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Four week old Snoopy, left in the cold and rain due to lack of education but not a lack of love

Just over a week ago, a tiny black puppy was brought to Mdzananda in the morning. He was in a state of hypothermia. It seemed that he had been left outside overnight in the cold and rain as his little body was wet. Hypothermic puppies generally don’t pull through, but we gave Snoopy our best care. Dr Joy rushed the tiny, furry ice block to our theatre. While rubbing his body to activate blood movement, she turned on our bair hugger - a warming device and temperature management system used during surgery to maintain a patient's body temperature. She wrapped the barely breathing puppy in a blanket and placed him in the bair hugger [sic] along with a warm water bottle. After a couple of hours (and a lot of TLC), Snoopy lifted his head. He was given soft, warm food, specifically formulated for recovering puppies and he drank some water. This was a good sign. Two days later Snoopy was running around the theatre ward, his tail wagging and eyes sparkling. He had survived…

Sadly, this story is common in our and other communities and usually doesn’t have a happy ending. There are many backyard breeders. Puppies are ripped away from their mothers at a premature age so that they can be sold for cash. These breeders often do not know the needs of a puppy and sell them when they are too young. A puppy needs to be with its mom for a minimum of 6 weeks. They need to drink her nutritional milk so that they can grow big and strong. Since they cannot generate enough heat, they also need their moms to keep them warm. Puppies have different needs to older dogs but, due to a lack of understanding, they are treated like older dogs. In winter many of them die. Snoopy’s journey isn’t over yet. As our clinic isn’t staffed overnight, evenings are high-risk for him. Luckily we have a team of heroes and our bookkeeper, Tashmin, has taken him home where she will be caring for him for the next two weeks until he picks up his strength. Snoopy’s owners have been extremely worried about him and have expressed their gratitude for our help. It is clear that they love Snoopy. This incident was, without a doubt, not due to cruelty but due to a lack of knowledge. Snoopy’s owners are currently undergoing an education intervention to help them understand the needs of a dog, especially a small puppy.

Snoopy with his mom, receiving education

Once Snoopy is ready he will return home along with a blanket and warm water bottle. We will do regular checkups on him to make sure that his owners are implementing the educational information and to check that he stays healthy and strong. This winter we would like to ask you to make a donation to a puppy like Snoopy. Your donation will allow our veterinary team to nurse hypothermic puppies back to health, treat and operate on sick and injured animals, distribute blankets and kennels to pets without shelter and educate community pet owners. Without your donation Snoopy’s recovery wouldn’t have been possible. Without your donation we wouldn’t have been able to save Snoopy. Without your donation we wouldn't have been able to work with Snoopy's family on becoming better pet owners. With sincere gratitude (and wags!) The Mdzananda Animal Clinic team

Bank Details Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account: 075595710, Branch Code 025009, Reference: Winter + YourName

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