Starving Homeless German Shepherd Makes Unbelievable Recovery

A before-and-after photo of Frannie showing her amazing recovery. Credit: Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue / Virgil Houston Veterinary Clinic

Houston, Texas — A German Shepherd who was on the brink of losing her life due to neglect, finally has reasons to wag her tail. On Dec. 16th, a Good Samaritan spotted her in a miserable state in Houston’s impoverished Fifth Ward area, eating the rotting carcass of a dead animal. He alerted the Houston-based dog rescue group Forgotten Dogs of 5th Ward-Houston who then reported the distressed dog to Val’s Pals German Shepherd Dog and Large Paw Rescue.

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The day her rescuers found her roaming the streets of Houston’s 5th Ward. Credit: Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue / Virgil Houston Veterinary Clinic

Though she was a stray dog, the rescuers were sure that she was no threat. In fact, she was so frail and weak, that she could barely hold on. The volunteers put a leash on her and since, she was too weak to move, she was lifted and transported to Vergi Houston, a highly reputed ER veterinary clinic. One of the volunteers reminisces,

“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.”

She was evaluated at the clinic and named Frannie. While it was previously thought that she was 6 to 9 months old taking into account her 23-pound weight, the severely malnourished canine was later found to be between 2 and 3 years old, for which an ideal weight should be 70 pounds.

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Frannie’s first visit to the Vergi Houston Vet Clinic. Credit: Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue / Virgi Houston Veterinary Clinic

The vets deemed her overall health condition critical due to starvation. Being anemic, she required continual blood draws and proper management of her electrolyte, blood glucose , and protein. As vitamins and minerals were reintroduced to her system, Frannie was administered with IV fluids and given small, easily digestible meals every two hours.

Settling in at Vergi Houston Vet Clinic. Credit: Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue / Virgi Houston Veterinary Clinic

Vets believed Frannie would need to be under ICU care for weeks. And there was a point in time, when the Vergi staff were skeptical if she would make it. On December 22, the rescue group held a prayer vigil and candle lighting, looking for a higher intervention. When her condition started to improve, Frannie was sent to her first medical foster home the following day.

Frannie being given bath by her foster mom. Credit: Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue / Virgi Houston Veterinary Clinic

Jill Washburn, Frannie’s foster mom, saw to it that Frannie was given due care and medical attention. Apart from small nutritious meals very 4 hours, Frannie also needed to be taken to the vet once every 2 days for blood draws.

Credit: Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue / Virgi Houston Veterinary Clinic

As her overall condition improved, Frannie was fed larger meals every six hours and moved to a longer term medical foster home, under the responsibility of Amy Boram Wilson, also a volunteer foster mom. Both Jill and Amy ensure that Frannie got all the love and support she needed — two simple things that she was deprived of living in the streets for so long.

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Credit: Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue / Virgi Houston Veterinary Clinic

On Feb. 27, vets believed Frannie was healthy enough to be adopted into her forever home. Though the usual procedure is 3 meetings between the dog and the prospective owners, Amy told the rescue group that Jack and Jan Long were the perfect people to take Frannie in as a family member. Sure enough, it turned out to be a great decision as Frannie as settled in comfortably with her new family.

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Frannie’s full recovery, and clean bill of health. Credit: Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue / Virgi Houston Veterinary Clinic

Though she is still wary of trying new things, she always becomes an enthusiastic participant after getting familiarized with it. Since adopting Frannie, Jack and Jan recently adopted another rescue dog. Frannie is in a much happier place in life, now that she has a mom, dad, and a brother.

Houston’s Fifth Ward area is notorious as a dumping ground for dogs that are no longer wanted by their owners. Looking at Frannie now, it is difficult to believe that she was once reduced to a fragile skeleton. And we will probably never know the entire story of her past life, but her current life is looking much brighter.

If you would like to be a part of the noble cause to rescue homeless and neglected dogs like Frannie, please support Val’s Pals GSD and Large Paw Rescue and Forgotten Dogs of 5th Ward-Houston.

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