I wrote the following piece for our local SPCA, but I should share it with you, too. It has been sent out in newsletters to people connected with the SPCA and PEACE Mexico and will go out in our local San Pancho publication this week. I'm hoping it will make its way into the papers here in PV, too.
The One We Missed
By Hillary Dickman
This dog’s life is just one example of why the people of PEACE Mexico and the SPCA de PV see aggressive spay and neuter programs as the most effective way to improve the lives of animals in the Banderas Bay Region.
Her name is Milly. The veterinarians who have examined Milly estimate that she is between eight and ten years old. Her grayed muzzle and deeply lined forehead show her age. So does her wrinkled mouth, which opens to reveal soft pink gums but very few teeth. She has only molars, no incisors left. Milly’s teats droop low – nearly dragging on the ground following her most recent pregnancy, and her calloused hind betrays a lifetime lived on the street.
At eight to ten years old, Milly has likely given birth to between 80 and 120 puppies, figuring a pregnancy every six months starting at one year old and estimating an average of six puppies per litter. According the the SPCA of the USA, if most of Milly’s puppies reproduced, she could now have a family tree including as many as 67,000 descendents.
Milly’s many puppies and her life on the street have taken a toll on her body. Not only does Milly’s body look weathered on the outside, she is also beat up on the inside. After recent exams by two different veterinarians, it was determined that Milly has both breast cancer and a vaginal tumor. Because of the vaginal tumor, Milly often feels the need to urinate even when she doesn’t need to go and so she squats frequently on the ground, her teats dragging in the dirt, hoping to feel some relief. While Milly’s mammary tumors have not yet metastasized and can be treated relatively easily, they have caused other problems in her body, including acid in her ears and in her few remaining teeth.
It is safe to say that Milly has lived a hard life. She is one of many dogs who fell through the cracks and was only recently rescued by organizations that try their hardest to offer animals a better life through aggressive sterilization and adoption campaigns.
Now that Milly is in our care, what is the right course for her? Is it best to put her to sleep? To end her misery? Or after a traumatic life, might she deserve a second chance? Can we offer her hope? She is the one we missed, but now she has been found. With her age and her health, she may only have another three to four years left, but could those years make up for a lifetime of scrounging for scraps of food, trying to avoid rat poison and speeding cars, and raising more pups than even the most saintly human would have the patience for?
Milly is a calm, sweet, well-behaved dog. While nursing her final litter of pups, Milly’s patience and dedication to them never ran out, no matter how much they yanked on her, bit her, scratched her, or crawled all over her. She mothered them with dignity, dedicated to caring for them just as she did for the hundred puppies who came before them.
Help Milly’s friends and the SPCA de PV care for Milly in the same way that she has cared for so many puppies. The cost of Milly’s medical care, which will include removal of her mammary tumors and treatment for her vaginal tumor, is estimated at around MX$7,000. The SPCA de PV needs funds to cover Milly’s medical costs as well as a loving, dedicated person to adopt Milly when she recovers from her treatments, otherwise her care will be in vain.
This old girl deserves to spend her final years walking in the sun with a friend, napping on a soft bed, and eating food that is offered to her freely. You can help make that happen.
If you wish to donate to Milly’s care and medical treatment, donations can be made by PayPal available at www.spcapv.com . They can also be dropped off at Saturday adoptions at Los Mangos Library, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or at Farmer’s Market Adoptions, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Pulpito Street in the Romantic Zone, or at Hacienda San Angel, Miramar 336. Please specify that you are donating for Milly.
If you wish to adopt Milly, contact Janice@haciendasanangel.com.