Last month, DRC put out the call for help for 5 very special rescued puppy mill/shelter doodles in desperate need of everything from specialized veterinary care to extensive physical and behavioral rehabilitation .....  And once again, you, our incredible family of fellow doodlers, rescuers, friends, supporters, cheerleaders came through for us in record time! Thanks to your generosity and support, DRC has been able to provide the very best care for these 5 special souls who otherwise may not have had a chance for a normal, happy and healthy life as beloved companions and family members.

We are happy to announce, that all 5 doodles are doing GREAT in their DRC foster homes and are just about ready for their forever homes and families!

Here are the latest "AZ-CHARLIE & THE NEBRASKA 4" updates and pictures.


Charlie is a barely 2 year old, miniature Labradoodle rescued from Maricopa County Animal Control in Arizona in early March.

Charlie came into the DRC program filthy, emaciated being 10 lbs. underweight upon intake, completely matted, riddled with intestinal parasites and fleas, limping in excruciating pain with an atrophied leg and deathly sick with pneumonia in both of his lungs.

Attending vets in AZ were initially not optimistic Charlie would survive. Of course, Charlie did survive. Two weeks in quarantine and Charlie seemed to make a MIRACULOUS recovery from his pneumonia.

The vet reminded us that Charlie's leg needed to be addressed ASAP. He recommended we amputate calling the leg "useless and unrepairable." We were promptly presented us with an estimate of $3500 for amputation surgery and were advised to get 10 more lbs. on the little guy quickly so that we could commence with surgery.

Feeling very uncomfortable with this prognosis after witnessing Charlie using his leg, and finding it extremely difficult to reconcile amputating the leg of a young pup without multiple opinions, we consulted with orthopedic vet specialists in CA and  made the decision to move Charlie to our incredible volunteers Judy and Richard Crowe in San Diego.


It was vet specialist Dr. Tony Cambridge, of Veterinary Surgical Specialists in Tustin, California who made the alarming discoveries that AZ vets not only completely misdiagnosed Charlie's afflictions, they recommended "amputation" without conducting appropriate tests, blood work, or x-rays of any kind! Even though, DRC was billed for these services and paid for them in full... When it came time to transfer Charlie's records to CA, no films or test results were to be found and there was no record of them ever having been completed....... But that is another cautionary tale we will be sure to update you all on in the future.

As it turns out, poor Charlie does not have an "old, unrepairable injury" to his leg. Nor does he require amputation, or surgery of ANY KIND..... What Charlie does in fact have is an extreme case of what is commonly known as "Valley Fever" or (Coccidioidomycosis) a fungal infection that effects humans as well as animals caused by the inhalation of spores which grow in the soil in the desert climates of the Southwestern region of the US. "Valley Fever" typically presents with respiratory symptoms that mimic "kennel cough" or in humans, the common cold. Symptoms include: coughing, fever, weight loss, lack of appetite, lethargy and will often progress to severe pneumonia if not caught and treated quickly.

Left untreated, "Valley Fever" spores parasitically reproduce and in dogs,  will almost always migrate to the leg bones and joints. The result is bone loss, lameness, back or neck pain, weakness, paralysis and excruciating pain for the infected animal. If left untreated for any length of time, "Valley Fever" spores will literally eat through bone and surrounding tissue, migrate to other organs such as the heart and brain, causing seizures and other manifestations of brain swelling, unexpected heart failure and eventually death. 

While very few of the signs and symptoms of "Valley Fever" are specific to this disease alone, it is common knowledge within the medical and veterinary communities of the Southwest, that "Valley Fever" has reached epidemic proportions in Arizona......... Literally 150,000 people and domestic and native animals are afflicted with "Valley Fever" yearly with dogs representing the majority of animal cases....... It is literally THE VERY FIRST THING veterinarians in Arizona suspect and test for when dogs present as symptomatic. Charlie had every telltale symptom when first examined by his attending AZ vet.


Bottom line....The AZ vet was 100 percent NEGLIGENT all across the board with the care, handling and treatment of poor Charlie. We are absolutely sick over the fact that Charlie was forced to endure months of unnecessary pain and suffering while under the care of this vet. We are eternally grateful to Judy and Richard Crowe and Dr. Tony Cambridge in SoCal for finally diagnosing the real problem and shudder to think that our confidence in a vet, nearly cost Charlie an otherwise perfectly healthy leg, and quite possibly, could have cost him his life.


Charlie is doing PHENOMENALLY well!

Thanks to the Crowes and Dr. Cambridge, we were able to put Charlie on anti-inflammatory, pain medication immediately, special order his "Valley Fever" specified, regimen of anti-fungal medication (Fluconazole aka Diflucan) in bulk, and start his treatment right away. There was an almost immediate improvement And his prognosis is excellent!


Richard reports: "Charlie has been on the anti fungal medication for two weeks and can now place even more weight on his effected rear leg. He is improving by the day.  He still gets his daily Metacam but, we are considering reducing the dosage to every other day because he is doing so well...He is ready to be posted for adoption to a special family." 


Life in a puppy mill is rough enough. Ending up in a shelter, equally as rough.....Scary humans.....the unfamiliar and unknown...... Absolutely terrifying. Especially when all you have ever known, is life outdoors amongst other dogs with very little human contact. Our 4 survivors were part of a large scale breeder surrender of 127 doodles to Nebraska Humane this past February. Ordered to "thin her numbers" so as to comply with Nebraska state kennel license laws, this "breeder" was running a glorified puppy mill where hundreds of doodles and other poodle mixes were kept in outdoor runs, kennels and wire bottomed cages.

In terrible shape when they arrived at Nebraska Humane, they were not in much better shape by the time they arrived in foster care with our own Tina Kappmeyer in Iowa. They were so severely matted beneath their curls, that the solid, felted masses of hair actually restricted their ability to move. Ear infections, eye infections...Various skin rashes and growths....

The pups had every worm under the sun. Round worm, hook worm, whip worm and the notorious tape worms that require much stronger de-wormer to treat. So highly contagious, Tina's 4 resident dogs contracted the parasites. Four weeks of Drontal Plus for not 4 but 8 dogs in total, complete shave-downs, numerous flea baths, skin treatments, eye drops, ear meds....You name it.

Once the veterinary issues and basic grooming and hygiene issues were addressed, Tina spent weeks gaining the pup's trust and evaluating each individual dog, their personalities, temperaments and needs. All the while, all 4 have been in Tina's home, and given their first taste of life as normal dogs, living indoors in a loving home as beloved family members.

Everyone is doing GREAT! All 4 have made TREMENDOUS progress and continue making progress daily. Everyone is now accustomed to life as "inside dogs".....All are close to being potty trained and will let you know when they need to go out. They are all now seeking human contact. They willingly accept affection and enjoy it. All happily go into their crates for dinner & bedtime, can be crated all night and all keep their crates clean.  Leash walking is improving.  They have all learned how to play with toys and chase a ball. Toys are no longer objects to fear or walk around. 

The Nebraska 4 will each need patient, dog-savvy, ADULT ONLY homes, MUST have yards surrounded by a physical fence at least 5' in height and MUST have another well mannered dog{s) of equal size or larger for companionship.


(15 Months  - Male - Labradoodle )

Martin (nickname "Martini") is the baby of the group. Just 15 months old, he is all puppy. Full of life, vim, vigor, energy and mischief. He loves to play. Smart as a whip and comical yet subordinate in nature and eager to please.



Hershey was originally described as "a spinner with barrier aggression" by the shelter and "backs up in the corner when kennel opened."  We are happy to report that there has been NO SIGN of ANY of these behaviors since the moment he was sprung from the shelter!  A gentle, sweet and sensitive soul, poor Hershey was simply TERRIFIED in the shelter environment. He is in fact, the most well adjusted and friendliest of the group. He really enjoys playing with and cuddling up with female dogs and is shy, subordinate and scared of most male dogs. But is NEVER aggressive. 


(4 Year Old - Female - Labradoodle)

Pancake (Martin's Momma) was described by the shelter as  "not liking human contact, shy girl who will lay flat on the ground if approached by people."  Thus her name..."Pancake"... We learned very quickly that in reality, Pancake would flatten out like a pancake NOT because she was fearful, but because every time she tried to move, her severely matted coat would painfully pull on her skin!  Can you IMAGINE? The moment she was rid of her severely matted locks and freed from pain and restriction, like a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon as a butterfly, she literally transformed to a completely different dog! Suddenly we were face to face with a happy, joyful, sweet, loving, puppy-like and playful little girl!


(4 Year Old - Female - Labradoodle)

Lizzie was described by the shelter as being shutdown, fearful and terrified. She was initially the only one hesitant to accept affection and it was all fear based. But she has come so far in a short amount of time, continues to reach new milestones and show improvement daily.  Lizzie realized one day that ear scratching feels really good and now comes looking for it. Once you win her over and gain her trust, she is an amazingly loving little girl who just wants to feel safe and attach to her person. She really enjoys playing with other dogs and would really do best in a multiple dog home.

Views: 948

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Way to go Nebraska 4 Cornhuskers! and Hawkeyes! you guys are beautiful.

Hooray for these guys!   Thank you Richard, and Tina for going the extra mile for these doodles. I predict happy furever-afters for each and every one.

Great saves Tina, Richard & Judy! Amazing recoveries and progress in such a short time. Way to go!

Thx so much Tina, Richard and Judy.


© 2021   Created by Jacquie Yorke - DRC Director.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service