Family Taking A Terminally Sick Puppy Home Gets A Huge Surprise

As much as we’d like for our beloved pets to live forever, that’s never the case. And even though we do everything we can to keep them healthy so they can enjoy a long life, sometimes, when the situation is dire, the best thing we can do is just ensure that they’re comfortable in the end.

That was the mission of one family in Ankara, Turkey, who volunteered at their local animal shelter where a number of dogs needed hospice care. And even though they spent countless shifts helping out, nothing could have ever prepared them for the puppy named Faith…

The sad truth is that there are millions of dogs being crammed into shelters around the world. There are simply not enough resources or volunteers to help each and every dog in need, and sometimes shelters in poor areas even lack necessities like food and water for their animals.

The Odyssey Online

That’s the reason why a woman named Mary and her three daughters decided to get involved with their local animal shelter after moving to Ankara, Turkey. They wanted to be the extra sets of hands the shelter so desperately needed.

PAWsitive / YouTube

The local shelter was so overrun that at one point there were over 4,000 dogs in need of medical care, food, shelter, and love. The shelter workers just couldn’t keep up and oftentimes ran out of food to feed the animals.


So Mary and her two daughters started bringing food to help the dogs who needed it the most. They loved playing a part in the dogs’ lives, but it was heartbreaking to know that some of them would pass away in such an uncomfortable setting.

3-faith-the-puppyRumble / PAWsitive

Mary decided she wanted to adopt the shelter dogs who were dying so that they could have the most comforting and loving end to their lives. This decision was one that changed her family’s life forever — and in an unexpected way.

Faith was one of three puppies in a litter the family took home. Sadly, the first two passed away shortly after they arrived. Given that Faith was the smallest puppy in her litter, the family prepared themselves for Faith’s likely fate.

Mary Bryant-Carucci / Facebook

Sure enough, Faith struggled immensely the first few days away from the shelter. She could barely walk because her legs were so weak, and she was suffering from distemper, a viral disease that affects many animals including dogs.

2-faith-the-puppyRumble / PAWsitive

Distemper affects many vital systems in a dog like the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous systems. The final stages of distemper affect the spinal cord, and it can cause seizures and loss of coordination. Life at the shelter and the disease really affected Faith.

In fact, Faith was so weak that she seldom, if ever, left the box she had been brought to her new home in. She seemed so sick that she didn’t want to do anything other than observe what was happening from the safety and security of her box.

And yet, for reasons they couldn’t explain, the family started to fall for little Faith. She wasn’t the biggest or the healthiest puppy, and they knew she didn’t have long to live, but she was winning them over.

Nobody expected her to survive, but they were going to make her as comfortable as they possibly could anyway. The family could sense that she had a warm personality and loved affection. She closed her eyes when they stroked her fur and took in each and every second of it.

One day, the family brought Faith to the vet to have her distemper evaluated. The vet wasn’t sure if Faith was strong enough to survive any treatment, but he felt it was worth trying. Mary wanted to do anything possible to help Faith.


“Once we took her out of there and took her to our vet, they started care for the distemper,” Mary recalled. “Once she was eating regularly, she just started improving, and we took her home.”

Faith needed to be quarantined from Mary’s other three chihuahuas even though they’d been vaccinated prior. The virus was still extremely dangerous and needed to be completely taken care of before introducing Faith to other animals.


Mary’s daughter’s room became Faith’s “hospital room.” Faith was in good hands because it was her daughter that first laid eyes on Faith and knew she wanted to help comfort this little pup.

Britt & Co

Even though they saw signs of improvement in Faith, the first month was touch and go. They only thing they could do was pray that the treatment was working and that Faith had enough fight left in her.

1-faith-the-puppyRumble / PAWsitive

A month passed and Faith seemed to have made a miraculous recovery! She was cleared by the vet and deemed a healthy dog. But although Faith had beat distemper, she still had one challenge ahead of her. She needed to learn to be a dog.

Mary Bryant-Carucci

Mary introduced Faith to her chihuahuas by just placing Faith’s kennel in front of them and letting both parties feel each other out.  They warmed up to one another fairly quickly, but now it was time for Faith to feel grass for the first time ever.

Mary Bryant-Carucci

Mary recalled, “The girls would take her outside, and she would just kind of stand around.” But it didn’t take Faith long to learn because Mary constantly took care of street dogs in the area. Faith was soon running around and playing as a dog should!

Mary Bryant-Carucci

Faith made a full recovery and lived her best life with the family that saved her. Mary explained, “You can’t help every single animal who’s suffering, but for the ones that you can, you make a difference.” And she’s not the only one who advocates that view.

Mary Bryant-Carucci / Facebook

Melissa Ringstaff and her family have a motto: “We can’t save the world, but we can do something about the one in front of us.” And when it comes to animals, that’s truly the motto they live by.

Melissa Ringstaff / Facebook

The philosophy regularly encouraged the family to help animals. They often scooped up lost animals wandering around Harlan, Kentucky, fed them, and found them homes. Such was the case with a certain Great Pyrenees…

Melissa Ringstaff / Facebook

Early on a Saturday morning, the Ringstaff family cruised down the highway, a 2-hour drive ahead. But in the opposite lane, they noticed a great, hulking dog, lying still in the road. Cars swerved to avoid him.

The Ringstaffs were concerned that the dog had been hit by a car. Melissa’s husband Mykal, a pastor, flipped on the car’s hazards lights and pulled the truck over. They got out of the vehicle to inspect the canine.

Melissa Ringstaff / Facebook; Melissa Ringstaff / YouTube

But as soon as Melissa and her gang stepped into the road the dog stood up and walked over to them, curiously showing no sign of injury. It was then Melissa saw the heartbreaking reason the dog was staying so still…

Off in the ditch lining the highway, another dog had been hit by a car. Tragically, he didn’t live to tell the tale. By the looks of it, the dog in the road had been guarding his fallen friend. The sight “broke my heart,” Melissa wrote.

The Ringstaffs tried luring the dog into their truck, but he refused to leave his friend behind. Heartbroken, the family left the stubborn pooch for the moment (they were, after all, on a day trip). But ten hours later, they returned.

Melissa Ringstaff / Facebook

The dog hadn’t left, though he’d moved out of the road. So, committed to saving the world in front of them, the Ringstaffs hoisted the massive dog into their truck. Like so many other lost dogs, they’d find his home, too.

Melissa Ringstaff / YouTube

But as the Ringstaffs drove with the dog in their truck, searching for the collarless dog’s home, local after local told the same story—one as tragic as the lost dog’s situation.

Melissa Ringstaff / YouTube

Those dogs, the locals explained, belonged to someone who moved away. They left the dogs behind to fend for themselves, leading to one’s demise. The abandoned and lonely Great Pyrenees had no home to return to.

Worse, the dogs had apparently been living on the side of the highway for a couple of days. So, hearts broken once more, the animal-loving Melissa and her family knew what they had to do: make this dog’s world a better place.

The Ringstaffs brought the dog home, fed him, bathed him, and gave him a haircut. When night fell, she led him to a brand new kennel. But the dog didn’t sleep.

Melissa Ringstaff / YouTube

Instead, he broke from the kennel in the dead of night and disappeared from the Ringstaff home. The second Melissa spotted the kennel with a now-broken door, the family went out searching for him. It should’ve been easy. It’s not like the big dog was in disguise…

All day, the Ringstaffs searched, asking everyone they passed if they’d seen an enormous dog teetering along. They drove to the Humane Society and police stations. They couldn’t find the Great Pyrenees anywhere.

Melissa Ringstaff / Facebook

In fact, the Ringstaffs spent three days looking for the dog, putting over 100 miles on their car driving around the small Kentucky town. Finally, they spotted the pooch.

Just a few miles from the Ringstaff home, the pooch sat on a stranger’s porch, happy to see Melissa and her kids! The next day, Melissa bought him dog tags—with his new name.

At first inspired by the 2009 film Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, below, they called him Hachi. Like the dog in the film, Melissa wrote, “we’d found him loyally staying with his buddy who died.” But they ultimately chose a happier name.

“In the end,” Melissa wrote, “we named him Tucker.” Though simple, the name somehow perfectly fit the dog’s personality. “He’s incredibly sweet, very gentle, and we’ve yet to hear him bark.” He’s Tucker. And he’s a Ringstaff.

Melissa Ringstaff / YouTube

As the Ringstaffs proved, sometimes just driving down the road can lead to some interesting encounters. And if you ask this Pennsylvania couple, it’s out in the middle of nowhere that you find some of the most unexpected things.

One afternoon, a woman named Danielle Finley and her boyfriend were cruising along a dirt road in rural Pennsylvania when they experienced one such startling encounter that changed their lives forever.

Chris Baird / Flickr

Initially, the couple noticed a strange-looking creature trotting alongside the dirt road. Danielle swore it looked somewhat like a hyena, but she knew it couldn’t have been one. After all, they were in Pennsylvania, not the African Serengeti!

Margate Architecture

To investigate, they decided to pull over to see what it was and if it needed their assistance. They both stepped out of the car… and once they saw what the mysterious creature was, their hearts simply broke.

It was a small Cairn terrier! When he saw Danielle and her boyfriend, he ran right up to them as fast as he could and immediately started jumping for joy. Still, the couple couldn’t help but stare in horror at the dog’s physical appearance. He was missing tufts of fur, and it looked as though he hadn’t eaten in days.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

At first, Danielle was hesitant to touch the dog, whom they later named Phil. They already had two canines of their own in the car with them, and it appeared as though Phil had a skin condition. They didn’t want to spread anything to their animals or themselves.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

Still, Danielle and her boyfriend were animal lovers through and through. So they took a risk and scooped up the little pooch, placing him in the backseat of their car. They gave him bowls of food and water, which he licked clean within minutes. They then rushed to the nearest veterinarian for a thorough examination.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

They had assumed Phil was riddled with mange, a contagious skin condition caused by mites burrowing into the flesh, but the veterinarian actually came to a different conclusion. It was simply a severe condition that caused Phil’s hair to fall out and his body to develop rashes.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

There had been no reports of a missing terrier in any of the local newspapers, but the veterinarian told Danielle and her boyfriend that she was fairly certain the dog had belonged to someone up until fairly recently. In other words, he wasn’t a stray.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

Based on Phil’s ground-down teeth, the vet assumed he was most likely kept in a crate for most of his life. Whoever his owner had been probably kept him locked up for years—and then they dumped him on an empty back road when his health issues became serious.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

It was an unfortunate fact, but many areas in rural Pennsylvania were known for having some of the worst puppy mills in the country. Thus, it was highly likely that Phil once belonged to one.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

After the trip to the vet’s office, Danielle and her boyfriend decided they couldn’t just abandon him like his previous owner did—so they adopted Phil right on the spot! They started him on a special diet to help regrow his fur, and within a few weeks, the pup already looked healthier and happier.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

They were also incredibly lucky that their two dogs took to Phil almost instantly. The three now spend their days playing together outdoors, and Phil seemed to develop an especially strong relationship with Lily, the couple’s Boston terrier.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

Danielle’s boyfriend, although initially concerned about taking in yet another dog, now embraces Phil as one of his own. He treats all three of the animals as if they had been together from the very beginning.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

From the start, the couple never let Phil’s physical deformities prevent them from seeing his beauty. They were smitten with the Cairn terrier almost immediately, and now they can’t picture their lives without him. It’s a shame that not all dogs are as lucky.

Danielle Finley / Facebook

Buenos Aires is home to nearly 3 million people, but they’re not the only inhabitants. Countless stray dogs roam the city but prefer to stick to side streets and back alleyways. There, they live off of whatever they can get their paws on.

Latin Times

One dog nicknamed Way only ever knew the stray lifestyle. It was a struggle to survive and most people tended to ignore her, but one winter night she suddenly attracted an unusual amount of attention.

An Argentine woman named Alejandria Griffin walked home through the brisk wind. She couldn’t wait to get inside and warm up. However, something strange made her stop in her tracks.


As she passed by a dingy alley, Alejandria heard an unusual whimpering sound. The lifelong Buenos Aires resident was accustomed to the sounds of stray dogs, but this noise seemed different.

Praying she wasn’t wandering into a bad situation, Alejandria crept down the alley. The whimpering grew louder and louder. She stopped at a cloth bundle on the ground and gasped when she peeled back the first layer.

Much to her surprise, Alejandria came face-to-face with a newborn baby surrounded by puppies! It was an unbelievable sight. As she wondered how this could’ve happened, Way poked her head out from behind a dumpster.

ABC News

Alejandria called the authorities, who immediately whisked the infant off to a hospital. Fortunately, he appeared to be in decent condition. They tried to piece together where the baby came from, and how he ended up in a den of stray dogs.

El Diario de Buenos Aires

Police searched the alley for clues, which turned out to be scant. The only explanation was that a negligent mother left the newborn out in the streets. He likely would have perished in the elements, if not for the intervention of one hero.

Way, coming across the baby, felt her maternal instincts kick in. She picked up the baby and surrounded him with her own puppies, keeping them all warm through the night.

Following tips from people in the neighborhood, police tracked down and arrested the mother who abandoned her child. Though Way herself was a life-long victim of neglect, her compassion and motherly instincts never wavered. Without her heroics, the baby would have almost certainly come to a tragic end.

For dogs that are fortunate enough to belong to loving family, they are usually regarded with much affection, table-side scraps, and lots and lots of pets. But when was the last time we really considered a dog’s capacity to truly affect us, or even their capacity to save us.

Catherine Svillicic from Australia was an avid dog lover and a believer in their goodness. So when it came time to welcome her daughter Charlotte into the world, she figured what better way for her daughter to grow up than with a loyal pup by her side.

That’s why, one day, she brought home Khan. A few neighbors scoffed at the fact that Catherine got a Doberman, but she told herself that Khan would make a perfect family dog. For one instant, however, she came to really regret that thought.

One afternoon, Catherine was doing chores in the house when she heard Khan go berserk. She’d never heard him make that kind of sound before. The panicked mother dropped everything and sprinted outside.

Shaking, Catherine saw that Khan had knocked her daughter to the ground. Charlotte wept and trembled in fear. Catherine’s first thought was that she’d have to send the Doberman away, but then she noticed something that sent shivers down her spine.


Catherine couldn’t take her eyes off the mulga snake slithering out of their yard. It must have been stalking Charlotte until Khan chased it away! She embraced Khan for his heroics, though her hand came away covered in blood.

In defending Charlotte, the dog had been the victim of a snakebite. Catherine tossed him in the car and sped to the vet, with every second more precious than the last. Even if he survived, Khan could be paralyzed for life.


Once the vet administered an antidote, Catherine could only hope they weren’t too late. They sent her home with instructions to return the next morning. There was no guarantee Khan would still be there when she returned.

After a sleepless night, Catherine and Charlotte returned to the vet’s office to hear some very good news. Khan pulled through! “If Khan wants a gold bowl, Khan gets it,” gushed Catherine. “We owe him for the rest of his life.”

Khan continued to stick by Charlotte’s side as she grew older. Fortunately, neither of them ran into any more life-or-death situations. That makes sense, since any mulga snakes in the area learned to keep their distance.

Looking back on that brush with danger, Catherine realized that adding Khan to the family was one of the best decisions she ever made. Of course, you never know quite what you’ll get when adopting a pet.

Without having raised the animal, it’s hard to tell how well they’ll transition into your home. But Jenna Brousseau and her husband, Eric, didn’t let this bother them when they decided to welcome Duke into their growing family.

After being passed around from animal shelter to animal shelter, Duke was brought home in 2006. Right away, the Brousseaus lauded him not only for his obedience, but also how well he got along with the couple’s young son and newborn daughter!

On a recent night, however, Jenna noticed Duke was acting strangely. Suddenly, he jumped up onto the bed and started shaking uncontrollably. Given that this was a far cry from his typical behavior, the couple sensed something was seriously wrong…

baby-1Good Morning America / Youtube

At first, Jenna and Eric wrote off Duke’s behavior as nothing serious. They even tried to push him off their bed so they could get back to sleep. But he was persistent, and every time, he’d jump back up and start shivering.

“He started shaking, as if there was a storm coming,” Jenna recalled of the frightening incident that took place in the middle of the night. Clearly, something was the matter, and they needed to know what—fast!

Good Morning America / Youtube

After a few moments, the couple began to realize that their dog was trying to tell them something—and they instinctively thought of their baby daughter, Harper. Had their dog really been so perceptive that he could sense something was wrong with their child?

At that, Jenna and her husband rushed to their nine-week-old daughter’s bedroom to see if something was the matter. There she was, lying in her crib, but something was clearly not right.

What they discovered terrified them: Harper had stopped breathing and was lying motionless in her crib—and clearly, Duke was trying to tell them about it! They had no time to feel relieved, however; this was a life or death situation.

Jenna lifted her daughter and started to pat her on the back, hoping she’d start to breathe again. Meanwhile, Eric hurriedly dialed 911 to call emergency responders to their home as soon as possible.

With their newborn daughter’s life at stake, Jenna and Eric were willing to go to any length to rescue her. They continued to try and pat Harper’s back, hoping and praying that something would cause her to start breathing.

With each excruciating moment, the family grew more and more horrified. Had they found poor Harper in time to save her life, or would they be too late? It was a scenario no parent would want to be in…

A few moments later, and much to the relief of Jenna and Eric, Harper began to breathe! There had clearly been something lodged in her throat, but there was nothing in her crib to suggest she’d eaten anything.

That was when Jenna and Eric realized that Harper must have suffered from acid reflux. They could only assume that something had upset her stomach while she slept, and she’d began to choke, which stopped her breathing. Luckily, Duke was around!

The parents were forever indebted to their beloved rescue dog. “We rescued him and he reciprocated and rescued our daughter,” Jenna said of the alert pooch. “Duke without a doubt is a hero to us, he is our family’s hero.”

dog-3Good Morning America / Youtube

Duke’s story was incredible in its own right. Just before the Brousseau family adopted him, poor Duke had been passed around from shelter to shelter. In fact, had they not taken him in, he probably would’ve been euthanized.

“We could never justify spending money on an animal when there are so many animals that need rescuing,” Jenna said during an interview. “We’ve always felt from the beginning that [Duke] was appreciative of us rescuing him.”

“He’s the perfect dog,” Jenna said. “He was meant to be ours. I tell him all the time, ‘you were born in Mommy’s heart.'” She hoped that Duke’s story would encourage more people to adopt a pet of their own.

If Jenna and Eric hadn’t decided to adopt Duke, there’s really no saying what could have happened. One thing was clear, though: they know that choosing to bring him home was likely one of the best decisions they’d ever made.

There was no specific reason as to what caused Duke to notice Harper had stopped breathing. Whether it was a sixth sense or animal instinct, they couldn’t be sure. But what he did certainly proved that, no matter what, he was a hero!

Animal intuition is one of the strongest forces on Earth. Not only are animals incredibly in-tune, but their natural instincts allow them to make quick decisions in pressing situations. While this intuition may seem trivial at times, it’s during dangerous situations that this trait proves to be the most useful.

When Nana Chaichanhda of Stockton, California brought a baby pit bull named Sasha into her home, she initially had reservations. With her seven-month-old daughter Masailah, Nana was nervous about how the dog would behave around her baby girl.

aree rodriguez / Flickr

But Nana was convinced that, with the proper training, Sasha would grow to be the perfect playmate for Masailah. As it turns out, Nana’s intuition was completely right. The two became fast friends and were more or less inseparable.

With each passing day, the bond between Sasha and Masailah grew until the two became inseparable. In fact, Sasha was so protective of Masailah that the dog wouldn’t even let her take a bubble bath alone!

Now that Sasha had officially become part of the family, it wasn’t uncommon to find her snuggled up in bed alongside Nana and Masailah. But one fateful night, Nana decided to do things differently…

Kare 11

On June 6, 2018, Nana decided to let Sasha sleep outside in the backyard. Being that it was a warm summer’s night, Nana figured that the dog would enjoy getting out of the stuffy apartment and into the fresh air.

Soon after putting Sasha outside, Nana took Masailah to their bedroom and the pair was asleep within minutes. But it wasn’t long before Nana was stirred awake by an unexpected sound: a dog barking.

Erika B. / Flickr

At first, Nana wrote off the barking as that of a neighbor’s dog. After all, Sasha had never been one to bark, especially as loud as the dog outside.

But as the frantic barking continued, Nana knew that something was wrong. She hurried downstairs and threw open the back door, where her fears were confirmed.

Even when she was back inside the house, Sasha still wouldn’t calm down. It was like she was desperate to get Nana’s attention at all costs! When that didn’t work, Sasha tried another tactic…

Suddenly, the dog made a mad dash for the upstairs bedroom where Masailah was still sleeping. But before Nana could chase after her, the sight of something outside stopped her in her tracks.

To Nana’s horror, large flames were spewing out of the apartment complex next door. Worse yet, the blaze was quickly spreading toward her own unit!

Before she could even think, the fire had now reached her apartment complex and was growing rapidly. With only moments to spare, Nana rushed upstairs to save Sasha and Masailah.

When she reached the bedroom, Nana was stunned at what she found. Not only was Sasha completely calm in the face of such great danger, but she was trying to save Masailah as well!

Fox 35

Gripping the infant by her diaper, Sasha had managed to pull Masailah out of her crib and was carefully trying to drag her out of the room. Nana grabbed Sasha and the baby and dashed out of the apartment.


As soon as Nana and her family had safely left the building, she called 911. The fire department arrived within minutes, and after rescuing the remaining tenants in the apartment complex, they began fighting the massive fire.


It took several hours for firefighters to completely extinguish the blaze, but when the smoke finally cleared, the tenants were relieved to find that many of the units hadn’t suffered severe damage. However, the same couldn’t be said for Nana.

Fox 35

Because Nana’s apartment had been so close to the initial fire, her entire unit, and everything in it, was destroyed. With their home and their possessions lost, Nana and her family were forced to move in with her aunt. But that’s not all…

The Orange County Register

Nana’s aunt’s apartment building didn’t allow pets, so Sasha had to be separated from Masailah and kept with another family member. Even though Nana brings Masailah to visit often, it’s clear that Sasha really misses her best friend.

NTD Television

Since the fire, a GoFundMe campaign was started in order to help Nana and her family rebuild their lives. They’re still trying to pick up the pieces of what they once had, but Nana knows that without Sasha, she and Masailah wouldn’t be here today.

Mix98.1 Richmond

“Without her, we probably would’ve never made it out,” Nana said of her heroic dog. “I owe Sasha my life… she saved us all. She is our hero.”

Fox 40

Not every dog is like Sasha, and the DeLuca family learned this in a recent scare of their own. While the kids were playing in the pool, their newly adopted German Sheppard aggressively lunged at one of the little girls.

Donya DeLuca

After Adam and Donya DeLuca took in a two-year-old German shepherd named Haus from a shelter in Tampa, Florida, they quickly realized that he was a very special dog…

Donya DeLuca

As Donya told Today, “He just bonded with all of us so quickly, it was like he was always part of our home.” Even the neighbors loved Haus. In all respects, he was the perfect family dog.

Donya DeLuca

One day, seven-year-old Molly was gathering toys in the backyard with Haus by her side. Her grandmother watched from the doorway of the screened-in pool. That’s when she saw Haus act in a way that would forever change the family’s perception of him.

Haus was acting suspiciously, and it was terrifying. “He kept jumping back and then forward,” Donya demonstrated for WFLA. “And he did it three times.” Of course, Donya’s mother, watching from a distance, feared the worst. A young German shepherd, new to the family, moving aggressively around a little girl? That was a recipe for disaster.


The grandmother’s story, as relayed by Donya to various news outlets, was that she “didn’t even realize what he [Haus] was staring at—but then all of a sudden there was all of this blood” covering the dog. In a panic, the grandmother called Donya, who could hear Molly crying in the background. What happened? Did Haus viciously attack Molly?

Donya DeLuca

The truth, however, was quite surprising. As they picked up toys on the far side of the yard, Molly and Haus had come face-to-face with a deadly Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Coiled and angry, it struck at Molly—only to have Haus jump in the way instead. Tragically, his act of bravery came with an astronomical cost…

ltshears / Wikimedia

“He [had] instantly positioned himself between the snake and Molly,” Donya said. He could have run, but Haus’s protective instincts had him stand his ground, which allowed Molly to retreat to safety. With every bite, Haus suffered more and more. Afterwards, he was a mess.


After the attack, the poor pup could barely walk. He limped, drooled, and his head hung down, unable to move. He struggled to breathe and his leg hemorrhaged blood. If a 68-pound German shepherd suffered in that way, can you imagine what those bites would have done to little Molly?

Donya LaDuca via ABC News

Donya rushed home and immediately loaded Haus into the family car and sped to a veterinarian emergency care facility. With snake venom in his system, the brave pooch didn’t have much time…

Donya LaDuca va ABC

“What [a rattlesnake bite] can do is a lot of bad things,” veterinarian Danielle Pollio said. “It can cause problems with clotting, so they can bleed into the wound uncontrollably.” The Eastern Diamondback is the most venomous snake in all North America, and dogs who are bitten once have a mortality rate as high as 30 percentHaus had been bitten three times.


Within minutes of the attack, Haus’s symptoms had already accelerated exponentially. When he reached the medical facilities, doctors gave him nine vials of antivenin. But they weren’t as effective as they needed to be to save the pooch’s life…

ABC News

Instead of injecting Haus with individual vials, doctors set him up with an IV drip of antivenin and administered painkillers. He received antivenin four times every day for four straight days. A typical treatment might only see one to two doses. Making matters worse, saving Haus was creating another problem that the DeLuca family couldn’t ignore…

ABC News

If Haus was going to live, he would need some major intensive care—and that lead to astronomical medical bills that the DeLucas simply couldn’t afford. How could they pay to keep their beloved dog—and their daughter’s hero—alive?

ABC News

That’s when a woman named Cherissa Vandergriff, whose relation to the DeLucas was unclear, stepped in. She set up a GoFundMe page for the family as a way to crowdfund all of the necessary medical payments for Haus’s care. In the plea for assistance, Cherissa wrote, “The vet treatment has been extremely expensive…”

Cherissa continued: “He’s been given multiple vials of anti-venom. The vet bills are already at $10,000 and the treatment is not finished. His vitals are strong, his organs are functioning, and if they can afford enough anti-venom, he will recover with no ill-effects.” Would this be enough to save Haus?

ABC News

Soon, donations were rolling in! In a matter of days, the family raised $51,329, far exceeding their $28,000 goal, and they had to actually shut down people’s ability to donate! Haus’s story had inspired nearly 2,000 people to contribute money!

ABC News

Despite the pup’s severe wounds, doctors expected him to make a full recovery, which shocked Donya. “It’s semi-miraculous, his condition,” she said. “What keeps me going is how he still flicks his tail every time he sees me come into his kennel, even though I know he’s hurting.” That’s a dog who loved his family!

ABC News

In the end, Haus received some great news. “We hope that Haus will get to go home today,” said his veterinarian, Jennifer Holm, on the May 18, 2016, episode of Good Morning America. “We are doing a couple more checks on him early this afternoon, and fingers crossed, we hope that he will get to go home either today or tomorrow.”

ABC News

When the LaDuca family adopted Haus, they likely expected they’d be gaining a best friend for the family. What they didn’t realize was that they’d be gaining a best friend who would save their children’s lives. Haus was a hero with four paws!

Donya LaDuca / ABC

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