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Young Pup Needs You to Open Your Heart to Help Strengthen His Own

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UPDATE June 14, 2016: Gary is feeling much better and his doctor's have scheduled the procedure to widen the narrowed valve in his heart, which will allow proper blood flow throughout his body. Next week Gary will be transported to the Oradel Animal Hospital in New Jersey where he will undergo his procedure on June 23rd. Your support of our Help Me Heal Program makes it possible for Gary to receive this vital surgery, and a second chance at a happy, healthy life.

UPDATE June 1, 2016: Unfortunately, Gary has developed an upper respiratory infection that has delayed the procedure for his heart. Gary is on medication and currently recovering in the comfort of one of our Foster homes. Once he is medically cleared he will have the procedure. Until then, this sweet pup will continue to get the top quality care that our Foster Care Program provides. He's even learned some basic obedience commands as his Foster parents prepare him for a home of his own one day.

When Gary arrived at North Shore Animal League America from one of our international rescue transports, he was so cute and full of love that nobody thought he’d be on the adoption floor for very long. With a shiny brown coat, loving eyes that immediately melted your heart, and a mushy personality that often left your face wet with puppy kisses, he was the perfect adoptable Mutt-i-gree® - that is until our veterinarians made a concerning discovery during his initial examination. Gary will still fill some lucky adopter’s life with love, but it will just have to wait until he’s healthy enough to do so.

“During his first physical exam we noticed Gary had a very pronounced heart murmur. We then had him evaluated by a cardiologist from Oradell Animal Hospital in New Jersey, who visits our campus three times per month to examine our shelter pets with heart conditions,” said Animal League America Veterinarian Amanda Fischer. “The echocardiogram revealed he had a condition called pulmonic stenosis, which is a narrowing of one of the valves in the heart. Because of this, his heart has to work extra hard to pump blood to the rest of his body. Over time, this can cause the heart to develop more muscle, which can make Gary prone to arrhythmias and heart disease.”

After diagnosing the problem, our medical staff designed a plan of attack to send this handsome pup on the road to recovery. First, Gary will undergo a procedure called a balloon valvuloplasty to widen the narrowed valve in his heart, thus allowing proper blood flow to the rest of his body. During this procedure, a catheter is inserted through an artery in the groin and threaded into the heart. When the tube reaches the narrowed heart valve, a balloon at the end of the tube is inflated causing the valve opening to widen. Our veterinarians hope this procedure will allow for less stress to be put on Gary’s heart and let him enjoy a more prosperous life.

“Even if the surgery goes well, he’ll still need to be on medications to manage his heart rate and rhythm, as well as regular checkups to monitor his progress, but we hope it will prolong his lifespan and improve his quality of life,” said Dr. Fischer. “He’ll also need time to recover and the best place for him to do that is in our Foster Care Program. In a foster home he can take all the time he needs to make a full recovery.”

But first he needs your help.

Won’t you please support our Help Me Heal Program so we can help Gary, and other ailing, neglected and abused animals, get the care they deserve?  Please donate today.

On behalf of Gary and all of our shelter pets, we thank you for your devotion to our no-kill mission.

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