National Pet Day: Why stepping up saves lives

April 11 is National Pet Day. Founded by Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert & Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Paige, it’s a day that is meant to celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives. It also creates public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals awaiting a forever home in shelters all across the nation and is sponsored by Animal Miracle Foundation + Network.

Puggy was an emaciated senior that had a lot of health issues. Here he is on is rescue day and now.

Puggy was an emaciated senior that had a lot of health issues. Here he is on is rescue day and now.

National Pet Day is also a day like any other day that we can make a huge difference. Every year in Chicago, thousands of animals lose their lives just because there are not enough homes for them. As I was thinking about what to write, my friends at the Trio Animal Foundation posted an update about one of their recent rescues. It highlights why rescuers do what they do and how much it means to just one animal (and their forever families).

Senior pets left behind at the shelter face the toughest obstacles. They are heartbroken after losing their home of many years and they don’t show well. Many have lots of health issues – some visible, others not so much. A case in point is a dog-named Puggy.

“Upon meeting Puggy, he was a physical and medical mess,” says TAF founder Sue Naiden in her post. “His skin sunk in between his ribs, some of his teeth were worn down to the gums, his fur was stained yellow from urine, he was lethargic, had severe green discharge from his nose and it was thought that he could possibly have both female and male reproductive organs since his nipples were the size of grapes.”

Puggy has found a forever family that committed to adopting him before they knew if he had cancer or not.

Puggy has found a forever family that committed to adopting him before they knew if he had cancer or not.

The organization sponsored Puggy and one of their rescue partners – Project Rescue Chicago – took him into their program. Puggy spent two days at the vet undergoing various tests – a needle aspiration on a potential mast cell tumor, chest and abdominal X-rays and a full blood panel. When his blood work came back normal, the work began.

A large testicular tumor was removed and sent out for a biopsy. He also had a swollen prostate, a thickened and enlarged bladder and mammary glands that needed to be removed. A check of his teeth showed that although they looked bad, they didn’t need to be removed.

As his issues where checked off the list one by one, it was discovered he had an undescended testicle with a Sertoli cell tumor. This causes skin problems and can cause the feminization of male dogs. The tumor tested benign and all appeared to be fine. Then it was found out that Puggy tested positive for Heartworm. Because it was caught early, he’s undergoing treatment and should recover.

Puggy was so excited about finding a family, he had to help check himself out of Project Rescue Chicago.

Puggy was so excited about finding a family, he had to help check himself out of Project Rescue Chicago.

When groups take on senior pets, especially when they have issues. You just don’t know how long you’ll need to have them in foster care before the right family comes along. In Puggy’s case, the right family arrived pretty quickly. This past weekend, Puggy found his forever home.

“ Puggy’s family actually committed to him when they thought that he might have cancer,” says Naiden. “They were willing to endure the pain of losing Puggy so that he could experience a few good months in a loving home. Puggy's family gave him the miracle that he had been looking for... that we had all been looking for.”

For National Pet Day, pitch in to help other pets in need like Puggy.

For National Pet Day, pitch in to help other pets in need like Puggy.

This is what National Pet Day is all about – stepping up to help. That could be fostering, adopting, donating, volunteering, going to a party for a rescue or sharing stories of animals in need to help them get rescued or adopted. The Animal Miracle Foundation + Network sponsors a lot of other days to highlight the plight of homeless animals from National Cat Day to National Dog Day to National Puppy Day and more.

Learn more about National Pet Day and others sponsored by the organization online.

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    Raining Cats and Dogs

    I am a crazy cat lady and puppy mill warrior that blogs to advocate and educate about pet issues. In American animal controls, millions of pets are abandoned each year and an estimated 4 million die just because there are not enough homes. It truly seems like it’s Raining Cats & Dogs.

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