LAFAYETTE, Colo – A dying puppy is getting a second chance at life, but he still needs a little help.
No one knows what breed he is or where he spent the first few weeks of his life.
However, at two months old, Rezdawg Rescue based in Longmont rescued the puppy from Gallup, New Mexico.
“He was real itchy and just real rough looking. He had rickets from malnutrition so his legs were just bending where they shouldn’t have,” his foster mom, Sara Woodworth told FOX31.
Woodworth nursed him back to health and now he is a vibrant, playful 5-month-old puppy with a personality as big as his ears.
A few weeks ago though, his prognosis took an unexpected turn.
According to Woolworth, his veterinarian noticed a heart murmur. After a visit with specialists, Chaco was diagnosed with patent ductus arteriosus, aortic stenosis, mitral valve dysplasia and ventricular ectopy.
“It was actually a lot worse than we all thought,” Woodworth said.
She says the condition means Chaco can’t play with other dogs, run or get excited without significant risk of heart failure.
“Without his surgery, they said that he would probably only live to be two,” she said.
The life-saving surgery will cost more than $5,000.
“How do you allocate five or six thousand dollars for one animal when you have all of these other animals sitting there waiting to come up,” Angela Cerci, director of Rezdawg Rescue said.
According to Cerci, the money Chaco needs for surgery could help the rescue save around 500 other dogs from kill shelters.
“It’s a really hard balance. One that kind of wears on your soul sometimes,” Cerci said.
Woodworth started a fundraiser to help raise money for Chaco’s surgery. Right now, they are still more than $2,000 short.
“How can we just say you’re a happy, healthy cute puppy and we’re just going to put you down because you need surgery,” Cerci said.
Rezdawg had decided to go ahead with Chaco’s surgery despite the funding gap. He is scheduled for January 7th.
“It was just kind of a big shock and I just want him to do good and find his family,” Woodworth said.