Stay up-to-date on what's happening at the Regional Animal Protection Society

Three legs and a wagging tail

Euro’s story is the first of many happy endings thanks to the RAPS Animal Hospital.

Now that the RAPS Animal Hospital is open, we’re looking forward to a lot of happy endings and good news stories. We’re happy to share the first one!

Euro, a young adult German shepherd-cross, was surrendered to the City Shelter after being struck by a car. She suffered trauma, including nerve damage, called brachial plexus avulsion. In this kind of scenario, the dog is unlikely to regain feeling in or use of the leg. It is customary, says our veterinarian Dr. Assaf Goldberg, to observe the animal for a couple of weeks to see if there is any improvement.

“The chances that the dog will be able to walk or feel anything on that leg is poor,” he says. “We usually give it a couple of weeks to see if it gets better. But it rarely just gets better like that.”

EURO-2The good news and the bad news in an injury like this is that the dog doesn’t feel anything in the leg. There is no sensation. That is good from the perspective of the animal’s comfort, but it often results in the dog dragging the foot, which can then be repeatedly injured, infected and cause even more serious problems. Amputation was indicated.

“They can do great on three legs,” says Dr. Goldberg.

In many other jurisdictions, there would have been another option: euthanasia.

RAPS is a no-kill animal-serving organization and, because we operate the City of Richmond Animal Shelter, Richmond is a no-kill community. We would have saved Euro’s life no matter what. But because we now have an in-agency veterinary hospital, we are able to do this with no additional impacts on our budget. That means we can save and improve the lives of more animals like Euro.

“Her prognosis is great,” says Dr. Goldberg. “Her life quality is excellent. Even one day after surgery, the dog is doing great: eating, drinking, walking.”

The doctors also spayed Euro at the same time.

Julie Desgroseillers, manager of the City Shelter, says Euro was resilient and almost back to her old self immediately.

“When she came back to the Shelter, she was groggy, but her tail was wagging” she says. “She was lying down – she couldn’t even lift her head – but her tail was swaying back and forth under the covers.”

Shelter staff have come to know and love Euro, who has been at the Shelter since early January.

“She is the nicest dog you could ever imagine meeting,” says Desgroseillers. “She’s so friendly, she loves everybody.”

Euro is expected to be easy to place in a forever home.

“It’s going to take time for her to heal, but she’ll be easily placed just based on her personality. She’s been great with other dogs. She responds well with everybody,” she says. “She is just so, so sweet.”

The RAPS Animal Hospital is built, open and operating. Euro’s story is just the first example of how your support for this project is saving and improving the lives of animals

In addition to caring for RAPS animals like Euro, services to the public will allow RAPS to do more of what we do best!