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Charity's Road to Recovery
On February 9, 2015, a good-Samaritan driving down the road on her way to work saw something moving on the side of the road. Once she went back she realized it was a helpless puppy that was unable to walk. She immediately scooped her up and took her to the closest animal emergency room. A couple of hours later, Team Up For Tucson received the urgent call to rescue her. With no tags or microchip and no funding, all the ER could do was find out what was wrong with her.
After X-rays it was discovered that this 6 month old fawn and white terrier puppy had been hit by a car and left on the road. Even worse, this little puppy had a shattered pelvis and both hind legs were broken. If she would ever walk again she would need help, and fast. Team Up For Tucson wasn't sure it could raise the money for surgery, or if keeping her alive would be in her best interest. We decided to meet Charity that evening, and all of our lives changed. One look at her happy face and wagging tail, and we knew we had to try. We named her Charity.
Not knowing if Charity was going to survive, we reached out to North West Pet Clinic and they immediately wanted to help try to fix Charity and also felt that giving this puppy a chance at life was the right decision. Her doctors at North West decided that the best course of action would be to put a plate in her left leg and amputate the right leg, but only after her left leg healed. With the help of Hillary Bailey our Public Relations guru, Channel 4 KVOA news, and the Tucson community we were able to get the funds we needed for Charity's first surgery. Charity underwent 6 hours of surgery on just her left leg. The doctors at North West were so invested in helping her that one of them even slept at the hospital at night with her so that they could make sure she was safe and comfortable.
Once out of surgery at North West, we needed to see if Charity still had any fight left in her because we knew the road ahead would be a long and difficult journey. Lucky for Charity she was moved into a very experienced foster home with Marc and Star Palma who oversaw her every move and they were willing to put in the hard work and dedication needed to help do whatever it took to help her heal and giving her a loving post-surgery environment.
Charity started moving, her wounds were healing and her mobility was improving. Charity was transitioned to her foster-to-adopt home so that she could begin to bond with her new mom. Charity's next step to healing would be going to PAWS for rehabilitation. She spent every day on the underwater treadmill, getting chiropractic adjustments and laser treatments.
Her foster mom reported that it was hard to contain her because she was playful and acting like a crazy puppy. Her new found confidence gave her a new lease on life. Her other observation was that Charity was using her right leg, the leg that was to be amputated more than her surgically repaired left leg. So off Charity went to get follow up x-rays on both legs and hips once again.
The x-rays provided some good news and some bad news that left us baffled as to our next step. The plate in Charity's left leg wasn't healing properly, the screws were coming loose and there was new bone growth was forming in places where it shouldn't. As for her right leg there might be a chance of saving it. Thankfully, Dr. Randy Aronson at PAWS suggested we take Charity to Arizona Specialty Group of Scottsdale, to see Dr. Ross Lirtzman, a board-certified veterinary surgeon who had surgical technology that was not available in Tucson.
Team Up For Tucson, Charity and KVOA Channel 4, made the long drive to see Dr. Lirtzman later that week. Dr. Lirtzman took extensive x-rays that measured Charity's bones and told us about "I-Loc implants" that have saved many pets from having their legs amputated. His x-rays and other technology would allow for a diagnosis and virtual surgery prior to Charity's hands-on surgery. He suggested that he use I-Loc in both of her legs and that he would perform her hip surgery at the same time. He explained that this was a complicated case but he felt confident he would have Charity using all four legs soon. Dr. Lirtzman called BioMedrix, the manufacturer of the I-Loc technology to see how quickly we could get the correct size of the I-Loc implants needed for Charity but another road block presented itself. Charity needed a size that wasn't on the market yet. Dr. Lirtzman was determined to help and get Charity the much needed I-Locs quickly so he "made a few calls" and was able to explain the urgency. The response was Charity's implants would be shipped within a couple of weeks.
A list of Charity's medical issues written by Dr. Lirtzman of ASG of Scottsdale.
Charity will now have her surgery to get her implants on both legs any day now. Charity would not be alive today if not for all of the special and caring people mentioned here. Team Up For Tucson is grateful beyond words for the on-going financial support of our donors, well wishes and the love everyone has given Charity. Although, she is not out of the woods and has 2 more surgeries ahead we are confident that she will live a full and happy life. Charity is a high-spirited puppy that loves people, loves to play and enjoys being mischievous. Our commitment to Charity is unwavering and we look forward to seeing her live the life she so eagerly awaits.
Please continue to embrace this beautiful, spirited puppy and follow her recovery on Facebook and KVOA, channel 4 News.
Michele Ochoa, President, Team Up For Tucson
If you'd like to support Charity,
consider donating by clicking the button below
In 2013 Team Up For
Tucson (TUFT) broke another record by providing over 12,000 toys,
clothing, shoes, jackets and 255 new bikes to Tucson children living
in shelters or below the federal poverty level.
Thank you Tucson!
Print Poster here
GOOD-BYE TO DUNCAN. Team Up For Tucson with the help
of a couple of Newfoundland rescue friends pulled Duncan from PACC’s
sickbay about 1 month ago. He needed immediate medical help
including the amputation of one of his legs. Team Up For Tucson
covered all medical costs and a TUFT family and another family
fostered him. After his surgery he was doing great until 2
Saturdays ago when he had a reaction to Deramax and his sutures
began to look infected. At 3am he was rushed to an emergency animal
hospital where the veterinarian that was working that morning had
just lost her dog, Bee, 2 weeks earlier.
and Duncan could’ve been twins each had long black hair, a white
chest and weighed 62 pounds. The vet had been to PACC searching for
a new companion and with no luck decided her next dog had to find
her. She took one look at Duncan and began to cry remembering her
sweet Bee. When she touched Duncan’s face he actually grabbed her
hand with his paws! For those of you who know Duncan this comes as
no surprise he is very affectionate and intuitive. She looked at his
paperwork and saw that he was a foster dog that needed a home. She
said she knew instantly that she had found her dog. Duncan is now
named Chepi Ochoa (meaning-Sprit Wolf) and in the best hands making
a full recovery. He will be moving to VA with his forever mom, the
veterinarian, and enjoying life to the fullest. Thank you to all the
volunteers at PACC and the forever homes that give dogs like Chepi a
new lease on life.
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