Special Needs Animals

Nokie (updated 9/13/17)
By Janet Hanna

Everyone in PAWS Ohio knows about our special little dog we call Nokie. He’s a little mix breed about three years old. What makes him very special is his incredible will and stubbornness not to let anything hold him down. Believe me, he needs this because he is paralyzed in the hind end. 

Nokie came to stay with me after he had emergency surgery to repair a torn urethra. With his urethra torn, he was urinating into his belly. This is not a good thing at all, in fact it's life threatening. Thanks to his foster mom this was found quickly and although he got very sick, he bounced back very quickly. 

When he came home from the hospital this time, he had a urinary catheter that went from his urethra into his bladder and a second urinary catheter, that was placed in his bladder and was sutured on the outside of his body. Both of these catheters allowed his urethra to heal and give his bladder a rest. 

He did great even though his activity level had to be kept way down. He got to be feeling so well that he pulled out the first urinary catheter. Thank goodness the urethral tear was healed when he did this. As he continued to heal, we found that he had a problem with his urethra and would not be able to have his bladder expressed when everything healed. 

We had a decision that needed to be made. This meant that our sweet little guy needed another surgery, but which one? Did we do a surgery that made his urethra wider to allow him to hopefully be expressed easier or did we place a permanent urinary catheter and have him be drained throughout the day? The goal was to make sure he had the chance the best life possible. After much thought and discussion with the specialty surgeon, we opted to do a perineal urethrostomy. We made his urethra wider and this procedure has proven to be the best for him. 

Again, we have had another lengthy recovery. Antibiotics for a bad UTI which cleared and proin to help with his incontinence. He's doing great. To help keep him from dribbling and to allow him to be with the family, he's in a size 1 baby diaper. This helps also when he's in his cart. 

Our day begins with a quick bladder expression, clean up with baby wipes and a little Vaseline or Butt Cream so he doesn't get a diaper rash. His diaper gets changed and he has breakfast. The day goes from there. He usually does second grade with Kellie and I. I think he's smarter than I am. Then in the cart he goes. He has free run of the house at this point and hangs out with the rest of the dogs. During this time, he gets his bladder expressed diaper change. After dinner is tv time and he hangs out and watches with us. At bedtime, another change and express and to bed. He usually sleeps in his own little bed but sometimes he sleeps with me. He's loves to be under the blankets and cuddle. 

He is such a fantastic loving little dog, with a will to live and thrive. He has such love to give whoever is in his family, is feisty and playful. 

Every animal is different. Not every animal would do this well considering the severity of Nokie's original injury and subsequent set backs. Not every organization is going to take on a dog like Nokie, no matter what. This is what I love about PAWS and why I keep working with these animals and wonderful volunteers. It's easy to stop during a journey such as this and say the money spent on Nokie would help so many other animals, we didn't. When we take on an animal, we do whatever it takes regardless of cost. We also will take on the others that come. We don't say we can't because we did this. PAWS will find a way. With that being said, animals like Nokie are saved and given a chance, as well the many others. Animals like Nokie is why there is an organization called PAWS, the volunteers that take care of them and the people that take their money and donate so we can keep doing what we do best. Save animals. 

Foster homes urgently needed for furry Hurricane Harvey victims 
By Laura Bruck

It’s ironic that one of the most joyous moments in my life came in the wake of one of this country’s most devastating events. But watching Hurricane Katrina survivor Maria reunite with her 14-year-old dog Porter is a memory I’ll cherish until my last breath.

It all started weeks earlier, when rescue groups from across the country converged upon the makeshift shelters set up by the Humane Society of Louisiana and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (bestfriends.org), ready to take in the thousands of animals displaced by Katrina’s wrath. After a 2-day drive in a borrowed medical van, I stood with fellow rescuers Melanie and Vince in a sea of outdoor kennels housing terrified dogs that had been lost or left behind. Inside the vet clinic were the cats, and the dogs that were ill, injured or too young or old to be outside. It was more than we could bear and, exhaustion aside, we were relieved to be Cleveland-bound with 20 canine and feline refugees, all of whom were treated for their injuries, placed in loving foster homes and, ultimately, adopted.

Weeks later rescuers Janet and Ginger made the same trip, returning with Angel, who would live out her life with me, and Porter. And when Porter’s mom found his photo on the last database she searched, we both set out for Nashville (halfway between Cleveland and New Orleans), painfully aware that the photo Maria saw might not be her Porter.

I arrived first, and my heart pounded when I saw a woman dash into the motel lobby. But when I opened the door Maria stood motionless, sobbing. “I’m afraid to look,” she said. “What if it’s not my Porter?” 

After a long embrace I led Maria into the room and watched a miracle unfold as she scooped her precious little boy into her arms and rocked him gently, still sobbing. They had a long drive ahead but, in his mom’s arms, Porter was already home.

These miraculous outcomes would have been impossible without the generosity of those who fostered and donated funds for vet care. Fortunately, you don’t need to drive to Texas to rescue Hurricane Harvey’s furry victims. PAWS Ohio is now working to bring as many animals as possible to Cleveland, and that number will depend entirely on the number of foster homes they have waiting.

Imagine being lost and alone as the wind howls, flood waters rise and your entire world crashes down around you. Now imagine the comfort and peace of being in the arms of a loving foster mom or dad. Has there ever been a better time or reason to foster?

To foster an animal displaced by Hurricane Harvey, call PAWS at 440-442-7297 or go to pawsohio.org ASAP. For other animals in need, go to cityofsoutheuclid.com/humane-society.

Frankie (updated 9/2/17)
Frankie’s hind limbs are not functional. Consequently he cannot walk like a regular cat and is incontinent. Despite his disabilities, Frankie is healthy, playful and affectionate. He scoots around and plays like a kitten. He keeps up with the other cats, and even the dog, that live in his foster home. A kind friend of PAWS, Craig, asked if he could sponsor Frankie by donating something special for this special boy to improve his quality of life. He generously donated the funds to make it possible for Frankie to receive an MRI as well as a CT scan at MedVet Akron....something rescues are hard pressed to find funds for. He also donated a custom made cart to help him run faster than an Olympic sprinter!! 

Mandy is a very special girl who needs a quite mature home with very little if any changes in her future family’s daily routine. You see, Mandy is blind. Consequently she needs time to adjust to her environment including finding her litterbox, the food dish and water bowl. Because we do not know what causes Mandy’s blindness, her future family will need to pay close attention to potential health issues associated with blind cats and provide the necessary vet care accordingly. Mandy had a sad story prior to coming to PAWS. Mandy was pregnant as a blind stray cat who was taken in by her caretaker. Mandy gave birth to one kitten but was not spayed. The caretaker’s family has two other cats. 

Being blind and overwhelmed by the presence of other cats, Mandy occasionally missed the litterbox. On a cold winter night, Mandy was thrown out of the house by her caretaker’s husband, after an accident outside the litterbox. Luckily her caretaker notified someone, who rescued Mandy from the back of a dumpster nearby the caretaker’s house. Eventually Mandy was transferred to PAWS. Under the care of PAWS, Mandy received the much-needed vet care, which includes a dental. In her foster home, Mandy stays in a blind-cat friendly room, where she uses the litterbox consistently. 

Mandy is very affectionate with people and loves to be held and petted. Mandy however is easily startled by other animals, loud noises and will hide when overwhelmed. Therefore Mandy will do best as the only pet living in a blind cat-friendly environment. 
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