February 15th, 2023
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator
Just 100 miles northeast of Dallas, Lisa and her husband operate a rescue ranch to rehabilitate senior and critically injured or ill horses. The ranch is a sanctuary for horses who were otherwise destined for slaughter, allowing them to live in peace.
Lisa was well-known in her community as an animal advocate. One day, her local veterinarian called asking Lisa to take in a young Shih Tzu whose previous family would have opted to euthanize the dog rather than address her complex medical needs. The veterinarian trusted that Lisa would do everything in her power to give little Mia the life she deserved.
It was believed (though not confirmed) that Mia was suffering from a congenital liver shunt. She was about half the size of a typical Shih Tzu her age, and she vomited multiple times a day while her appetite was rapidly diminishing. Right away, Lisa started Mia on prescription food, lactulose solution, and a supplement that would ease some of her symptoms. Ultimately, Mia would need an expensive liver shunt surgery.
As drought conditions persisted in Texas and the cost of hay skyrocketed, it became increasingly difficult for Lisa and her husband to sustain the ranch. While they were getting by, they were left with very little money to take care of something as unexpected as Mia’s surgery. But even though they had only had Mia a short time, she had already found her place in their hearts:
“Mia is amazing. She plays with our 2-year-old son and has been very therapeutic for me. She is always on my lap and wants to be held. We have fallen hard in love with her. We are very hopeful she can live a long and happy life with us. Our two other dogs are getting older and don’t interact with our son. When Mia is feeling okay, she loves to play.”
Lisa was no stranger to raising funds when it came to saving an animal’s life, and her heart was fully committed to giving Mia a fighting chance. She reached out to any organization that might be able to help – eight including RedRover. After her application for a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant had been approved and she had all the funding they would need, Lisa brought Mia back to the veterinarian for her surgery. But to everyone’s surprise, Mia didn’t have a liver shunt!
Instead, her CT scan revealed that she’d had an obstruction in the lower part of her stomach for five months – nearly half her life at such a young age! She would still need surgery, but her future was looking brighter and brighter:
“Mia is doing phenomenally! Since removing the obstruction, she has been feeling so much better! She is eating and gaining weight and hasn’t had any issues with throwing up or getting sick. She just loves her new life as a farm dog. She loves to roll in the dirt and chase rescue horses. We couldn’t be happier to have her as part of our family!”
We are grateful that our FurEver Friends make second chances like this possible. Because we can count on this recurring support, we can always say yes to families in need of a little assistance and hope. Thank you for putting your compassion into action for animals like Mia and for bringing this family from crisis to care!