Sunday, February 15, 2009

Behind the Scenes of the Furry Valentine Adoptathon

Working at LA Animal Services is often compared to working in a MASH unit; with so many critical activities occurring all at the same time. This past weekend is a classic example of just how true that comparison is. While employees and volunteers were busily adopting an amazing 343 pets into loving homes during our Be My Furry Valentine Adoptathon on February 14th and 15th (a 100% increase over the same weekend in 2008) there were, as there always are, many other amazing stories playing out.

For example, consider this remarkable story. It all began on Monday, January 26th, when LA Animal Services rescued a little 2 year old, female Whippet/Chihuahua mix from the streets of San Pedro. Her name is Mya and she was found with a severely injured right rear leg, probably resulting from being hit by a car. An extensive section of her skin was completely torn off the underlying tissue, severing the blood supply and exposing her tendons. (This is called degloving by analogy to the process of removing a glove.) She was rushed to our Harbor Animal Care Center where she was stabilized.

On Wednesday, January 28th, our medical team determined Mya’s leg was so seriously injured that amputation was the only viable choice available. Mya was transferred to our West LA Animal Care Center where she underwent this surgery. She responded well and adapted quickly to her new condition learning to walk expertly on 3 legs.

On Thursday, February 12th, Mya was spayed at the West LA Center. During surgery she developed severe respiratory distress and almost succumbed. Our medical team acted quickly. Chest x-rays were taken and a severe diaphragmatic hernia was discovered. This means that when Mya experienced the original trauma (probably hit by car) her diaphragm was ruptured and her abdominal organs were crammed into her chest cavity leaving little room for chest expansion. She bravely masked this condition until she was under anesthesia and her breathing became very labored.

On Saturday, February 14th, (St. Valentine’s Day) our extraordinary medical team (behind the scenes and during one of our most successful Adoptathons ever) successfully repaired Mya’s diaphragmatic hernia during a difficult 2 hour surgical procedure. Mya is breathing much better now and she is expected to make a full recovery. Mya should be available for adoption on Thursday, February 19th at our West LA Animal Care Center. Mya is a very sweet and gentle little dog and after all this trauma she deserves a wonderful home.

The surgeries LA Animal Services performed on Mya probably would have cost over $5,000 at a private veterinary hospital. LA Animal Services was able to perform all Mya’s surgeries for a fraction of that cost using our own resources. If you would like to help ensure all the injured, abused, and neglected animals rescued by LA Animal Services receive the loving care they need, like Mya did, please consider making a life saving donation to our STAR (Special Treatment And Recovery) program.

If you are interested in adopting Mya, she may be available at our West LA Animal Care Center as soon as this Thursday, February 19th at 8 a.m.