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Pets In Need Keeps a Promise

Jane’s Journey to Surgery

When we rescued five squirmy, playful Doberman/Labrador mix puppies from an overcrowded shelter, we assumed they would all find homes quickly. They were happy, bouncy pups that stole the hearts of everyone they met. For four of those puppies, we were absolutely right. They found homes quickly and easily and are growing into energetic gentle giants.

Jane was different. She tried to keep up with her siblings and play with them, but we noticed right away that she seemed to be struggling. At first, we thought she was just the runt. Until one morning, when we walked in the room to feed the puppies and noticed Jane wasn’t able to stand up. It became clear she was having trouble using either of her back legs.

We took Jane to get a MRI. We discovered her spinal cord is severely misshapen and several vertebrae are smaller than they should be. The prognosis was poor, but we were committed to doing what we could to give her a happy and healthy life.

Once we knew what was causing Jane’s problems, we had to decide what to do. Surgery seemed the logical answer, but Jane was still only 3 months old and growing rapidly. We could wait for her to get bigger, but postponing the surgery would mean she would need lots of physical therapy, frequent medical checks, and a lengthy stay with us. And there was still no guarantee the surgery would even work.

We opted to postpone the surgery and provide physical therapy for Jane until she’s ready for her surgery. So far Jane has been making progress in her physical therapy sessions, and she even has a set of wheels that help her get around. She’ll be in a foster home until she’s fully grown, getting stronger and more confident in her walking abilities and growing more and more each day.

Jane is just one of the many animals that come into our shelter every week in need of special care. Thanks to our supporters, staff, volunteers, fosters, and donors, we’re able to make the promise that we will do whatever we can to give our rescued animals a happy, healthy life. Saving the lives of animals truly takes a village, and at Pets In Need, we’re so grateful that our village will give Jane the future she deserves.

Alexandra Baggs is the development and marketing manager at Pets In Need, a no-kill animal shelter in Redwood City. Visit to learn more and meet adoptable animals, like Dancer, above, who needed a home a press time.

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Main article photo by: Courtesy Pets In Need