By Savannah Verdon, RedRover Development and Engagement Coordinator

An avid dog lover, Andrea had endless stories to tell about the strays and rescue pups she had fostered, and how her love and care was their last stop before finding new families. All four of her own dogs had been foster fails who won her over completely – Baldo, China, Mona, and Toro each had a special place in her heart and home. They had been with Andrea their entire lives, and far from being just her babies, they were bonded to one another like siblings.

Because her eldest boy Baldo was neutered, Andrea hadn’t planned to spay her two girls, China and Mona. If there was no risk of pregnancy, there was no need for the surgery. But Andrea hadn’t known at the time that every time a female dog goes through a heat cycle, she is at increased risk of developing pyometra, an infection of the uterus that can often prove fatal.

At seven years old, China had gone through many heat cycles without issue, and seemed to be an overall healthy and happy dog focused on playing with her siblings and loving on her mama. So Andrea was quite taken aback one night when China became weak and lethargic, then began vomiting uncontrollably. Her discharge had an unusual, brown appearance, and Andrea knew China couldn’t wait long to see a veterinarian.

The veterinarian confirmed that China was suffering from pyometra, and without treatment, it could only get worse. They recommended China stay in the hospital overnight and receive IV fluids, but the surgery needed to be done as soon as possible. Andrea used what cash she had and a line of credit to put a deposit down for the surgery, but she went home that day without China and without knowing how she would afford the full cost of saving her beautiful baby’s life. 

The COVID-19 pandemic had greatly affected Andrea’s income – her hours had been cut in half, and there were some weeks where she worked fewer than 25 hours total. She had been looking for a second job to supplement her income, but when China unexpectedly fell ill, Andrea didn’t have any extra money to spend in an emergency.

Afraid but not defeated, Andrea searched online for any help she could find to save China. On her RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant application, she shared how hard it had been on the whole family seeing China so sick and not being able to help her:

“Mona and China are sisters. If something were to happen to China, I know Mona would not be able to bear it. I cannot even imagine losing her.”

We quickly approved Andrea’s application, and China had surgery the next day to remove the infection from her uterus with a full spay procedure, so she would never fall ill with pyometra again. After some time recovering, China was able to go home with Andrea and see her three best friends and siblings, all of whom missed her terribly after days of uncertainty.

“I want to express how grateful I am for the help I received. If it were not for this assistance, my sweet girl would not have made it. I am so happy to share with y’all that she is back to being her happy, weird self. Her siblings could not leave her side once she got back. Once again, thank you so much for saving her life and allowing us to keep our sweet girl many many more years.” 

Compassionate people like you are the reason that pets like China are still here today with their families. Thank you for helping us change the lives of animals and the people who love them! We are grateful for the second chances that you make possible. ❤