Foster Dog Saves Roommate's Life

Willow leaving PACC with her foster mom Caroline.

When Willow was given a chance in a foster home, it was never expected that she’d help save someone’s life—but that’s exactly what she did.

Willow was surrendered to Pima Animal Care Center showing mild symptoms of distemper and it was soon discovered that she was indeed suffering from the viral illness. Thanks to improvements in the new shelter, dogs like Willow can be isolated for treatment and given a chance to beat the disease.

She spent a whole month in isolation where PACC staff cared for her with fluids, meds, and lots of one-on-one attention. Thanks to support from donors to Friends of PACC, dogs with parvo, distemper, and ringworm are given a second chance at life through the purchase of critical medications and supplies.

When Willow’s distemper was under control it was deemed safe for her to leave the shelter to spend time in an appropriate foster home—one that had vaccinated dogs or no other dogs—while she continued on her road to full recovery. Caroline stepped up to help Willow by giving her a foster home to play, rest, and recover in!

“She’s the sweetest, most loving dog and I’m so glad we got to help get her out of isolation! She smiled the whole time she was with us. From the start, she came and snuggled everyone on the couch and as soon as you sat down you could expect her to be jumping up there with you,” said Caroline.

It’s a fact that foster parents save the lives of pets in need. They provide a temporary, loving home and learn a lot about a pet’s true personality. This information helps the shelter care for the pet and make a better match with an adopter. Little did Caroline know that Willow would return the favor by helping save her roommate’s life. Caroline tells the story below. 

“My friend was choking in his room by himself. He couldn’t make any noise because he was choking. Willow was in the room with him and saw something wasn’t right so she began to bark and ran into the living room to get someone. My boyfriend went into the room, because clearly something was not right, to find my friend choking and performed the Heimlich maneuver. If Willow hadn’t alerted us, I don’t know what would have happened.” 

Willow was given a second chance thanks to support of donors and fosters, and she paid the favor forward. There are many more pets in need at PACC awaiting their chance to change a person’s life. It’s only with community support that these pets get the opportunities they deserve. Give hope to pets like Willow who need long-term care for treatable diseases when you make a gift today.

Sara Wolfe Vaughan