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One very special dog came to us in November. Then known only as OPAC2374, she was found in an alley late one night by an Oak Park Police Officer. Cold, matted and filthy she was brought to the ACL for care. Upon intake, the little Shih Tzu Mix was found to have engorged teats indicative of a recent litter of pups (who were nowhere to be found). In addition she was unable to use her hind legs. A few days before OPAC2374’s arrival a stray Mom cat and her 8 kittens were also brought to our shelter. The Mom cat had mastitis which was making it painful and difficult to nurse her baby kittens. It was decided that the kittens would have to be bottle fed. After a day of staff, techs, and volunteers trying to keep the kittens’ bellies full (a huge task with 8 of them), our vet had an idea. She decided to see if OPAC2374 would help to care for the in-need kittens.
We were truly amazed when this dog, matted and displaced and unable to even stand, took these kittens on as her own. OPAC2374 quickly became “Mother Theresa”. In the weeks after Theresa cared for and protected her unlikely litter, giving the kittens a chance at a new beginning. At about 6 weeks of age Theresa’s kittens were able to eat on their own and were put into a foster home. Now, we are hoping to give Theresa her own chance at a new beginning. Although with exercise, regular meals, and lots of TLC Theresa is doing much better she still has some lameness in her back legs. She will need diagnostic testing to determine what is actually wrong. These diagnostic tests are above and beyond what the ACL is able to do in-house, and if surgery will be needed Theresa’s medical care could be in the thousands.
With the New Year comes excitement for new beginnings. This year the ACL looks at one very special dog’s story and hopes that it will inspire people to help us in providing hope for new beginnings for Theresa and many more animals in 2014. Please donate to the Animal Care League Medical Fund today. Your donation will help us get Theresa the medical care she needs and will allow us to help other amazing, selfless, and inspiring animals who may have a medical need in 2014.