From the Kern County Public Health Services Department:
Maureen, a 5 month old German Shorthair Pointer, arrived at the Kern County Animal Shelter (KCAC) much like many other animals who we have seen come through our doors. She was filthy, neglected, severely injured and abandoned to fend for herself on the street. This puppy needed a miracle to survive. On Saturday afternoon, however, Maureen was granted that miracle through an emergency fund.
Close to P Street in Bakersfield, she sat waiting for someone who cared enough to find her help. The gaping and infected wound on her left leg, protected only by a dirty white T-shirt, would have caused her demise if not for the kindness of a gentleman who stopped and picked her up.
In an unknown amount of pain, she managed to stifle her cries as she was handed off to Sally Breyer, our Shelter Supervisor. Maureen’s sweet demeanor and grateful licks of relief let her know that this little puppy was a fighter and had the will to survive. Without even looking under the t-shirt, Sally knew that the injury was severe. The distinct and pungent smell of rotting flesh was evident in addition to a noticeable deformity to the left paw. Maureen needed the care of a veterinarian immediately if she hoped to survive.
During the week, KCAC has a full-time veterinarian and medical team to help animals just like Maureen. But on the weekend, we rely on the generosity of a volunteer veterinarian who dedicates 10 to 12 hours of her time to the animals at the shelter. Dr. Hyman has taken the internal rewards of compassionate acts as her only form of payment.
To help stabilize Maureen, Dr. Hyman started an IV but feared that the puppy’s leg may have to be amputated to help save her life. She recommended a transfer to a veterinarian hospital for immediate care. There was no question that KCAC wanted to help; the question was: who could help pay for it?
After the local and international out-pouring of support for a little dog named Lacey last year, The Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation voted to establish a Medical Emergency Fund. This fund would be used to help in Lacey’s ongoing treatment and assist animals that are either seized due to abuse/neglect or impounded at the shelter and in need of medical assistance beyond what KCAC can routinely provide.
A call went out to Judi Daunell, the President of the “Friends” Board of Directors, and after consulting with the board, they immediately decided that Maureen be transferred to Bakersfield Veterinarian Hospital for care without the worry of funding. “This is exactly what the emergency fund was designed to accomplish,” said Judi Daunell, “and what those who donated would have wanted us to do in this case.” Kimberly Mullins, KCAC Division Manager added, “This is what meaningful collaboration is about: working together to save adoptable animals, even if it’s just one at a time.”
Although, the prognosis for Maureen’s leg is still unknown, her spirits were high when Kimberly Mullins, Division Manager visited her on Sunday morning. She gladly accepted the pats on her head and the rubbing of her tummy.
For those of you who donated to The Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters back in December of 2010 to help Lacey, thank you. The fund established helped us save another life that will one day have a special place in someone’s home and in their heart. We would also like to offer our sincere appreciation to the Friends Foundation for creating this fund to help the animals in our care that need advanced medical treatment that we wish we could provide.
Finally, Kimberly Mullins, Division Manager and the staff of KCAC, thanked our volunteer veterinarian, Dr. Maureen Hyman, for her years of generosity to the Kern County Animal Shelter and for helping to save the little puppy that now bears her name.
UPDATE: Maureen was adopted and now lives in a home with other dogs. She enjoys swimming and has no problems with her leg.