Hansel: The Dog Who Found Hope in the Storm

For all the people and animals in the city of Houston, Hurricane Harvey was a time of pain, fear, and destruction. Except for a cowering dog named “Hansel”. Despite the flooding and devastation of his city, Hansel was experiencing the only peace he’d ever known in his life.

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Three days before the record-breaking storm made landfall, the starving, mangy dog arrived at the shelter. The circumstances surrounding his horrible case of animal cruelty are still under investigation. Hansel’s photograph was quickly posted on social media, and within moments, Val’s Pals was tagged and mentioned by animal lovers all over the city. Val’s Pals is committed to helping all German Shepherd Dogs, but most especially those dogs who have suffered the most. The same day that the hurricane reached the coast, Hansel received his freedom ride.

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Hansel was taken directly to Vergi 24/7, the emergency and critical care animal hospital that treats Val’s Pals’ worst cases. Hansel would quickly prove to be one such case. Hansel was safe at Vergi as Hurricane Harvey battered the city, but his road to recovery had just begun. His outward appearance was shocking; his skin was infected, flaking, and so dry it looked reptilian. He was emaciated and frightened. Marred as he was by neglect and cruelty, it was difficult to believe that he was only two-years-old.

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Inside, Hansel was even worse. He needed a catheter, but his bladder was so infected that it clogged multiple catheters. “His bladder is full of sludge and grit,” wrote the veterinarian on duty. During an emergency ultrasound, it was discovered that he had several bladder stones that required treatment. And then, on top of all his other medical complications, he developed pneumonia. His fever reached 106. The veterinarians weren’t sure if Hansel would survive. But astonishingly, Hansel recovered from the pneumonia.

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Hansel spent three weeks at Vergi before he was strong enough to be placed in a foster home. His vet bills, however, were staggering. The fifteen pages of his medical treatment bill detail the odyssey he endured. Unfortunately, as Hansel was struggling to survive, the city of Houston was also struggling to survive. Val’s Pals was so focused on evacuating our dogs that raising funds for his care had to be relegated to a lower priority.

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Now that the city is healing and Hansel is healing too, Val’s Pals needs all the help we can get to pay his medical bills. The total for all his treatments, medications, and surgeries is over $8,000. With each passing day, Hansel grows stronger, and his beauty shines through. His fur is growing back thick and soft. The light in his eyes reveals his youth and energy. Unlike the cowering dog in his intake photo, he stands straight and tall. Unfortunately, Val’s Pals relies on donations to provide medical care for pups like Hansel, and we need your help paying for his treatment.

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Hansel still requires considerable rehabilitation before he can be adopted, but the worst is behind him. He is now fully in recovery mode, and as a Val’s Pals dog, he will learn what it means to be part of a family who will love him, protect him, and care for him. Just like the city that is his home, Hansel is resilient. And now that he has weathered the storm, he needs your help to fully recover.

You can help by donating here

 

Posted in Foster Tails