Pause for Paws

week 7:  this week i'm gonna... rescue abandoned street dogs

Meet Sunshine.  She may now look like a happy, healthy dog, but that was not always the case.  In July 2015, Sunshine was found under an abandoned house on the south side of San Antonio, TX – near death and starving, infected with mange and covered in open sores.

“My girlfriend Julie and I were leaving my house to go shopping when we both saw the dog at the same time,” says Caron Comas, a longtime animal lover. “We hit the brakes, looked at each other, and said, ‘Is that a dog?’ The sight of her was just enough to make you fall apart.”

Shopping plans quickly forgotten, Caron ran back to her house to get food and water while Julie stood guard by the opening where the dog had disappeared.  Eventually, Sunshine's intense hunger and thirst won over her fear, and she began accepting water and food from the women, who couldn’t believe what they were seeing.  The creature was a pink, hairless bag of bones, with irritated skin and deep, open sores around her hips and back legs, most likely caused from lying in one place for a very long time.

Sunshine when she was found.  Image has been edited due to its graphic nature.

Sunshine when she was found.  Image has been edited due to its graphic nature.

Knowing she had to act quickly, Caron contacted Pause for Paws Director Sharal Mackenzie, who helped get the dog to the animal hospital.  The veterinarian was appalled at the dog's condition - he felt that there was almost nothing they could do for her but put her down.  "She had huge, open bedsores, and you could see bones, muscle, and everything. Her body had no muscle mass, and her skin was in terrible condition. It was literally amazing to see a live creature in that condition.”

Sunshine enjoying her warm bed at the animal clinic.

Sunshine enjoying her warm bed at the animal clinic.

The staff did everything they could to alleviate the dog's pain and nurse her back to health.  Her treatment plan included blood transfusions, antibiotics, several de-wormings, daily baths, and hydrotherapy to heal her very dry and fragile skin, clear up her mange, and sooth her open sores.  It was decided that this dog needed a little sunshine in her life, and she was promptly named "Miss Caron Sunshine" in honor of her rescuer. 

With the cost of Sunshine’s care estimated at over $5,000, Pause for Paws quickly took to social media, sharing her story and rallying supporters. Soon, the lucky pup had her own Facebook page, hundreds of fans rooting for her recovery, and a generous community of donors.  She was even featured on the local news!


 
 

Pause for Paws is a foster-home based shelter in San Antonio, TX.  Their mission is to rescue abandoned street dogs, give them any necessary medical care and rehabilitation needed, place them in loving foster-homes for socialization and training, and match them with their forever families.

While the number of stray dogs in the U.S. is unknown, there are an estimated 600 million dogs living on the streets throughout the world, according to the World Health Organization.  San Antonio alone is home to approximately 150,000 stray dogs, a serious problem that several area rescue groups, including Pause for Pause, are working hard to fix. 


After almost two months of top-notch rehabilitation and care, Sunshine was a transformed dog.  Her fur was slowly growing back, her skin was improving and most of her wounds had healed.  As her body healed, her personality blossomed, and true to her name, Sunshine’s demeanor proved to be sweet and sunny, loving and affectionate. Soon she joined the privileged ranks of the staff dogs, enjoying free roam of the clinic and soaking up every ounce of attention she could get from visitors and employees.

Sunshine and Little Gray

Sunshine and Little Gray

Sunshine also served as an ambassador for new animals to the clinic – showing them the ropes, comforting them, and playing with them.  Her most recent protégé was a friendly cat (Little Gray) that had to have a leg amputated after being abused. Sunshine befriended the cat and calmed her for treatments.

In November 2015, Sunshine's happy ending was revealed - the lucky pup had captured the heart of a wonderful family, who had been following her story from the beginning and waiting patiently for the chance to adopt her. She will never be without food, shelter or love again!

Sunshine with her new family

Sunshine with her new family

Excerpts from this week's profile were taken from the article "How a Community Came Together to Save a Near-Death Street Dog," by Lisa Plummer Savas.


Notes for this week:

  • National Love Your Pet Day is February 20th!
  • Our collective givetwig donation will sponsor microchipping, spaying/neutering and all shots for two rescued street dogs.
  • For further information regarding Pause for Paws, please check out their website.
 

this week i'm gonna donate to Pause for Paws.

please share the givetwig awesomeness!