Feature Pet Friday – Ursula

Hi! My name is Ursula and I’m 10 months old. I was found in a gutter on the side of the road on a rainy night in 2015. The good Samaritan who found me thought I was dead. She picked me up from the wet road and realized I was still alive. She brought me to Homeward Bound WV the very next day! A nice veterinarian looked me over and determined I had likely been thrown from or hit by a car. I was only 10 ounces, so my injuries were very serious. I could barely walk, as my entire back end from my hips down were damaged. The vet suggested my foster mom take good care of me and bring me back to see him when I was bigger and stronger. So, I went home with her. She loves me very much and has worked with my legs for a long time. Now that I am a big girl, I’m able to walk on my own, even though it looks a little funny. I can run on carpet, can climb stairs, and can even get on my cat tree to look out the window. My very favorite thing in the whole world is to sit by the screen door and watch the birds. I LOVE looking outside! I’ve also been able to make lots of friends here. There’s always little kittens around. When they come to my house for the first time and are very scared, I kiss them and snuggle with them at night so they feel better. My best friend is a little dog named Asher. He and I play together a lot! We also like to take naps together in the afternoon. Asher and the other kittens don’t care that I’m not perfect. My foster mom tells me all the time that I’m a beautiful girl and I’m very special. I am so happy Homeward Bound WV and my foster mom took me in and saved me from that dark, wet road when I was a baby! I’ve been back to see the vet a few times and he says surgery is not necessary. He says that I will never be like other cats, but I’m just fine anyway. I like that guy! He knows that I have a lot of love to give! I do have special needs, not only with my walking but I also sometimes have accidents. I can’t use a litter box because of my back legs not always doing what I want them to do. But, I take an inexpensive medicine that helps my bladder work better and I’m getting used to wearing a little diaper so I don’t make a mess. I hope that there is a family out there who can see me like my foster mom sees me…a beautiful, special, kind-hearted kitty with lots of love and kisses to give.”

Homeward Bound WV is currently taking adoption applications for Ursula. If you think your home would be perfect for this special needs kitty, please fill out an application here >> http://www.homewardboundwv.org/?page_id=151.

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A Foster’s Story of Battling Parvo

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What’s worse than one Parvo puppy?  Seven Parvo puppies!

I received the desperate plea for help from Homeward Bound WV—six Husky mix puppies needed a qualified foster to take them into their home and care for them.  A 7th pup was very sick when the rescue volunteer picked them up at their location, and upon arriving at the vet had tested positive with a bad case of Parvovirus and had to be euthanized.

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract and attacks the white blood cells.”

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Six healthy puppies had been exposed to the deadly virus and if/when they got sick would need round the clock medical care.  If a vet stay was required, that cost alone could range from $2,000-$6,000 per puppy—but we had six to contend with. I had experience with Huskies and know their difficult temperaments so I instantly felt the need to step in and help save these pups. After consulting with my family, I brought home six, very healthy and happy puppies.

20150717_182341_resizedWe quickly learned each of their personalities. My youngest child attached herself to the runt and named her Pompeii.  So we chose to name the remaining pups after favorite Italian cities:  Pompeii, Florence, Sicily, Milan, Verona, and Rome (which was changed to Romeo over time for the many kisses he gives).

After a few days of quarantined puppy play, we started to see some signs of Parvo.  We separated 2 pups from the rest of the group due to bloody stools.  We were also battling worms and parasites which can compromise the pups immune system and thereby giving the pups less of a chance to beat the virus.  The next day, the pups were lethargic and refusing to eat and drink.  We returned to the vet to have them examined.  In addition to the antibiotics and dewormers and probiotics, the pups received pain shots, subcutaneous fluids, and a new prescription of Tamiflu.

We literally started giving round the clock care to this sick group.  Medications were being administered twice a day in 3 hour spans. Pedialyte was being given every 4 hours and sub-Q fluids were injected throughout the day and night.  Puppy food was being watered down and fed by syringe. After a few days of this treatment these few pups started feeling better, but unfortunately, the worst was yet to come.

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Around day 5, we had three more puppies start Parvo symptoms. These guys were really hit hard by the virus. We started seeing bloody vomit as well as bloody stools and severe dehydration. We took a trip back to the vet who gave the pups anti-vomiting shots and increased their sub-Q fluid dosages. However, on day 8 we lost one of the sick pups–Little Milan was a small, fuzzy guy slightly over 3 pounds but he wasn’t able to fight against the damage that Parvo was doing to his system.

20150727_101224_resizedOne of his other sick-mates, Romeo, was also headed for the worst. I spent the next few days crying for this guy because I thought his fate would be the same as his brother.  We went back to the vet a few days later when he seemed to have plenty of hydration and was eating a little on his own but was still not back on his feet.  The vet said some dog’s bodies will distribute fluids differently and in Romeo’s case, it had gone to the joints in his legs and it was painful for him to walk but with a little in-home physical therapy he would be fine.

Romeo is still in recovery from Parvo but getting better every day.  The rest of the remaining puppies are also doing well and getting back to their normal, playful selves. They are still receiving meds and will still remain in quarantine for another few weeks as their bodies continue to shed the virus.  Until then, we have areas they can play and get some exercise while we wait until they’re well enough to find their “furever” homes!

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Due to the on-going vet visits and the numerous medications and fluids these puppies required, our bills have exceeded $2,000. This number will continue to climb as they continue to need after-care and special puppy foods for their delicate systems. We have a donation fund set up to help cover the costs of battling Parvo. If you are able to give, please go to http://www.youcaring.com/homeward-bound-wv-inc-401154.

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Update on Miki’s Progress

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Miki wants to thank all of her supporters and friends on her road to recovery. After weeks in the cold and snow with a steel trap stuck to her paw, she has been healing very well and enjoying life with her foster family. She looks forward to finding her forever family soon.

Miki became a local celebrity when she was featured on the front page of The Dominion Post on Sunday, February 8. She also made an appearance at our Petco adoption event to say hello to her fans. She enjoys playing tug-of-war at home and hiking in the snow with her foster pack members. She’s such a good girl on a leash.

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Though Miki is doing well, she still has rehab, medicine, and post-op checkups and will need to be spayed before being adopted. We are SO appreciative of all the support we have received on Miki’s behalf, but as you can imagine, Miki’s veterinary bills are quite high. Her online fundraiser has exceeded our original goal but with continuing vet care, we would like to ask if you can please help us care for Miki (and other animals in desperate need of help!) by donating today.  Your donations are 100% tax deductible!

Miki’s online fundraiser expires in 7 days and any donations are appreciated. Click on the link to donate today! Miki’s Online Fundraiser.

Miki_EmmaThank you to everyone who has shown so much love for Miki!

Meet Your “Prince” Charming

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Meet Prince! He’s a total charmer.

Prince_outsideOur rescuers first met Prince on their last search mission to capture Miki, the Lab mix with the steel trap embedded on her foot.  Prince was spotted at a neighboring home, chained outside next to a collapsed dog house with icicles hanging on the inside.  Homeward Bound asked the homeowners if we could help in some way and a few days later we contacted the owners again because temperatures were supposed to drop dangerously low.  They agreed to surrender Prince to us.

Prince’s story doesn’t get easier yet, the vet believes he was suffering from parasite overload (a severe case of intestinal parasites which weakens the immune system and makes the animal more susceptible to other diseases) and stress from his neutering.  Prince spent some nights at the vet’s office and is currently taking a lot of medicine to help with his condition.

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Since leaving the vet and joining his foster family, Prince is feeling much better! He’s enjoying lots of kiddie cuddles and gets to learn what kindness and compassion is all about. Once Prince is feeling 100% he will be available for adoption. In the meantime if you want to help with Prince’s vet care, see below for ways to help.Prince