More than 200 families have had to give up their canine friends to Rescue Village’s care this past year, a 94% increase from the year before. Along with this troubling trend, the staff is seeing an increase in complex medical cases. For instance, Nino and Hank both needed expensive orthopedic operations, and the good news is they are recovering wonderfully.
Trooper, on the other hand, is a story where Rescue Village did everything it could but, in the end, didn’t turn out how we wanted. Trooper, a handsome and charming 1-yearold Australian Cattle Dog, was surrendered to Rescue Village when his owners separated and could no longer care for him. When he arrived, something was clearly wrong with him, as his body language indicated he was in pain. Rescue Village’s clinic team examined him immediately, and X-rays showed he had a significant obstruction in his stomach and needed immediate surgery.
During surgery, Dr. Volpe and the clinic team removed large pieces of partially chewed children’s toys, causing the blockage. Trooper was a real “trooper” after surgery. However, several days later, Dr. Paul Borger had to perform additional emergency surgery to remove another blockage which turned out to be a large amount of undigested food. At this point, Dr. Volpe and the clinic team started to suspect something was very wrong with Trooper. But, after his surgeries, Trooper made good recovery progress. He even appeared with Dr. Volpe on Channel 3, WKYC, for NBC’s Clear the Shelter campaign, charming viewers across Northeast Ohio before going to his foster home. A few days after he went into foster, Trooper had a seizure. After running bloodwork and consulting specialists, Trooper likely had a condition that caused toxins to build up in his blood. Only a CT scan would let the doctors know the problem and determine if surgery could fix it.
And this is where the story gets really sad. As Trooper waited to get scanned, his condition worsened. The CT scan showed he had multiple terminal disabilities, including numerous places where his circulatory system bypassed his liver, officially called congenital portosystemic shunts. Trooper’s story is important because while the vast majority of medical cases Rescue Village faces have happy endings, sad endings like Trooper’s are an unfortunate and thankfully rare reality of the humane society work.
Rescue Village strives to give the best possible care to every animal that comes through our doors, and thanks to donor support, we can provide this level of care to animals like Hank, Nino, and Trooper.