Shelter dog has his heart mended: twice!

Stray dogs with illnesses that can't easily be cured may be put down.
Shelter dogs with heart problems have a bleak future. © David Tadevosian. Shutterstock

Usually a stray dog with a medical problem has a very bleak future. When a shelter finds one with an incurable illness or condition sometimes the only solution is euthanasia. After all, animal shelters are full of healthy animals that are equally in need of rehoming. Such a sorry outcome looked likely for one Georgian dog with a heart murmur. 

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In July 2018 Hutch was discovered wandering the streets of Atlanta, GA. He was taken to the Atlanta Humane Society, an animal shelter set up in 1873 and reliant on charity donations. Preliminary checks revealed the young dog had a pulmonary stenosis, but further tests to determine the seriousness of the condition were too expensive.

Hutch’s chances of survival were slim

Christina Hill, director of marketing and communications for AHS, told The Dodo: ‘Shelters are faced with very difficult situations when they have an animal like Hutch in their care. It can be costly to test to see what is wrong, even more costly to treat what is found, and extremely difficult to find an adopter who is willing and financially able to take an animal into their home who has a special, and potentially expensive, medical condition.’

 

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A post shared by Atlanta Humane Society (@atlantahumane) on

IMAGE: © atlantahumane. Instagram.com

A future for Hutch looked increasingly unlikely, but in the days that followed, the shelter was contacted by an anonymous donor who was willing to pay to have the heart murmur investigated further. In due course Hutch was given life-saving surgery also paid for by the unnamed ‘saviour’.

After the operation, Hutch got his second lucky break. Replying to the Society’s Instagram post on the 19th September local man Jamie Butler, whose youngster daughter also had a similar heart condition, posted his intention to adopt. ‘Hey Hutch!’ Butler wrote. ‘My daughter also has pulmonary stenosis! So glad you got your surgery! Is Hutch able to be adopted?’

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IMAGE: © atlantahumane. Facebook.com

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Read also: This terrified stray dog’s fur was so matted, that you could barely see his face

Nick John Whittle lives and works in Birmingham, UK. He is a specialist copywriter, journalist and theatre critic. Over the years Nick’s family has owned dogs, cats, rodents and birds. The history of animal domestication and of people’s relationship with their pets over the centuries interests him a lot. He cares greatly about the welfare of both feral and domesticated animals and supports ongoing protection of endangered species.