Doberman Rescue League Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a non-profit corporation comprised of volunteers who offer their time, expertise and their homes to help place Dobermans where they will be loved and cared for.
Their main goal is to protect Dobermans already in their care, prevent further over breeding and educate Doberman owners at their request.
Doberman Pinschers are an often misunderstood breed. They are intelligent and affectionate dogs that make wonderful companion pets. Unfortunately, an overwhelming number wind up in shelters, abandoned on the streets, or surrendered by their owners. Doberman Rescue League is a salvation for these dogs. Many of the dogs they take in come with serious medical issues. Recently they took on a extreme case involving a Doberman pup named Georgia who is experiencing a life threatening illness require extensive surgeries and follow up treatments.
Georgia was adopted from Doberman Rescue League in early 2013 by a loving family in south Florida when she was approximately ten weeks old. In July of 2013, poor little Georgia began vomiting and her family rushed her to the emergency vet where she was treated and released. However, the next morning she did not show any improvement so they took her to their own veterinarian. There, after x-rays it was discovered Georgia had a mass in her stomach which actually turned out to be a rock when surgery was performed. However, the x-rays also revealed that she had an enlarged esophagus also known as “Megaesophagus.” This basically means the muscles of the esophagus fail and cannot propel food or water into the stomach. This results in the ingested food sitting in the esophagus within the chest cavity, never making it to the stomach.
Georgia, was referred to Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists where the doctor’s performed an endoscopy, tests and blood work trying to find answers while also trying to manager her pain and discomfort. After spending large sums of money and seeing no relief for Georgia, the family made the difficult decision to euthanize her. The hospital staff, having compassion for the dog and the family’s plight, suggested the family relinquish the dog to them so that Doberman Rescue League could take over the funding and the treatment.
The veterinary staff felt the dog had a good chance of survival if they could do a surgical procedure placing a feeding tube directly into the dog’s stomach. This would enable Georgia to eat and get adequate nutrition while her esophagus healed. This procedure would allow the young pup to live a normal life. Doberman Rescue League accepted the task and volunteer Ginny Wargo began fundraising for the money to pay for the estimated $2,500.00 surgery while looking for a foster home for Georgia.
Many people wanting to help the young Doberman pitched in on Facebook and via the fundraiser and miraculously money was raised to almost cover the estimated fee for the procedure.
Little Georgia pulled through the surgery with the undeniable strength and true resiliency of a Doberman. However, the joy was short lived when the following day the surgeons determined the tube was not in the optimal place and had to do yet another surgery to adjust it. Four days later Georgia was finally discharged from the hospital with very detailed and elaborate instructions for the recovery and continued regiment of tube feeding. Georgia was taken to a foster who could handle a special needs dog.
Everyone who supported Georgia was ecstatic that she was doing well enough to leave the hospital. However the joy was soon overshadowed by some very distressing news. The final bill for Georgia’s surgeries and hospital stay totaled $8,000.00. After some courtesy discounts by Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists and more generous donations called into the hospital a balance of $1500.00 still remained. As if this was not enough bad news, more came in. The prescribed formula for the tube feeding cost $59.00 a can and had limited availability. The rescue put out a frantic plea for help finding a similar formula that would contain all the calories and nutrition needed, yet gentle enough to for Georgia to tolerate and at a price the rescue could more easily afford.
Sheree, a previous Doberman adopter came forward and offered to help. She is a nurse and mother of a special needs child that requires tube feeding. She was able to come up with a more viable feeding alternative for Georgia. Sheree went a step further and agreed to take Georgia into her home and continue the intensive task of tube feedings, managing her nausea and administering her medications.
To date Georgia has been able to tolerate her feedings under Sheree’s loving care. She still encounters various challenges along the way-most recently an infection at the tube site. Yet, Georgia has beaten the odds thanks to all those that rallied around her on the road to recovery. She continues to be a sweet, loving, young Doberman.
However, she is not out of the woods yet. Doberman Rescue League has recently learned there will be more costly visits in her recovery including another endoscopy. The cost of Georgia’s recovery far exceeds the funds of the small rescue and they will need continued help and donations toward her care.
Georgia has already endured enough illness and suffering for such a young dog; yet she still has a long road of recovery ahead of her, but she has an army of loving supporters around her as well as her own resilient spirit to keep her going every step of the way.
To see Georgia’s progress and recovery visit her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/150661351803625/
If you would like to contribute to Georgia’s recovery fund, please visit Doberman Rescue League, a 501 (c) (3) at http://www.doberescue.net/.
About the Author
Denise Carey-Costa has been a lifelong advocate for animals. She has written numerous children’s books promoting kindness and compassion for all creatures and raising awareness for the plight of unwanted animals. Denise tours with her books to schools and libraries teaching the importance of spaying and neutering your pets, adopting a shelter pet and how to report animal cruelty. Visit Amazon.com and all other book retailers to see books written by Denise Carey-Costa.