Tucson: Cystic Fibrosis Boy Saves Dog from PACC Kill Lineby Karyn Zoldan on Apr. 13, 2012, under Animal News, Dogs, Canines, Fun with Fido, Barking Encouraged, Pet Health & Safety
Last Sunday I wrote about a neglected dog (Kavona) from Pima Animal Care Center who was suffering from severe Valley Fever and was going to be euthanized on Monday at 7 p.m. if nobody adopted her. You can read my initial post here.
As it turns out Kavona was adopted by a family that is no stranger to dealing with special needs.
Seven year old Nathan suffers from CF (cystic fibrosis) and in his 7 years of life, he has been hospitalized 17 times, and gets most of his nutrition from a feeding tube. Since his initial diagnosis at 10 weeks old, he also has asthma, gastroparesis, eosinaphilic esphagitis, and sinus problems. Nathan is on a home-bound medical program for school through TUSD called Direct Link.
I have to wonder why a family who faces medical, emotional, and financial challenges every day would adopt a dog with special needs. I asked that question to Lesli Contreras Nathan’s mom and she just takes it in stride as does Nathan. The dog needed help and they were there to make it happen.
Lesli read about Kavona (now Bella) on Craig’s List:
“Kavona is a beautiful girl who has had a very rough life and things are not getting better for her, they are getting worse. She has already been at PACC once and was adopted out, she should be safe then right? But sadly no, she has ended back up at PACC and is in terrible condition, she appears to have been neglected after she left PACC, so very sad. She is skin and bones and her joints are swollen, possibly from Valley Fever.
With a trip to the vet and proper meds, Valley Fever is easily treatable and affordable, obviously nobody cared enough about her to do this, instead she was left to deteriorate. PACC staff and volunteers would love to see this girl find a forever loving home that will love and care for her and get her the medical attention needed.
You can see how sad she is in this picture, what did she do to deserve such a rough life?”
She read this aloud to Nathan whose response was: “I won’t have a dog die because of me!”
Lesli and Nathan had been in been thinking about getting a dog and when they saw Bella and it was love at first sight. The PACC staff told her it was a long-term commitment and asked whether she felt certain her family was up for the challenge. PACC staff also said with Valley Fever, Bella would require meds and blood tests. Of course, the cost associated with any dog is an issue but a sick, neglected dog gave Lesli pause.
She was about to leave without Bella when PACC received a call from a woman named Patti from Phoenix who said that she would help finance the veterinarian bills. She couldn’t adopt but wanted to help whoever would adopt Bella.
Good karma abounds.
On Wednesday April 11, I met up with Lesli, Nathan, and Bella at Acacia Animal Hospital. Bella will be in capable hands coordinated by Brendan DeSmet, the office manager. Apparently Patti had made arrangements for Bella to have her care there.
Bella has Valley Fever lesions in three of her four legs. Her front leg is swollen and her back legs were infected while she still was growing, thus, she lacks coordination.
While Bella, a pit bull mix, is on Fluconazole and Rimadyl, you wouldn’t know how much pain she is in because she gives kisses freely and practically purred while her tummy was being rubbed. It’s obvious that Bella and Nathan have already bonded in less than week and each is benefiting by each others company.
If you would like to contribute to Bella’s veterinarian bills, please contact Acacia Animal Hospital located a 4205 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719. Call 520-305-4225. Let them know you want to contribute to the Bella Contreras Fund. You can also send a private message to Lesli Contreras on Facebook.
Tucson Tails will be following Bella’s progress.