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Marcus was Surrendered to the Shelter in Critical Condition

Our team raced against the clock to save a dog we hadn’t even met yet.

Marcus was Surrendered to the Shelter in Critical Condition
Marcus was Surrendered to the Shelter in Critical Condition

In early May got an SOS from Bradford County about a 5 month old puppy who was surrendered at closing because he had been vomiting, he had bloody diarrhea, he hadn't eaten for 5 days, and he couldn't drink water. He was in major pain. The person who surrendered him said "he's a huge chewer and chews everything" so he might have a blockage," but she didn't want to take him to the vet. For 5 days! 

He was in critical condition by that point, and the shelter staff didn't think he'd make it through the night. It was late in the day and regular vet offices were closing, so our only option was an ER vet. We didn't have a foster and we didn't have a place for him to go, but we knew we needed to help. 

Our team raced against the clock to save a dog we hadn’t even met yet. We texted Dr. Apolo, one of the ER doctors at Capital Vet, telling her what we knew so far. She wasn't working, but she asked "how can I help?" She relayed what we knew so far to the doctor on duty. 

Susan Merrill worked the phones trying to find the fastest way to get him there. The Bradford County shelter is an hour and fifteen minutes from Capital Vet, so it would be a 2 1/2 hour round trip. Torena Rowe and Kelly MacDade jumped in their cars to help, meeting halfway to hand him off and cut the transport time in half.

When Kelly was about 10 minutes away, Capital Vet called saying they had too many emergencies already and they couldn't take him. While we were on the phone, Dr. Apolo texted us with the same message, saying she was working on it. 

Before we even wrapped up the call, Dr. Apolo texted again telling us that she and her husband, Dr. Nichols, were going into the clinic on their day off to help. We were blown away, and incredibly relieved. Drs. Apolo and Nichols immediately hospitalized Marcus, ran bloodwork, Xrays, and did an ultrasound. 
The news was even worse than we expected. This poor boy was in very bad shape. He was septic, extremely dehydrated, tachycardic and he had a fever. He had severe gastroenteritis and GI sepsis, and a very heavy load of parasites. His white blood cell count was only 900 (normal range is 6,000-17,000), and his neutrophil values were only 90 (normal range is  3,000 – 12,000 per microliter). He was hospitalized for the next 2 days, with round the clock care in the ER. 

He was so heavily loaded with worms that he was extremely anemic, and it turned into gastroenteritis and sepsis. A simple vet visit with routine care and dewormer would have prevented a life threatening crisis later. 

𝗔𝗻 𝗔𝗺𝗮𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆
Thanks to Dr. Apolo and Dr. Nichols, Marcus turned the corner and made an amazing recovery. We were thrilled to hear he was ready to be discharged from the ER, but now we had a new problem. We had nowhere for Marcus to go. Jessica Cromer offered to temp foster him for a few days, but she had family coming into town so she couldn’t keep him long. Ginny and Chris Boies offered to foster him, and Gabrielle Cagnani did the home visit for us. We moved Marcus to the Boies' home, where he learned to live inside as part of the family for the first time in his life. He got spoiled, learned to live as part of the pack, and worked on his basic skills. 

We're happy to announce that Marcus is now adopted by Kim Kratz! Even better, Kim is a retired police officer and K9 handler, and she has trained many police K9s. Her dog Jet was lonely after her other senior dog passed away, and Marcus and Jet have quickly become best friends. Marcus is already learning new skills, and we know he'll have a wonderful life. 

Thank you to everyone who worked together to try to save this sweet boy. Thank you Deputy Summerlyn Byrd, who stayed late to reach out to rescues about this critically ill dog, and Torena and Kelly for once again jumping in to help when there was a dog in danger. Thank you Dr. Apolo and Dr. Nichols, who went above and beyond to save his life. Thank you Jessica Cromer for temp fostering Marcus, and Ginny and Chris for fostering him, and Kim for adopting him. Finally, thank you to everyone who donated to help him, and to our monthly donors, whose support makes these rescues possible. It truly takes a village, and we are so grateful to everyone who helped us save this sweet pup. Congratulations Kim and Marcus! 

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       7643 Gate Parkway #104-27
       Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sick and injured animals like Marcus 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.


Florida Urgent Rescue earned a Four-Star Rating on Charity Navigator with a score of 100%, the highest possible rating. Florida Urgent Rescue is also the recipient of a 2023 Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency by Guidestar, and is a 2023 Top Rated Nonprofit on Great Nonprofits.

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