In 2009, just after starting my animal rescue, I visited an animal shelter where I adopted one of my own dogs. As I walked inside the entrance, there was a dog lying on top of blankets on the floor surrounded by an exercise pen. She greeted everyone who entered the shelter with a little cry and a weakened bark. While waiting for a friend who worked there, I decided to go and say hello to the dog on the floor. I knelt down beside her and gave her treats from my hand. She had a wonderful disposition; she was one of the sweetest dogs I had ever met. As I sat with her, she continued to cry and let out little howls to remind all that she was there. I could see why everyone adored her. This very special girl was Leah. Leah came to the shelter hardly able to stand or walk. The shelter vet diagnosed her with "permanent severe hind limb weakness." Leah would require a doggie wheelchair for the rest of her life.
The shelter volunteers and staff spent a lot of time with Leah, helping to strengthen her hind legs with exercise and massages. She loved to go for walks; she was very friendly with people and would roll over to the other dogs to say hello when she could. As I left the shelter that day, I thought of ways to help Leah - she would surely benefit from rehabilitation such as underwater treadmill therapy. She would need a special foster home or a place that would take her until she found her foreover home. I believed that Leah could get much better if she were not in a shelter.
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Anakin was rescued from a NJ shelter where he acquired an upper respiratory infection during his stay. He was treated and seemed otherwise healthy. He tested negative for FIV/FeLV. Although his condition cleared up, he again became ill with another upper respiratory, which never seemed to clear up. He was such a sweet, wonderful boy, who wanted nothing more than to sit in your lap and purr.
While in a foster home - he continued to have a runny nose and discharge. It just would not go away. After multiple visits to different vets and more tests, we decided to board him at a hospital for observation. Our vet again administered antibiotics and thought his condition may have been caused by polyps, which we were going to remove, once his course of medications was complete. After a week's stay, the staff came in one morning to find Anakin gasping for air. His belly was filled with fluid and he appeared to be in serious distress.
He was immediately given oxygen but he passed away shortly thereafter. The abdominal fluid was sent to be tested, but our vet was confident in suspecting that Anakin had Feline
Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), a fatal, incurable disease that affects cats. It is caused by the Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (FIPV), a mutation of the Coronavirus, Feline Enteric Coronavirus (FECV) - (Feline Coronavirus FCoV). FECV is very common, especially in places where large groups of cats are kept together, like animal sheltersor catteries. The lab results confirmed the diagnosis - Anakin had FIP. We were devastated.
Donating is more than just time or money, it's peace of mind.
NO DONATION IS TOO SMALL.
Please help our homeless pets while they await their forever homes, with a warm, cozy bed to sleep in and nourishing food to eat.
In memory of Leah and Anakin - please help pets with special needs make it out of shelters and into loving homes.
Paws on the Green was founded in 2011 to help homeless animals on death row in the Southern states. Most of these animals have never lived indoors and most end up in very rural, high-kill shelters where their chances for adoption or making it out alive are slim.
No matter where they are from, they are all so grateful to be given a second chance and there's always a wagging tail waiting to meet us when we pick them up from the transport!
We promote and help senior pets and those with disabilities who end up in shelters. Please consider fostering or adopting a senior pet. They are wonderful souls who do not deserve to end their lives in a shelter. They deserve a warm bed, a quiet, peaceful home and someone to spend their golden years with, who will love them as unconditionally as they will love you.
It takes a lot of love, hard work and dedication, but the animals make every day a joy for us especially when they find their forever homes!