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April 23, 2013 > Ohlone Humane Society: A throw-away puppy's miracle

Ohlone Humane Society: A throw-away puppy's miracle

By Nancy Lyon

On March 26, Ohlone Humane Society (OHS) received a call from the Fremont Animal Shelter that a 5-week-old Chihuahua mix puppy had been brought in that had been abandoned in a mall parking lot and was too young to be kept at the shelter. She was in a temporary foster home but could be there for only two more days. The tiny pup, now named Lena, had been examined by a vet and found that she was a very special needs baby - Lena had been born with birth defects - one eye missing and the other semi-functional, plus her skull had not yet completely closed and there was the possibility of some neurological damage

The options were to immediately find the best resource for her needs or put her down. Our first thought was the wonderful BrightHaven Sanctuary in Sebastopol and we reached out to Susan Hoffman, their rescue coordinator. OHS had successfully worked with Susan on number of special cases in the past and was Lena's best and only hope.

We gathered up Lena at the shelter and took her to ACE veterinary hospital for additional care and board her for a week or more where OHS would pay all costs.

This was the first real opportunity we had to get to know Lena... all 1.1 pounds of her. Thankfully, aside from infected ears and an eye that will need care for the rest of her life, her other bodily functions appeared to be working well - including her sweet puppy voice. In her darkness, all she wanted was to be held close and comforted, and to give kisses.

Susan posted Lena on the BrightHaven message board and calls started coming in. The throw-away puppy had touched many hearts. Susan carefully screened offers of help and we discussed what would be the best option for Lena to heal and thrive. We agreed that the amazing Mia Foundation in Las Vegas that deals exclusively with dogs with birth defects was her best chance. Lou Hendon, founder of the Mia Foundation, didn't hesitate a second and said "bring her to us."

Transportation was the next on the agenda. An attorney on the BrightHaven message board volunteered to use her frequent flyer miles and travel with Lena. She was delivered to the attorney in San Francisco and that evening, a tired puppy departed SFO travelling in 1st Class and sleeping on her lap the entire flight. Lena arrived in Las Vegas to the welcoming arms of the Mia Foundation, to a new life and name - Meme.

Meme's foster mom is just crazy about her; she has a special needs kitty 'Bo' that was born without the upper bones in his front legs and walks on his elbows. Bo is scared of everything and everyone and likes to keep to himself; she reports that Meme had him charmed in less than five minutes... he's actually PLAYING with her. Our feisty miracle girl is indeed a charmer and is described as a happy little monkey SO full of life and the will to live.

Is one little creature with so much working against her worth all the effort? You bet she is!

BrightHaven -; The Mia Foundation -

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