Compassion is the foundation in our mission at All4Paws. Many of the animals we take in have medical issues above and beyond the normal vaccines and spay/neuter. These are animals not typically saved and destined to be another euthanasia number at a crowded shelter. This could be anything from treatable diseases to severe issues that require surgeries, months of treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. With proper care, love and compassion, these dogs and cats branded as Unadoptable become loving companions, ready for their “forever” homes. Please read below about just some of our success stories.
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In July of 2020, Smokey was picked up in Aynor by Animal Control. When he was brought to the county shelter, they realized he had been terribly injured. He had a hole that ran from his upper muzzle and through the roof of his mouth and another hole that went through his upper jaw. What could cause such an injury?
At just one year old, Smokey had been shot at close range from behind and above his little body. The county shelter cleaned the wound and asked for help. He needed more care than they could give. As we have done in the past in times of great need for our furry friends, All4Paws answered the call to action. We took in this sweet boy not knowing how extensive his needs would be but knowing that he needed our help.
Immediately, we took Smokey to the veterinarian to assess his injuries. The damage to his muzzle was causing him such trauma that he needed surgery to repair his injuries. So, off to surgery he went! Smokey endured surgery for several hours and then returned to All4Paws. Because of his injuries, he cannot eat dry food and has to be on a gruel diet, which is super liquified food.
Unfortunately, Smokey was not out of the woods yet. The repair was not enough. Because of the nature of his injuries, this poor babe was sneezing food out of his nose, which meant he was not getting enough calories and is underweight. In addition, his breathing was suffering. Smokey would require a second surgery.
This handsome fellow had his second surgery at Veterinary Specialty Care to repair the damage done to his muzzle from a gunshot wound. After surgery, he did require a feeding tube one night, but soon after, he began eating on his own. He is now loving his ability to eat meatballs!
Of course, we also knew this precious boy wouldn’t stay “available” forever. He is now on his way to his furever home in downtown Charleston with a Compassion Fund Alumnus, Paddy, a Boykin Spaniel who had a liver shunt. And what’s even better than a home with two All4Paws Compassion Animals? Another All4Paws Compassion Fund Alumna, Jellybean, is part of the family, too! We’re sure these three survivors will become the best of friends!
Don’t you just love a story with a happy ending?
After starting her life on a chain, Jellybean suffered through a debilitating leg injury further complicated by infection from lack of medical care by her former owners!
This gal came to us when local neighborhood children found her lying in incredibly poor shape on the end of a chain. She had been injured over two weeks before on a fence, and the owner had neglected to take her to the vet. This small group of sweet young gentlemen came to her rescue.
We immediately recognized that their compassionate, quick actions saved her life. She had become lethargic and was in an immense amount of pain. The leg was seeping infection, and she was barely able to stand. Our vet, Dr. Michelle Crull, knew that we had to act quickly if we wanted to not only save her leg but her life. We know how fast untreated infections can become life threatening. We rushed into surgery to check out the extent of the damage. Jellybean’s limb lacked sensation, and the underlying tissue went deep with black decay. Unfortunately, it was too late for her leg. Amputation was her only option.
Dr. Crull was worried about her after such a rough surgery and offered to take her home to help her recover the first night! She had never known anything but a chain and dirt. The next morning, she woke up in a home for the first time. She met the resident dogs and cats, and they quickly assured her that she was in a safe place. Recovery happened rapidly once she started moving again! It didn’t hurt that she was living in a home with a pair of veterinarians!!
Then, it was time to start the search for her furever home! We called her foster parents to get post-recovery photos to display online and we got even better news! FOSTER FAIL!! They would be keeping her…forever!!
When Molly first came to All4Paws with her other puppy siblings, All4Paws was unaware of any major medical issues. Being a puppy, All4Paws had asked one of our dedicated foster families to take in Molly and another sibling to care for them while they waited to be old enough to be adopted. While in the home, Molly’s foster mom noticed something was terribly wrong. Molly wasn’t waking up. Teary-eyed and scared, Molly’s foster mom took her to the Emergency Vet Hospital. Molly was taken back for x-rays, oxygen, and tests.
The emergency vet got Molly to a point where she could be transferred to Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital and later to Vet Specialty Care because she needed more care, more scans, more oxygen, and more food. Off again on another journey, her foster parents were bold faced and determined!
After numerous tests, we discovered that Molly was born with a persistent aortic arch which caused megaesophagus, a rare disorder that no one would know about until something was already wrong. This prevented her from being able to keep down any food and could be fatal. All4Paws had to wait though. Molly had to be old enough and big enough for the surgery necessary to save her life. All4Paws worked on numerous ways to feed Molly while preventing her from aspirating. This included slow syringe feedings every two hours while Molly sat upright in a baby bjorn carrier.
Both Molly’s foster mom and All4Paws staff worked tirelessly to make sure Molly was eating and gaining strength. There were lots of tears and struggles, but eventually Molly was big enough for the surgery needed to correct her condition. The money from All4Paws’ Compassion Fund saved Molly’s life. Shortly after, Molly found her furever home. Her family was educated about her condition and what future needs Molly would have as she grew up big, strong and playful.
During Dillie’s first night in her Foster-to-Adopt home, she began breathing very heavily and couldn’t seem to catch her breath. All4Paws arranged for her to be seen at an emergency veterinarian. After running tests, they could not figure out what was causing Dillie’s breathing issue. That is, until they ran a CT scan. Dillie was a young pup who developed a bulla, which is a dilated air space, in her lung. This bulla left Dillie gasping for air, unable to properly fill her lungs. She spent two weeks on oxygen at Veterinary Specialty Care and recovered fully. She is now living in Virginia and working as a therapy dog for children with Autism.
Moe is a loving min pin mix that came to All4Paws from a high kill shelter soon after the hurricane. Once he arrived it was very obvious that he had something very wrong with his legs.
When we reviewed the x-rays it was clear that our little guy would have a long road to recovery. He had a severely dislocated knee that was a result of a previous broken leg and both of his hips were underdeveloped. Not only would he have to go through knee surgery, but he would also need to have his hips corrected! We were so upset for poor Moe, but he did not miss a beat. Instead, Moe hopped around the exam room and gave everyone kisses!
This spunky dog has recovered from his surgeries to correct his knee and hips is living in his forever home.
Iris was found by local animal lovers after a month of attempts to trap her and then pulled for rescue from a county shelter by All4Paws. Upon arrival it was obvious Iris was very malnourished. Her first day at All4Paws Iris spit up all the food she was fed. It was thought this could be caused from travel or stress so she was treated for upset stomach.
The second day at All4Paws her ability to process food had not improved. Thanks to our observant staff, Iris was quickly rushed to a local vet knowing Iris had more than just an upset stomach. The first exam suggested a large growth or tumor in her chest. Realizing Iris’s condition was critical, she was taken to Veterinary Specialty Care in Mt. Pleasant on March 8th.
What was thought to be a large growth or tumor turned out to be a very enlarged esophagus – a condition referred to as Megaesophagus. Iris was born with her aorta on the wrong side of her esophagus and the scar tissue that forms around the aorta after birth instead wrapped itself around the esophagus, causing it to balloon and not allowing food to reach her stomach. Iris had become malnourished and almost died because food could not reach her stomach.
Initial treatment was to insert a feeding tube to help overcome Iris’s malnourished condition and strengthen her for corrective surgery. The hits kept coming, though. Iris’s blood pressure dropped several times, she aspirated twice, developed pneumonia, and then, when you thought she couldn’t have anymore thrown at her a tear in her esophagus was discovered and she had to have surgery to repair that.
Dogs with Megaesophagus must eat several small meals a day, upright in a vertical position and stay in that position for 10-15 minutes afterwards to ensure food properly travels to the stomach. Realizing that dogs like Iris do better in a special dog high chair, an effort was made to obtain one from a not-for-profit that made them (baileychairs4dogs.com). Not being able to obtain a dog high chair in time, a volunteer stepped up and custom built one. Iris quickly discovered that the high chair was THE place where food happened and quickly adapted to it. X-rays taken before and after the use of the high chair substantiated the value and need for it.
On Saturday April 8, Iris went to her AMAZING foster home with foster mom, Andrea, and foster brother, Stanley. Andrea stepped up to the tall task of caring for Iris and Iris and Stanley greeted each other like old friends.