Rita’s Journey

In honor of this year’s #GivingTuesday, we’d like to share a story about a courageous French bulldog puppy and the team of Pet Alliance staff
working relentlessly to give her the best life possible.

Rita was surrendered to us when she was around 8 weeks old. Her previous owner had acquired her from a breeder and knew something wasn’t quite right with her appearance. 

Our veterinary staff determined that baby Rita was born with all four of her legs malformed. They were very concerned about her longterm mobility and ability to support her weight as she aged, especially since she was already having difficulty walking. They would also come to find that she was suffering from “short-nosed syndrome,” a common issue with breeds like French Bulldogs that can cause breathing problems and other health complications. 

Before our veterinary staff could safely address her ailments, Rita needed to grow up a little first. Our Sanford shelter manager, Michelle, stepped up to foster her. From the start, Rita’s charismatic and often goofy personality made it hard to believe she was dealing with so much. 

When Rita was around 8 months old, she was finally big enough to begin her journey of healing. Our veterinarian, Dr. Martin, was able to surgically correct the damage from her “short-nosed syndrome” by using our state of the art VetScalpel laser surgery machine. We are so proud to say Rita was in the best of hands, as Dr. Martin is a Fellow with the American Laser Study Club and has extensive experience performing these types of minimally invasive procedures. 

While our veterinarians are truly miracle workers, cases sometimes arise that require us to seek help from outside agencies. Rita was in need of a specialist to correct her legs, so we turned to the amazing UF Small Animal Hospital.

Their expert staff wasted no time getting Rita on the right track. It was determined that she would need special plates to help stabilize her legs. They even made a fascinating 3D printed model of one of the affected limbs to illustrate how the procedure would work! 

In October, Rita had her first surgery and is recovering wonderfully. Once healed, she will require the same procedure on her other front leg. Though her back legs are also malformed, they are currently not causing complications but may require additional surgeries in the future. No matter how Rita’s condition continues to progress, we will be right here for her because of you.

Specialty care can be costly, but we’re able to take on cases like Rita’s with your support. When you donate to Pet Alliance this
Giving Tuesday, you give our organization the ability to go the extra mile to give our pets the best lives possible. Thank you!

Due to technical difficulties, Pet Alliance’s call center is closed today, June 14.