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Virginia vets save puppy brought to shelter near death: 'A Christmas miracle'

Virginia vets save puppy brought to shelter near death: 'A Christmas miracle'
Posted at 5:57 PM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 17:57:37-05

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Animal control officers in Colonial Heights said they needed a Christmas miracle after a dog was brought to the shelter near death.

Their quick thinking and a very patient veterinarian made sure the dog had a fighting chance.

"I would consider it a Christmas miracle. That's just me. It's a comeback story," Amanda Sverchek, the Colonial Heights Animal Services' supervisor said.

On Friday morning, a puppy who had a difficult first seven months of life was brought into the shelter.

"When he came in, the animal control officer laid him on the table and we all thought he was dead when he came in. It does not appear that they've been good at all. He was severely emaciated and his blood work indicates he has been malnourished," Stacy Riddle with the Colonial Heights Veterinary Hospital said.

Those working with the dog described him as cold, lifeless, and not responsive.

For Dr. Riddle, the puppy's lifeless body held a secret.

"I get my stethoscope out and listened and at first when I listened, I didn't hear anything. And then like five seconds in, I heard one heartbeat," Riddle said.

The puppy was so cold that the vet couldn't even get a temperature to register.

"His blood glucose was registered at 21 which should have been up to 100," Riddle said.

The puppy would get a heating pad, warm blankets, warm fluids, and Dextrose, a sugar IV given by a Hopewell vet.

"And that for sure saved his life," Riddle said.

Nearly seven hours later, the puppy was able to raise his head for the first time for a little food. He was also able to finally get up and walk.

"To see him up and walking around, wagging his tail," Sverchek said. "I think he'd make a fantastic pet."

"I just felt really blessed to be able to take care of him," Riddle said.

Animal control has named the puppy Hero. He will be their guest for at least several more weeks as he builds up his strength. He's due back to see Dr. Riddle in a couple of weeks.

If you're interested in Hero or any other of the dogs at the Colonial Heights shelter, you can visit their Facebook page or visit their Amazon Wish List to help them out.