How It Started...
Janie was found dumped in a residential area of Houston on 9/14/22. She was in absolutely HORRIFIC condition. She weighed 27 pounds. She was too weak to hold her head up for more than a brief moment, let alone to stand. With a body score of 1 out of 9, Janie was scheduled for immediate euthanasia at the animal shelter. Pawsitive Restorations Animal Rescue received a frantic help request from Rescued Pets Movement in Houston to save Janie.
Without a second thought, we had Janie immediately removed from the shelter and our partners at RPM rushed her to the emergency vet where we were told to euthanize her immediately. Her condition was grave, and her prognosis was no better. Janie had an abdomen FULL of fluids, and nobody knew why. Against veterinary advice, PRAR’s director instructed the hospital to perform an emergency laparatomy and try to find the cause of the excess fluids. We could *NOT* euthanize this beautiful girl without a sound reason to do so. She had already suffered so greatly… we had to fight for her!
During the surgery, it was discovered that Janie had developed adhesions from a previous spay. Those adhesions had wrapped around her intestines, essentially strangulating them so tightly that food could not move through. Her stomach was completely FULL of food and water that could not pass through the intestinal stricture. The surgeon drained her stomach contents and removed the stricture. Janie’s intestines opened up, thank God! She was upgraded to, “Guarded” condition as we waited to see how Janie’s body would respond.
Once Janie’s intestines were freed from the stricture, her recovery was quite remarkable. Janie was tolerating small feeds, and her Houston foster mom, Katherine, was able to pick her up and bring her home just two days after surgery. This began a very long and incredibly structured recovery process. Janie survived the surgery, now we had to help her fragile body to heal and to get stronger.
Janie was so incredibly emaciated, and she was so weak from the severe muscle loss that she couldn’t even stand and walk without assistance.
Katherine set Janie up with a comfy orthopedic bed to support her bony little body, and coats and sweaters to help keep her warm. This darling girl didn’t have a lick of fat on her, so she needed lots of extra supports to keep her comfortable. Janie made friends quickly with the other pets in the home. They were her tribe, and they traveled along this part of her journey with her.
JANIE’S REFEEDING PROGRAM
9/16/22 to 9/17: 1/5 can of Hills i/d every 6 hours.
9/18/22 – 9/19: 1/4 can of Hills i/d every 6 hours
9/20/22 – 9/21: 1/3 can of Hills i/d every 6 hours
9/22/22 – 9/23: 1/2 can of Hills i/d every 6 hours
9/24/22 – 9/25: 3/4 can of Hills i/d every 6 hours
Weight Check – Refeeding adjustments – repeat for the next 5 weeks.
Have you any idea how gut-wrenching it is to look into the eyes of a starving animal and tell them *NO* to food that they so desperately want and need? But you do it because you’re trying to SAVE their life!
“When dogs that have essentially been starved suddenly have free access to large amounts of food, they can become very sick and even die. This is an especially tough situation because our natural first instinct to seeing an emaciated animal is to give it food … lots and lots of food. In truth, the best thing to do is bring the dog to the veterinarian immediately for an assessment and to develop a refeeding plan.
The most serious effect associated with reintroducing food to starving dogs goes by the name “Refeeding Syndrome.”
In an attempt to survive starvation, the body’s metabolic pathways undergo some pretty profound shifts. When the body is suddenly “inundated” with food, these new pathways cannot handle the situation, which results in fluid, electrolyte, and vitamin imbalances that have adverse effects on many different organs, including the heart and brain. In extreme cases, organ dysfunction can become severe enough that the dog dies.”
Within just a few days of being discharged from the hospital, Janie finally stood up and walked – ON HER OWN!
To all the people who sent us hurtful messages, belittling us for fighting for Janie’s life, and admonishing us for the THOUSANDS of dollars we spent fighting for Janie’s life – we hope you watch this and understand that Janie is worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY WE SPENT! Dogs don’t come into our program to be given up on. We are their HOPE when everyone else has let them down. Janie was a “throw-away” to someone else. But to us, Janie is a treasure! She is a beautiful soul who fought SO HARD to embrace the second chance she was given.
Janie was able to WALK into her first post-0p check up on her own! Everyone loved on her and celebrated her strength, her determination, and her zest for life! Janie was the star of the show! We hope she knows just how many amazing people pulled together to SAVE HER! Doctors in two states, an army of rescuers, and animal lovers around the country who donated to her medical bills made this happen!
Every day, we watched as Janie grew just a little bit stronger. We watched as the bones protruding from her body slowly started to disappear. We celebrated every pound she gained! Janie was fighting like hell, and she was winning her battle!
Janie was far too fragile for us to transfer her to our program in Colorado right away. Her CO rescue team had been watching her progress and supporting the Houston team from afar. But Janie’s next journey was right around the corner. Our girl was FINALLY ready to come home! ♥
WELCOME TO COLORADO BABY GIRL!
As of 11/5/22, Janie is weighing in at 60lbs! She has gained 33 pounds as of this update. She is going for several walks per day to help build strength and muscle mass. Her feeding schedule has *almost* normalized. She is eating 3 cups of food, twice per day. She LOVES people, dogs, and even cats! Janie is grateful and she is embracing her second chance at life! She is now ready to find the most perfect family – who will love her like WE love her, for the rest of her days!
She is a SURVIVOR!
On November 27th, 2022 – 74 days after she was picked up off the streets of Houston and rushed in for emergency surgery, Janie found her forever family. ♥ She went home with Danielle and Brian, and their sweet dog, Birdie. They will give her a tremendously wonderful life full of love, long walks by the lake, quality medical care, and a friendly doggy sister to play with.
THIS MOMENT right here, is our ‘why.’ Janie should not be alive right now. She shouldn’t be wagging her tail and eagerly hopping up into Brian’s Jeep to go bye-bye. But she DID! Janie was given the gift of a second chance because die-hard animal rescue teams refused to quit. A die-hard community of dog lovers donated to provide her life saving surgery! Committed foster families brought her back from the brink of death, and loved her through her recovery. Janie survived because someone DID SOMETHING.
Go grow up happy and strong baby girl, we will love you always. ♥
Pawsitive Restorations takes on a lot of really difficult, often very expensive medical cases. Saving these precious lives costs an exhorbitant amount of money and as a result, we are struggling to keep up with the demand. Please consider a tax deductible donation today, so that we can save more dogs like Janie tomorrow! ♥