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Capital Area Rescue Effort, Inc. (CARE): Emergency Medical Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Emergency medical needs - surgery

This money was used to help with surgical costs for one puppy, Carley.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Carley came to CARE at the age of four weeks from [an open-admission] shelter in South Carolina where she was to be put down. She was diagnosed with a rectal fistula. That shelter gives medical-needs dogs only 24 hours to find rescue, and a local supporter pulled the dog for us and helped to transport her 10 hours to CARE in Richmond. Carley arrived on Friday, July 31, and was immediately taken to our vet, Dr. Susan Ware, for evaluation. Dr. Ware stated that Carley had a condition known as atresia ani, a congenital birth defect that is fatal in most cases. She suggested euthanasia, but said she was amazed that Carley was otherwise healthy.

CARE decided to take Carley home and care for her over the weekend and visit Virginia Veterinary Surgical Associates on Monday morning, as one of the specialists there had some history of treating the condition during his time at Cornell. On Monday, we took the dog in and were told that she needed emergency surgery. Her rectum did not open to the outside of her little body and had, instead, created a passageway for stool to travel through her vagina out. Not only was the condition extremely painful for her, it caused a severe urinary tract infection that was becoming septic.

Carley’s surgery was immediately started and she was given a 50/50 prognosis. During surgery, it was discovered that only one passageway existed between the two areas (the best news possible). It was surgically closed, and a new area (anus) was opened for fecal elimination. Carley healed well and her infection immediately cleared. She is now seven weeks post-surgery and her prognosis is a normal life. Upon completion of her puppy shots, spay and microchipping, Carley will be placed for adoption and is expected to have a wonderful life. The funds contributed by the Petfinder Foundation allowed our rescue to pay about 1/3 of the surgical costs for this dog.

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