Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
In the beginning of July 2015, Dreamer was found as a stray and taken to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in Phoenix, Arizona. On July 30, 2015, he was rescued by Eskie Rescuers United (ERU), a national organization for American Eskimo dog rescue across the United States. We in St. Louis, Missouri, work closely with ERU. However, there was a glitch. When Dreamer was found, he had a horrible open sore on his face. No one knew what it was, but it was an open wound (second photo).
There were many people in the American Eskimo dog community trying to save and rescue this dog. A representative from ERU was able to get to the shelter in Arizona and rescue him, only to be told that “the American Eskimo dog with the wound” had been put to sleep. The community was so saddened and disappointed. But later they would find out that he was still alive! So the ERU rep immediately pulled this boy from Animal Control with this horrible wound. He had been saved.
Dreamer was put into ERU’s foster program and taken to the vet. He was diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcoma. The vet recommended radical surgery, but a wonderful ERU volunteer in California said, “Send him to me and I will take care of him.” So Dreamer went to Palm Springs, California, to live with Adell, who fostered him and took him to her vet. The vet removed the soft-tissue sarcoma and saved Dreamer’s eye.
Dreamer lived with Adell until October 2016, when Adell, a longtime rescuer, became ill and was unable to take care of Dreamer any longer. American Eskimo Rescue of St. Louis had room and volunteered to take Dreamer in St. Louis. So Dreamer was put on a plane and headed to St. Louis. We wanted to give this boy a chance and help out since we had an open foster home. We picked up Dreamer and he went to the vet. He needed a check-up, dental, and grooming.
In the first part of November 2016, we noticed a growth in the same area as his first surgery. The growth was not there when we picked him up in October. It was growing at a very fast rate, too. We took Dreamer to a cancer specialist and were told it was the return of the soft-tissue sarcoma – the same tumor that was taken off in August 2015. With soft-tissue sarcoma, the tumor has tentacles like an octopus and is very hard to get rid of due to the way it reaches out. With this tumor, radical surgery would take most of the side of his face. Our options were radiation (at a cost of $5,000) or surgery, which would remove his eye and possibly part of his skull. We chose to have our vet “debulk” the tumor instead of performing radical surgery or giving Dreamer harsh radiation. Chemo was another option, but the type that Dreamer would take could make him sick (and was only 30% effective).
Our board decided to let Dreamer live out his life and not undergo harsh measures. Radiation and surgery would give him the same number of years he has left to live anyway (he is now 6 or 7 years old). Dreamer is such a great dog and he is loving life now.
So Dreamer has had two debulking (tumor-removal) surgeries – one in August 2015 and the other in December 2016. To date, there are no other tumors. We’ve done x-rays on his lungs and there’s no metastasis to that area, which is really good. Dreamer is in foster care at the moment. We have decided that he is ready for his permanent home and will make someone a very lovely family member. Dreamer is medically taken care of now.
Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for helping with Dreamer’s medical costs and helping him to be the best dog he can possibly be. He is healthy, he loves people and other dogs, and he loves long walks. Dreamer loves to play with toys and go for car rides. Why ruin that for him, as there is no cure for the type of cancer that he has? There are wonderful medical treatments for dogs, but since Dreamer’s cancer is on his face, there is not much room there to do surgery at all. A rescue group cannot afford $5,000 for radiation and it could cause some negative side effects, such as loss of an eye or stroke, with no guarantee the cancer would not come back.
Take a look at Dreamer now (first photo). He has been such a lucky boy, with lots of people who love him. We don’t want to see him suffer by losing an eye, having a stroke, or going through extensive surgery that would only give him a few extra years to live. Right now, he could possibly go on to live his life out and he’ll have a very good quality of life now too. Again, thank you to the Petfinder Foundation for helping Dreamer, a dog with nine lives!
Dreamer is available for adoption and is considered special-needs. There is a chance this tumor could come back and if so he may need a third surgery. To date, Dreamer has had no symptoms. For more information on Dreamer and to adopt, please visit http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36564309.