perdy got to visit with her puppies again — it was a tear-jerker for all of us!).

All of Perdy’s puppies have found wonderful homes, and now we have the monumental job of fixing Perdy’s heart. Perdy has visited with two specialists who have diagnosed her with a defect that essentially leaves a hole in her heart that causes the murmur. We must operate on Perdy’s heart as soon as possible to give her a chance to live.

Perdy has taught all of us at DAWG a lot about courage, perseverance and strength. Will you help us raise the $3,000 it will cost to operate and make Perdy’s heart whole again? To donate, please contact DAWG at 805.681.0561 or visit us online at www.sbdawg.org/donate.

Emily Grossheider, shelter director

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