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Rescue Success Stories

A young man walked along a deserted beach just before dawn. In the distance he saw a frail old man. As he approached the old man, he saw him picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea. The young man gazed in wonder as the old man again and again threw the small starfish from the sand to the water.

He asked, "Old man, why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?"

The old man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun.

"But," exclaimed the young man, "there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish! How can you make any difference?"

The old man looked at the small starfish in his hand, and as he threw it to the safety of the sea he said, "It makes a difference to this one!"

        ~ Author unknown

The Boxer Rescue Foundation wants to make a difference, one Boxer at a time.

Routine rescue work can be extremely expensive due to the condition of the Boxers when they enter foster care. Heartworm, mange, and valley fever are quite common in many parts of the country and the treatment is expensive. Lab work, x-rays, dental procedures, skin treatments, and medications are also quite costly but they are a necessary part of getting rescue Boxers ready for adoption. Some rescue groups are overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of dogs they take in, yet they continue their commitment to help as many Boxers as possible.

Please take a moment to read these Boxer rescue stories because they explain why we exist. We want to make a difference.

North Missouri
Boxer Rescue
Tulip's story begins, as with most rescue Boxers, long before she entered a rescue program. Several months before Cathi Newlin of North Missouri Boxer Rescue met Tulip, this Boxer girl had a severe case of mange, leaving her almost hairless. She was treated by Cathi's vet, but Tulip's owners didn't bother paying the bill. A few months later, another vet in the area treated Tulip for seizures that were lasting hours. That vet kept her for more than ten days trying to control her seizures, and also noted that she was nearly emaciated, infested with parasites, and again suffering from demodectic mange. After her seizures were somewhat under control, her owners took her home. Even though she could hardly walk or see, she somehow ended up in a neighbor's yard seizing. Tulip was turned over to animal control and went back to Cathi's vet who questioned whether Tulip would ever recover, let alone be adoptable. However, Cathy wanted to give it a try.

Cathy says, "I met Tulip one Monday. Watching her that first day was like watching a cow with Mad Cow Disease. She could barely stand, could not focus or control her head, and she whimpered loudly and constantly. Her muzzle was gray and she weighed under 30 pounds." After a couple weeks being treated for seizures, the vet felt Tulip could survive spay surgery. She did survive the procedure and it was time to leave. Cathy reports Tulip "talked to me the whole way home."

Under Cathy's foster care, Tulip showed steady improvement. Her hair grew back; the swelling in her feet subsided; she gained weight. The most important change was that she no longer suffered seizures! After several weeks of rest and weight gain, Tulip was introduced to the other animals and did very well. She even got along with the cats!

As Tulip's health improved, and she recovered, it was obvious that she was only about eleven months old, not the several years Cathy had estimated. All the gray on her face went away and she gained back her lovely black mask. Her horrible seizures were most likely caused by nothing more than absolute starvation, which can only have been intentional on her owners' part.

Through everything, Tulip remained a loving, happy, and optimistic Boxer. In January she went to her forever home with a silky, shiny coat, weighing almost 70 pounds. As you can see, she finally has all the comforts of home, including her own pillows! She can sleep without hurting and without being hungry. Tulip's family says she is a dream.

With your support, the Boxer Rescue Foundation will be able to provide financial Grants to help rescue groups with the costs of getting Boxers ready for adoption. We raise funds through our monthly auctions and through the sale of merchandise in the Boxer Shoppe. You CAN help us make a difference.

Little Bo
Rockin' "P" Rescue
Little Bo lived a restrictive, loveless existence for a long time. His owners kept him outside, usually chained to his doghouse. Another Boxer owner was finally able to convince Little Bo's owners to give their dog up so he could get the care and love he deserved.

There was a problem right off the bat. Bo had never been socialized and he didn't get along with the two male Boxers already in the home. That's when Rockin' "P" Rescue became involved. Little Bo, at the age of five, weighed only 36 pounds when he entered foster care. Not only was he malnourished, he also had a host of other medical problems including heartworm, whipworms, hookworms, and a horrible case of earmites.

The first step in Little Bo's recovery was to get rid of the hook and whipworms and provide his body with nourishment. After just two weeks he gained six pounds and was ready for the heartworm treatment. Through all of this, Little Bo began to loosen up. At first, he was afraid of being inside a house and he didn't know how to play with toys! Even though this Boxer learned to trust people, he still had a problem with other dogs.

During Bo's time in foster care, he was given basic obedience training. "Stay" was difficult for him, though, because he was so excited to get some individual attention! By the time Little Bo was ready for adoption he weighed 52 pounds and was clear of all worms and mites.

Now there was a new problem: finding someone who would adopt a 5-year-old Boxer who still looked a bit rough and needed to be an only dog. However, rescue groups take great care in placing their rescue Boxers and Little Bo's match finally came along. He now lives with a young man who wanted a loyal companion. Angie Persch says the two clicked right away and she has received several reports indicating Bo has adjusted to his new life very well and is an extremely happy boy.

Little Bo's medical expenses came to nearly $340 and that's with a veterinary discount. Without the dedicated rescue volunteers and medical treatment, this story may not have had a happy ending. The Boxer Rescue Foundation wants every rescue story to have a happy ending and we will do what we can to help.

Scranton Boxer Rescue
Election Day 2001 was the luckiest day of Abby's life. Voters on their way to their polling place had to pass by the outdoor area where 8-year-old Abby had been tied for several years. Neighbors had tried to intervene but finally gave up. Voters, however, complained loudly to the animal shelter and when shelter officials arrived on the scene, they were outraged. Her family had simply tied her outside and didn't bother to provide proper care. Abby was being eaten alive by fleas and developed a condition called flea anemia. This gentle Boxer also had what the vet called the worst case of whipworms and hookworms she had ever seen in 18 years of veterinary practice. Abby was also rail thin (as you can see in the picture) from lack of proper food and water. As a mature Boxer, she weighed less than thirty-five pounds.

Abby was rid of the fleas and worms through good veterinary treatment. She gained weight and is now with a wonderful family, happier and healthier than she's probably ever been. Dawn Karam of Scranton Boxer Rescue says Abby never stopped wagging her tail through the entire treatment process as though she knew life was changing for the better. This is a true rescue success story that demonstrates the importance of medical treatment. The cost of Abby's treatment was more than one thousand dollars. The Boxer Rescue Foundation will provide financial assistance for medical expenses such as Abby's.

Greater Ohio Boxer Rescue
Peyton was spotted by a rescue volunteer at the SPCA. She was bloody and her skin was falling off, the result of a severe case of demodectic mange. To make matters worse, a nasty bacterial infection had taken hold, making any movement quite painful for this 9-month-old pup. Peyton also had a tumor on her front leg that had to be removed. She was dehydrated and weighed a little over 40 pounds.
Sometimes it takes months to kill the mites that cause mange. Treatment requires dedication, patience, and money. You can see the treatment worked, though, and Peyton quickly gained thirteen pounds. She is now a healthy, happy Boxer who was adopted by an attentive and loving family.
Rachel Osborn says mange is a routine problem with rescue Boxers. Peyton's veterinary bill came to $380. This young Boxer provides yet another example of the routine needs of rescue groups.

Boxer Rescue of Los Angeles
Streets came by his name naturally. A concerned citizen called Boxer Rescue of Los Angeles one hot summer day to report seeing an injured Boxer lying on a scalding hot sidewalk. Rescue volunteers were not prepared for what they saw. Streets was more than injured. He was also covered with mange and emaciated.

The veterinarian announced the bad news: Streets had a liver problem and x-rays showed a broken leg. Even after surgery to fix the break, there was little hope that this four-year-old Boxer would be able to use his leg so an amputation was scheduled. However, nobody was willing to give up; maybe the leg could be saved so the amputation was delayed. To help alleviate the pain caused from dragging his bloody foot, booties were created out of golf club covers.

Through all the tests and treatment, Streets never lost his cool. He had the typical Boxer personality and was ready to like everyone. After months of foster care that included rehabilitation and treatment for the liver ailment, Streets was ready for adoption. He gained weight and even starting using his leg so the booties came off. Just look at him now!

Why did Streets have to wait so long for someone to care? Didn't other people see him alone and hurt? And, isn't it amazing that through all the pain and fear, Streets continued to show that indomitable Boxer spirit!

The cost to put Streets in adoptable shape was extremely high, much higher than the average rescue. Cases like his, however, raise the overall cost of rescue work. Adoption fees just don't cover the extras. Rand Souden reports that BRLA placed 720 Boxers last year! Many are injured because they are in highly populated areas that increase the chances of being struck by cars, etc. Thanks to the citizen who took time to call about an injured dog, and thanks to the tireless efforts of the veterinary staff and BRLA volunteers, Streets got the life he deserves in a forever home where he receives lots of love and TLC.

Florida Boxer Rescue
Buffy was abandoned by her owners. No one knows why, but maybe they just didn't want to deal with Buffy's severe case of demodectic mange. Let's face it; mange isn't pretty. The hair falls out and the skin can become raw and infected. Sometimes the mange is localized in specific areas, other times it can affect the entire body.
Buffy was lucky. Florida Boxer Rescue took her in, provided the necessary veterinary care, and look at her today! She is a happy Boxer with a forever home.

Buffy (now called Jitterbug or Bug for short) also needed full vaccinations and her rabies shot. Hattie Garry says mange and heartworm are very common afflictions in her area and treatment can amount to hundreds of dollars, even with a veterinary discount. Buffy's owners may have abandoned her, but Florida Boxer Rescue stepped in to help. The Boxer Rescue Foundation wants to help, too.

Lone Star Boxer Rescue
Kara is about two years old. Nobody knows how this Boxer ended up in the woods, but it's evident she had been alone for quite some time. Kara was extremely thin and she had a noticeable limp.

The prognosis for Kara is good, but she has a long way to go before she is ready for adoption. X-rays show a slow healing fracture near her hip. The fracture will continue healing on its own and the veterinarian says she is not in pain, but full range of motion is probably out of the question. Kara is very high heartworm positive and malnourished. She needs more lab work and will be spayed when her condition improves.

Lone Star Boxer Rescue estimates Kara's total vet bill will be around $1,000. That's higher than average, but it is an example of the costs involved in Boxer rescue. Sharon Reitman says ninety percent of the rescues in her area are heartworm positive. Average heartworm treatment runs $250 and that is with a veterinary discount.

Kara is timid and shy, but very sweet. She is responding well to the love and care she is receiving at the veterinary hospital. We'll update you on her progress.