Abandoned German Shepherd Who Had Given Up on Life Makes an Astonishing Recovery

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When I came across a before-and-after photo of Frannie in a comment thread, I knew I had to find out more about her.  So Eric Holliday, one of her rescuers, sent me the full story…
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St. Francis (Frannie) was first reported to our group – Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue –  via another rescue named Forgotten Dogs of 5th Ward (in Houston). They are a group who has volunteers go into the 5th Ward area and feed the enormous number of homeless dogs. We were alerted to her on the evening of Wednesday, December 16th. The person who saw her noticed her eating on the carcass of another dead animal.

 

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Sam Arkey [and myself] went out to the last reported siting area on the morning of December 17th. We walked up and down the streets trying to find her when we had all but given up and began walking back to our cars. Sam finally spotted her curled up seeking shelter in a pile of brush. She was barely visible and I commented to Sam, “that’s not a dog, it’s just some branches,” but it was her.

 

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We made our way over to her.  Normally you approach a stray with caution, but it was clear she had all but given up. She wasn’t going anywhere and posed no risk to us. The poor girl was barely holding on. We placed a leash around her, tried to coax her up and out, but she didn’t move much, leaving me to pick her up and carry her. I still remember pulling a leaf off her cheek and blood began to drip. It had turned cold that day with freezing temperatures expected, and we have no doubt had she not been found that day, she would not have made it through the night.

 

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We immediately took her to Vergi 24/7 in Houston, an outstanding ER veterinary clinic. Our group focuses on medical cases and Vergi is who we trust with all our cases. She was immediately evaluated. Weighing barely 23 pounds, she was first estimated to be between 6-9 months old, but that estimate was later revised to between 2 and 3 years old. At the 2-3 range, she should have been in the 70-pound range. Her condition was critical, emaciated worse than any of us or the staff had ever witnessed.

 

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The biggest health concern was from the starvation and avoiding re-feeding syndrome. She was also anemic and required frequent blood draws to keep close tabs on her electrolytes, blood glucose, and protein as vitamins and minerals were reintroduced to her system. She was placed on IV fluids and fed very small meals every two hours. We expected her to remain under ICU care for weeks. There were ups and downs along the way. At one point, the staff at Vergi didn’t think she was going to make it. Our group scheduled a prayer vigil and candle lighting for the evening of Dec 22nd. They were clearly answered because made a miraculous turnaround.

 

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She went into her first medical foster home on December 23rd. She spent a week in the care of Jill Washburn. Jill needed to keep a close eye on Frannie and feed her small meals every four hours. She also needed to take her to the vet every couple of days for blood draws. Still keeping close tabs on electrolytes, blood glucose, and protein. When we were able to feed larger meals every six hours, she was moved into a longer term medical foster home with Amy Boram Wilson. Amy continued the care and frequent trips to the vet’s office for checkups. Amy and Jill gave Frannie all the love and care she never knew before. They are the real heroes in Frannie’s tail. Without fosters who take in these dogs and offer them love, compassion, and care, no rescue group like ours could save a single animal.

 

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Frannie was adopted into her furever home on February, 27th by Jack and Jan Long. We typically require three meetings between the dog and prospective family. Amy told us upon the first meeting that Jack and Jan were a perfect match for Frannie. They have proven to be that and so much more. Jack says her life on the streets still has an effect on her today. She’s leery of new things until they reassure her things are ok and she’s a very opportunistic eater. She is a little energizer bunny – she will run and play all day.

 

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They recently adopted another rescue dog.  Frannie now has the mom and dad she never had and a brother. Her life is perfect. It is hard to believe seeing her today and knowing it’s barely 7 months since she was a mere skeleton on death’s door. St. Francis, her namesake, certainly looked after her. The 5th Ward area is a slum area known to be a dumping ground for dogs no longer wanted. Frannie was likely one of these dogs. We will never know who was responsible for her condition, but we know the many who came to her aid and offered her a hand.

 

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If you would like to make sure that Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue is able to continue saving the lives of desperate dogs like Frannie, please CLICK HERE to donate.

34 thoughts on “Abandoned German Shepherd Who Had Given Up on Life Makes an Astonishing Recovery”

  1. Thank you sooo much for saving her life. She looks so happy, beautiful and healthy now. Shame on the person who let this happen to her.

    Reply
  2. What an absolute disgrace, that a ‘human’ being would behave so inhumanely, so intolerantly, to such a loving, beautiful animal. Dogs stay with us in thick and thin, sleet and snow, hot and cold; they love and protect us unconditionally, will give their lives to save ours, and have done time and time again.

    Those who abuse, torture/maim, and kill these innocent animals have no understanding nor do they comprehend what an important part they play in our society. They are not on earth by any accident; neither are they here for our ‘entertainment,’ or as convenient outlets in which to place our misguided frustration and rage. All creatures, both great and small, have a place on this earth.

    What people need to learn, now, is that these gentle creatures deserve respect, compassion, and love from all of us.

    If you are so inclined to, please pass this message on to anyone who may benefit and hopefully understand its importance.

    Reply
    • first off I would like to say about all the negative BS I just read, that obviously the retards who were negative obviously have nothing good going on in their life that they are jealous of Frannie. God did step in the day she was found. We all are tested through out our lives. I don’t always agree with it, and I do argue with Jesus & God both at times. I know what I have been through alone doesn’t seem fair. I know life isn’t fair at all, and I ask them why all the time ! I am very happy for Frannie. I wished I had got her. I know God will get whoever dumped her there on his time, and only his way. Where bad is due, bad will be, and bad will find the ! Animals are very smart just as much as ourselves. All in my life, and even family pets stick to me when I am around, because they know who holds the true heart. As for you negative miserable souls, who made the comment where was God then. He was with her the whole time. There is worse cases every where in this world. Remember life isn’t fair. The reward is eternal life with God. Frannie was in the presence of God the whole time. . . . . . .

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      • I also believe God was with her….his Angles work full time and they are able to help many…….sad sad world we live in….yes some don”t make it…….and i pray for all every day….the cure is punish these non humans , stop breeding dogs, and rescue rescue rescue your new best friend from a shelter together we could save many more….educate people to step up and and make a difference,…legislate,for the laws to change, spay and neuter….God Bless these and all others who are in the fight, report abuse when you see it………

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  3. A horrible situation created by the inhumane person that once had this beautiful girl.
    I’m so glad that this girl now has a loving home and I thank the people that brought her back to life.

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  4. What an absolutely gorgeous dog. I don’t understand why so many dogs in Houston are being dumped. What is the matter with residents in that city????

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    • Susan, me and my husband are natives to Houston, TX and that is the same question we have been trying to figure out our selves. Why are so many animals dumped in Houston? For the last several years me and my husband having been helping rescue organizations feed homeless dogs and have helped with the rescue of several, some to go into adoption and five that we ourselves have. They are the sweetest animals and we don’t understand why people just throw them away like trash. We would take more ourselves but no longer have room, because the five that we have are staying we fell in love with them. So we try to help by feeding them on the streets until they can be rescued. This is what the rescue groups do they feed them until rescue can happen. The biggest problem is finding a place to take them, there are so many animals dumped in Houston that most if not all fosters are full. There are very few physical shelters in Houston that are no kill.

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  5. I’M VERY HAPPY THAT PEOPLE ALL OVER THE GLOBE HAVE SUCH GREAT LOVE/RESPECT/SENSE OF PROTECTION FOR GOD’S CREATURES (THAT HE GIVES TO US TO LOVE AND KINDLY CARE FOR). I SAW A PICTURE OF A DOG IN A SIMILAR SITUATION IN INDIA OF ALL PLACES. THIS IS A COUNTRY WHERE PEOPLE ARE DYING OF STARVATION AND OTHER
    HORRIFIC BODILY CONDITIONS. YET IN INDIA THERE ARE ANIMAL RESCUE GROUPS AND PEOPLE WHO RECOGNIZE AND HAVE A GREAT AND KINDLY CONCERN FOR NEEDY ANIMALS/BIRDS/FISH, etc., AND RESCUE SUCH POOR AND HELPLESS ANIMALS. THANK YOU KIND ANIMAL LOVERS ALL OVER THE WORLD!!

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  6. GOD BLESS THOSE WHO CARE FOR THESE ANIMALS. NO ANIMAL OR HUMAN SHOULD EVER HAVE TO SUFFER LIKE THIS! AGAIN, GOD BLESS AND THANK YOU FOR CARING!

    Reply

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