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Meet Summer

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Update April 2013: Help Me Heal Dog Summer Is Thriving in Her New Home

When North Shore Animal League America rescued Summer from a municipal shelter in August 2011, she was just five months old—and as cute as can be!

But Summer had serious health issues that put her at grave risk of being euthanized at the shelter, since they didn’t have the resources to care for her. The adorable pup had an angular limb deformity of her right front leg that, if left untreated, would have grown much worse as the pup grew. Summer likely would have ended up unable to walk.

Thankfully, the shelter reached out to Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. We entered Summer in our Help Me Heal program, and generous animal lovers came through for the precious puppy, donating funds to help us provide the surgery and extensive after-care that Summer and other animals in our care needed.

Because Summer required a type of very specialized surgery that we do not provide at our Medical Center in Port Washington, we contacted our friends at The AMC (Animal Medical Center) in New York City, which has over 80 veterinarians covering 25 specialties.

One of the AMC’s board certified surgeon, Dr. Pamela Schwartz, had extensive experience in performing surgery to repair angular deformity, which required cutting the bone and reattaching the two pieces to straighten Summer’s leg. The procedure was a resounding success! Summer spent many weeks recovering at The AMC, where her affectionate personality made her a favorite of the staff.

Wendy Gallart, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at The AMC, shares the happy adoption story that followed:

I met Summer the first day she arrived. She was very shy and stayed toward the back of her cage, nervous to meet strangers. But there was just something about her that tugged at my heart even on the first day. Her color was striking— a beautiful reddish brown. Her ears and nose were so soft and her eyes a beautiful brown.

Dr. Schwartz performed the surgery with the consulting veterinarian from North Shore Animal League. Afterward, I visited Summer every day, taking her for a short walk outside or giving her a treat before I went home for the night. She already had my heart, and she had a similar effect on the rest of the staff here. Whenever they dressed her leg, they added designs such as hearts, flowers and leaves to make her bulky bandages look prettier.

The nurses, interns and residents would send me photos of themselves with Summer draped over them as they snuggled together. Summer was definitely no longer shy and loved all the attention she was getting from the staff.

I began to have her spend her days with me in my office, where she would lay on her back in front of the window of my office door sleeping, greeting visitors and generally charming everyone who came by. I had decided by then that I was going to adopt her!

Finally, she was well enough to come home, and she immediately settled in as if she had always lived with us. Even though her leg was still bandaged, it was a chore to keep her from running at top speed in the backyard or jumping onto the bed.

My husband and I take her everywhere we can with us—on fly fishing outings, long walks in the woods and to play with our grandchildren and their dogs. She makes us laugh with her silly antics as she plays with and “talks” to chirping cat toys. Peanut butter in any form is her weakness.

North Shore Animal League America has made so many people happy and families whole with the addition of a pet adopted through their organization. I am so pleased to say that I, too, am one of those you can add to your long, long list.

Animal League America is very grateful to our friends at The AMC, whose expertise enables us to heal ailing animals and find them new homes with loving adopters. “Our relationship with The AMC is a tremendous help to us,” says Diane Johnson, VP of Medical Services at Animal League America. “They have very accommodating schedules and the vets there are great to work with. Their partnership is a true life-saver for so many of the Mutt-i-grees® we rescue each year who have serious medical issues. They share our commitment to never giving up on an animal in need.”

Thank you to Wendy for sharing an update on Summer! If you’d like to share stories about the animals you adopted from North Shore Animal League America, please email, or call Jenna at 516-883-7900, ext. 480.

Update: November 2011

Summer had corrective surgery on her limb deformity. She was adopted and is resting comfortably in her new home! Her new family is taking good care of her as she heals. We will keep you posted on her progress.

Summer's Story

Recently, the Animal League rescued a 5-month-old Labrador retriever-mix puppy from a small, local shelter and placed her in the life-saving Help Me Heal Program.

Unfortunately, Summer has an angular limb deformity of her right front leg. The area of malformation is the equivalent to the elbow and wrist. If untreated, this impairment will worsen as her bones grow; and is very likely to cause future lameness.

Veterinarians determined that Summer will need a series of corrective surgeries to live a normal life.

If the Animal League had not rescued Summer, she would probably not be alive today. Not only does she need a series of expensive surgeries, she will also need months of treatment and aftercare. This comprehensive level of care is very difficult for overcrowded municipal shelters, and sadly, as a result, euthanasia is often their only solution.

With your support, the Animal League’s Help Me Heal Program can provide Summer, and animals like her, with the care needed to live a healthy life.

Please donate today.


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