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  • Writer's pictureFlorida Urgent Rescue

Another Devastating Day in Rescue

Another devastating day in rescue. We received a call from one of the rural shelters we support, letting us know about a senior dog who appeared to have been shot. We quickly came up with a plan to get him and rushed him straight to Dr Mack at Palm Valley Veterinary Center.

His shelter name was Grumpy, but that absolutely didn't fit him. We thought about Bashful, but that didn't fit him, either. We decided to call him Elijah.

It turns out he wasn't shot, but he has a lot of other major medical problems. Dr. Mack immediately did X-rays and bloodwork, and this poor boy was in very bad shape. Elijah had a double perineal hernia and a very enlarged heart from a heavy load of heartworms. Even worse was a large tumor in his abdomen that was bleeding and filling his abdominal cavity with blood. He was dangerously anemic from the blood loss.

He also had an extremely enlarged prostate, likely due to prostate cancer, and the cancer had probably already spread to his liver at this point. On top of all that, Dr. Mack saw spots on his lungs, which may have been from heartworms or from metastatic cancer. Either way, it was very bad news.

Dr. Mack said that he could give him a transfusion and attempt surgery to remove the tumor, but he likely wouldn't survive the surgery. With any one of these problems we could have tried to treat it, but with all of them combined there wasn't even a glimmer of hope. At best, we could try to buy some time, but he had so many different serious problems it was pretty much a lost cause.

This poor boy had a very rough life. Despite all he's been through, he was so sweet and affectionate, giving kisses and tail wags. When he was nervous or scared he would stop and sit, but with a little coaxing and head scratches, he warmed up quickly.

After consulting with Dr. Mack, we opted for a blood transfusion, knowing it wouldn't save him but also knowing he likely wouldn't make it through the night without one. However, we believed Elijah deserved one night of comfort and at least one day of love, as he appeared to have had too little of both during his life.

As it turned out, the transfusion didn't help. Despite getting two units of blood, his RBC didn't improve at all the next morning. He was hemorrhaging blood as fast as we could put it back in. We already knew what the end result would be, but this made us feel just a little less bad about the decision.

We picked him up and gave him one last car ride and a trip to the beach for the first time in his life. He got cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets, and lots of love. Despite all he had been through and the terrible hand he had been dealt, he was such a sweet boy.

He gave lots of kisses and tail wags, and he even rolled over for a belly rub. We wanted so badly to save him, but we couldn't. All we could do was love on him and let him know how special he was. The last gift we could give him was to make sure that he peacefully crossed to the rainbow bridge, surrounded by love.

While this isn't the outcome we hoped for, we're grateful to have met this kind, gentle boy and to have provided him a little peace and love. We are also incredibly grateful for Dr. Mack and Alyssa for treating him with kindness and compassion, and to everyone at Palm Valley Veterinary Center for the support they've shown us this past year. Without it, helping sweet and deserving animals like Elijah wouldn't be possible.

We can’t change their past. We can’t make the pain and suffering go away. We do whatever we can to help them. For animals like Elijah, where we can't save them, all we can do is love them, spoil them and let them know they matter.

Even though we know it’s the right decision, it’s still heartbreaking. We'll remember him forever, and try to get past the heartache. We'll keep moving on, helping more animals in need. It's still devasrating, though. Hug your babies a little tighter tonight and appreciate every day you have with them.


Sick and injured animals like Elijah 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 learn more, please visit:


Every donation is DOUBLED up to $20,000, and new Monthly Donations are TRIPLED through 12/31. Several generous donors have agreed to double all donations, and triple new monthly donations, through the end of the year.

To Donate:

— Venmo: @FloridaUrgentRescue

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— Mail: Florida Urgent Rescue

7643 Gate Parkway #104-27

Jacksonville, FL 32256

Florida Urgent Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, a 2023 Top Rated Nonprofit on Great Nonprofits, and the recipient of a 2023 Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency by Guidestar. Learn more about FUR at:


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