Labradoodle Rescue & Goldendoodle Rescue
Last month, DRC was contacted by a volunteer representative of a high kill shelter located in the southern tip of Texas on the Mexican border. We were asked if we could help save 6 young "Labradoodles" from certain death.
These dogs were described as three, 4 month old Labradoodle puppies, an adult miniature male Labradoodle, a young female miniature Labradoodle and one young female Schnoodle... All had been dumped at the shelter by a local backyard breeder/puppy miller along with many other poodle and terrier mixed dogs. This breeding operation was located within miles of the shelter.
Thankfully, our amazing Texas volunteers sprang into action and we were able to arrange transport and fostering for all six doodles.... Suspecting that at least two of the adults were not Labradoodles at all but some other type of Poodle mixes, we still agreed to take all 6 pups into our rescue program.
Sadly, due to a fatal error on the part of weekend shift, shelter staff, who apparently didn't bother to read kennel tags, the 3, four month old, healthy and legitimate Labradoodle puppies, already tagged for "rescue" and already vaccinated, were mistakenly, yes, MISTAKENLY euthanized by the weekend staff, for exposure to another puppy with Parvo. This happened just hours before the transport of the 6 pups to our volunteer was scheduled to take place....... A heartbreaking, senseless tragedy for all involved... And one that will continue to haunt us......
RIP sweet babies..... We tried but the system failed you...... You never had a chance...
Our hope is that these babies did not die in vain.... That their senseless deaths and this tragedy will serve as an example of why rescue partnerships are so critically needed with shelters throughout the more rural and inaccessible regions of Texas and other Southern and Midwestern areas of the US ...
But that is a discussion and fight for another time and place......
Thanks to the dedication, coordination and countless miles and hours of driving on the part of the incredible Ann McKeever; and the dedication and work of foster momma Melinda Alexander, DRC was able to bring the remaining 3, HARPER, a young 2.5 year old, female mini Labradoodle, PIPPA a 2.5-3 year old, medium, female Schnoodle and MISTER, a 3 year old, medium sized, male Labradoodle (we suspect may be some other type of poodle mix) into the DRC Rescue Program in Fort Worth, Texas.
These 3 beautiful, little souls, that had obviously been relentlessly overbred, neglected, exploited and finally dumped by their "breeder" (we use the term lightly), arrived terrified, shut down and in horrible condition with numerous maladies....
Some, were disclosed to us by the shelter volunteer... Other more serious maladies, were not.
Besides their obvious skin and ear issues; clearly the result of severe neglect, flea/tick infestation and life outdoors in wire cages with matted, filthy, solid layers of overgrown coats; most urgent, was the severe ocular (eye) trauma sustained by the 3 year old mini female Labradoodle whom we call "HARPER"... Something that had neither been mentioned by the shelter nor illustrated to us in photos.
Harper is a beautiful, sweet, loving, 2.5 - 3 year old miniature Labradoodle girl who has spent most of her young life in a cage, pumping out doodle puppies.....
Utterly aghast when we saw her grossly enlarged eye for the first time, it horrifies us to now know that Harper has spent most of her young life in agonizing pain from her untreated ocular disease.... She doesn't let it keep her from being the sweetest little lovebug on 4 legs... Vets suspect Harper has lived with pain for so long, she has simply grown accustomed to life in this state of being.
Thanks to veterinary ophthalmology specialists, we now know that Harper suffers from "glaucoma secondary to ocular trauma" in her left eye and a slight juvenile cataract in her right eye.
"Glaucoma is a condition in which there is increased intra-ocular pressure within the eye."
Basically, an eye is a ball and within the ball are cells that produce a clear fluid called "aqueous humor" which in turn, provides nutrients to tissues inside the eye. This fluid also helps maintain the physical shape of the eye. "Aqueous humor" is not the same thing as tears.... It is fluid inside the eye, whereas tears are a fluid that lubricates the outside of the eye (cornea).
As the fluid inside of the eye (aqueous humor) builds, it simultaneously drains through a sieve, out of the eye and into the bloodstream. A good balance of production and drainage is what keeps the pressure inside of the eye normal.
If the sieve or "drain" becomes clogged, partially or completely, fluid production continues without drainage. Consequently, fluid and pressure build up inside the eye.
This is "Glaucoma." A condition that effects dogs as frequently as it effects humans. Sadly we see more and more often in young dogs.. Particularly those that come from commercial breeding facilities aka puppy mills.
If left untreated, the increasing eye pressure, will cause the eye to enlarge, become misshapen, and ultimately cause irreversible blindness. All of which have happened to poor Harper.
"Secondary glaucoma" which vet's tell us Harper has, occurs when other eye diseases are present that inhibit drainage of the aqueous humor inside the eye.
Harper suffers from "Chronic Uveitis" (inflammation of the eye) .... Probably the result of a combination of environmental and genetic factors compounded by bad nutrition and lack of veterinary care.
Thankfully, we are now treating Harper's eyes with daily drops and there has been a dramatic decrease in the size of her left eye and the orbit (socket) that holds it. Most importantly, Harper is no longer in excruciating pain. On a sad note, veterinary specialists have confirmed that the damage to Harper's eye is catastrophic and irreversible.... She no longer has vision with this eye.
When Harper first arrived, our primary goal was to determine the cause of her condition, assess her pain and eliminate it completely. Thanks to our wonderful veterinary specialists, we now know the cause of Harper' s ocular trauma. We have provided her with relief from chronic pain and have come up with a plan for her moving forward...
Unfortunately, this plan for Harper will involve surgery to remove her effected and now irreversibly damaged and blind eye. Funds from our current T-shirt campaign will be utilized in this effort and additional donations are greatly appreciated!
Pippa is an adorable 2.5 - 3 year old, female "Schnoodle" (Poodle/Schnauzer mix) who like Harper, spent most of her young life in a cage, making puppies.
Unknown to us prior to her arrival, and sadly, prior to her spay surgery, Pippa was pregnant with 4 puppies. Sadly, the spay clinic we entrusted with Pippa's care failed to inform us of their discovery until AFTER Pippa's spay surgery had been completed along with the consequential removal of the 4 fully formed, near term, viable puppies the clinic systematically murdered without even giving us a choice in the matter.
Four additional innocent lives lost to incompetence which brings the total to seven... Seven innocent doodle puppies that unnecessarily lost their lives in the Lone Star State on OUR watch last month .... Not by OUR doing.... But due to the incompetence of alleged professionals in Texas we entrusted with their care and their lives and who are supposed to be dedicated to saving and protecting animals... Not killing them...
If you detect bitterness and anger in this post as well as grief and frustration, YOU GET IT .... WE ARE ALL OF THE ABOVE..... But again, that too, is a subject for another place and time in the VERY near future.
Now back to PIPPA!
Pippa is not only absolutely adorable, she is delicious! And.... She is now ready for her "furever" home and family.
Poor Mister... Of the three, he has had the hardest time adjusting and is proving to be the most emotionally sensitive of the bunch.
He is 3-4 years old maximum, although his teeth tell a different story to the untrained eye and inexperienced dog peeps .... His choppers are somewhat worn down as if he were an older dog.
But we now know that Mister is not an old dog at all .... But is actually just a nervous crate/cage bar "cribber" ... He will chew on his crate bars if left confined by himself which explains his "young dog with old man teefers" status ...
Mister is sweet and sensitive and he also happens to be a snuggler .... His ears are a bit wonkie for a "Labradoodle" and we suspect he may indeed be some other type of medium sized Poodle mix or have some other breed mixed in there along with Lab and Poodle.
No matter...... He is ADORABLE regardless and is a real heartbreaker to boot!
Mister is a worrier when it comes to his girls ... He doesn't like to be separated from them or who he would claim and recognize as his peeps. We suspect, based on his age, behavior and his attachment to the girls, that he fathered all of their puppies.
These pups have never experienced life as family members ... They do not know what it is to be "normal dogs"... But the great news is that they are sweet as can be and are willing to love and trust in spite of their beginnings... They are affectionate with everyone they meet once they have had time to adjust, and they are starting to learn to play, to relax and just be happy dogs who are part of a family ...
Because these pups are mill survivors and have really only known the company of other dogs, they will all need a very specific type of home and family. They will each need patient, dog experienced, adult only families, a home where someone is around for a large part of the day and with an adjacent yard surrounded by a physical fence no less than 5' in height; they will each need another, well mannered, resident dog or dogs for company. These pups will require patience, tons of love, they must all be allowed on furniture as it is a critical element of their bonding process and development that solidifies their trust in their human pack.