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  • Writer's pictureFlorida Urgent Rescue

A Critically Ill Mama and 12 Puppies



Mama dog on a blanket with her puppies
Chrissy laying down with her puppies at the ER vet.

Please send all of your thoughts, prayers and good vibes to this sweet little mama dog and her pups, they definitely need them right now.

Back in January, as the winter weather was coming in, Chrissy was one of many dogs stuck in outdoor kennels at Union County Animal Control. While we found foster homes for some pups, we couldn't find a home for Chrissy so we temporarily placed her into boarding at Pet Paradise Fleming Island.

After the weather had passed, we were preparing to take her back to the shelter when we learned that Chrissy had been keeping a little secret. She was pregnant!

Animal control is terrifying for any dog but especially so for a mama trying to raise her pups. We knew we had to do something, there was no way this sweet girl could have her pups in an outdoor kennel with minimal protection from the weather and maximum stressors from other dogs in a shelter environment.

Nancye Frank, one of our longtime volunteers, offered to take her in until we could get a plan in place. Thankfully, after a lot of scrambling and networking, Amanda Smith offered to foster and another rescue took her in. After only a few days at Amanda's house, Chrissy gave birth to 13 pups!!! Yep, you read that right. This sweet mama had 13 babies!!! Sadly, one was stillborn, but the other 12 appeared healthy.

Things were going great the first few days, but on day 3, Chrissy spiked a fever and the puppies stopped gaining weight. The other rescue wasn't local, the distance to their vet created logistical challenges, and Chrissy was in distress, so we offered to take her and her puppies into FUR.

We reached out to Dr. Mack Palm Valley Veterinary Center and as always, they squeezed us in immediately. Dr. Mack found that Chrissy has an infection due to retained fetal matter and she is anemic due to a severe hookworm infestation. Thanks to Amanda's constant monitoring and care, what could have been a catastrophic event was caught early. Dr. Mack gave Chrissy an injection of oxytocin, and he started her on antibiotics and supplements. Chrissy immediately improved, she passed the retained placentas, her fever went away and her milk production increased. We were worried that the infection may have been transmitted to the puppies through her milk, but they're getting antibiotics through her milk. Amanda and her daughters were doing supplemental bottle feeding, their weights started increasing and we were hoping they had turned the corner.

Sadly, when Amanda went in to check on this sweet little family yesterday morning, she found Ivy, one of the smallest pups, lethargic and struggling. Amanda rushed the pup to Capital Veterinary Specialists and we were thrilled when we learned that Dr Apolo was on duty! Dr Apolo immediately set to work but this pup was in critical condition. Her already low temperature continued to drop, even though she was in an incubator. Her heart rate, which should have been around 200 beats per minute, was 80 bpm when she was admitted and continued to fall. She was in such bad shape that they couldn't even access a vein. They gave it everything they had but she was too young, too sick and too small, she couldn't be saved.

Everyone was extremely concerned about Chrissy and the remaining pups so Dr Apolo asked that they all come back in for a full check up. Thankfully, no one seems to be nearly as critical as Ivy but some of the pups aren't doing as well as we would like. They will receive sub q fluids, supplemental feedings and be monitored closely. Amanda, who is a first time puppy foster, is handling this like a champ! She has learned how to bottle feed and give sub q fluids. There is no doubt that without her persistent efforts, this situation could have been much worse. The other puppies are not out of the woods, but we're keeping a close eye on them, and Amanda and her daughters are taking great care of them.

When we take in dogs like Chrissy, we are basically signing a blank check. We never know what their medical needs will be but we do know that we could never help them without your support!

Now, without further ado, meet Chrissy and her Taylor Swift Era's Tour litter!

Thank you to Nancye Frank for taking Chrissy in until we could find a permanent spot for her, thank you to Amanda Smith and family for giving this sweet mama a warm, safe place to have her babies and a huge thank you to our supporters for allowing us to help Chrissy.

𝗙𝗨𝗥 𝗠𝗢𝗡𝗧𝗛𝗟𝗬 𝗚𝗜𝗩𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗠

Sick and injured animals like Chrissy need help fast. Every donation helps, but Monthly donors give us flexibility to respond immediately when there is an emergency. When there is a hoarding case or a hurricane, a dog with a gunshot wound or a cruelty case, we have to act quickly. We don't have time to do a fundraiser, and wait for those funds to get to us. Your monthly donation can help us save lives again and again.

To Donate:

— Venmo: @FloridaUrgentRescue

— CashApp: $FloridaUrgentRescue

— Mail: Florida Urgent Rescue

7643 Gate Parkway #104-27

Jacksonville, FL 32256

Florida Urgent Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and FUR earned a Four-Star Rating on Charity Navigator, the highest possible rating. FUR also received a 2023 Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency by Guidestar, and is a 2023 Top Rated Nonprofit on Great Nonprofits. Learn more about FUR at: www.floridaurgentrescue.org

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