Tagged: “Fischer”

Happy Endings are all that Matter

Happy Endings are all that Matter
Indigo hospitalized for Parvo

Indigo hospitalized with Parvo

As March drew to a close, the Texas Animal Guardians’ team was elated. In one week there were six adoptions! There was a sense that all was well with the world. Then everything went topsy-turvy: Recent arrivals of puppies were infected with Parvovirus.

Canine Parvovirus is a familiar bane to all rescue groups. In 2011 it hit many organizations particularly hard. This is partly due to the hardy nature of the virus: It can survive for months outside the body. It’s also due to the ubiquitous nature of the virus: It’s pretty much everywhere! Texas also suffered a long drought in 2011. With no rains to dilute the virus, concentrated pockets remained in the environment.

Any dog or puppy with a weakened immune system is going to be in danger of contracting it. Shed through feces, the virus incubates in the body of a Canidae for a period of three to ten days. The virus enters any member of the Canidae family (this includes coyote, wolf, dogs, foxes) orally. Symptoms show up as lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and severe (often bloody) diarrhea. The survival rate of an infected puppy is very low.

Fischer -- held by Megan -- at Canyon City Animal Hospital

Fischer held by Megan, Canyon City Animal Hospital

In the case of our new arrivals, they were naturally stressed. So it’s not surprising that their immune systems were weak. Initially, two puppies displayed symptoms. These were rushed to our veterinarians at Canyon City Animal Hospital. They were immediately admitted. (A third puppy did not make it to our veterinarian in time. Sadly, she died on March 25.) The virus does not succumb to antibiotics. No amount of treatment will eradicate it from the body. The only hope is to support the organs with fluids, anti-nausea medications, and antibiotics to protect against secondary infections. All we could do was hope and wait.

In the meantime, we worried about the rest of the puppies. There were a total of seven puppies (of various ages) with our group. Although they were pulled at different times, they were all removed from the same shelter. Each group of pups was kept isolated from the rest but still; there was a high probability that they had all been exposed to the virus.

It’s plain to see that Missy wasn’t feeling well.

Thankfully, the two hospitalized pups were responding well to their treatment. After four days they were released into our care. We named them Indigo and Missy. They were still very ill. Indigo ended up with secondary infections: puppy strangles and demodectic mange. Both pups, particularly Missy, continued having intestinal problems.

Shortly after their release, another group of three puppies came down with Parvo symptoms. As before, two showed symptoms while the third lagged one day behind. So, two more pups were hospitalized, the third (who was not as sick as the other two) was treated at home by the foster mother. This time, the symptoms of the two hospitalized pups worsened. At this point, our hope was waning. The pups’ fate hung in the balance as we waited for them to turn the corner towards recovery. With daily visits we checked on them, monitoring their progress with anxiety.

As the days ticked by the pups remained in a state of limbo. Finally the veterinarian, Dr. Keith Leakey, allowed us to bring them home. The third puppy was responding well to her foster mother’s care. But according to Dr. Leakey, the two placed in his care were hit with a particularly strong strain of the virus.

While Missy and Indigo were moving along with their recovery, the two ill pups had only just begun their journey. They were kept in strict isolation. At this point we still did not name them, fearing the worse. There were many setbacks, numerous visits to the vet’s office, and long nights nursing them. Eventually, we were seeing two puppies recovering their puppy hood! At last we could name them: Fischer and Cierra.

As an organization, this incident cost us, not only monetarily but also emotionally. We were literally drained. It was as if this insidious virus had infected the organization, causing the demise of everything we worked so hard to build. But the real trauma wasn’t the organizational cost; it was the damage to innocent puppies. Naturally, we were grateful that the outcome was good. We might have lost all the puppies! Instead, only one lost her life but that was far too many in our opinion.

We weren’t certain Cierra would recover.

The difficult decision was made to halt pulling any new puppies. According to our vet’s recommendation we would need to wait a minimum of 9 months. The Parvovirus affected our group in another way. It was evident that we were not equipped to handle such large numbers of animals. As much as we wanted to, it was simply too risky to shelter so many dogs together at one time. This could be considered a wake up call. We now needed to concentrate our efforts on securing these little ones great homes.

Thankfully that was the easiest part of this whole ordeal! Something short of miraculous happened. Fantastic families stepped forward almost immediately and scooped the pups up. You would have thought they were waiting in the wings for this exact moment to adopt a new puppy. A negative turned into a positive, at least for these little guys. We could only be grateful that they had survived the worst ordeal a pup could ever go through. Now they are living wonderful lives with people who love them.

Many of the animals received into our adoption program need expensive medical care. Your tax deductible contribution helps pay for this. Won’t you please consider a small donation to help needy animals get well? This gives them a chance at adoption and a new life. Thank you in advance!

Texas Animal Guardians has moved to Fischer, Texas!

Texas Animal Guardians has moved to Fischer, Texas!

For Immediate Release

June 7, 2013

Texas Animal Guardians has relocated from Blanco, Texas to Fischer, Texas. The decision was made for several reasons, principally the fact that Fischer is in Comal County and TAG has been active in this county since its inception. The other reason is that Comal County is one of several counties in Texas that are under served by animal welfare organizations.

The change made sense on many levels: Our veterinarians are in Comal County as is the Petsmart store where we hold adoption events. All in all, it just made sense to have the small town of Fischer become our official location.

Fischer is a lovely little town midway between Blanco and New Braunfels. This little town is known for its Fischer Hall, Fischer Store and Fischer Bowling area. Popular annual events are held at the Fischer Hall and it is hoped that future event planning will include this lovely old structure.

Our official new address is:

Texas Animal Guardians

P.O. Box 106

Fischer, Texas 78623-106


Additionally, TAG has revised its mission statement.  Initially TAG wanted to provide aid for pet owners experiencing difficult life transitions. That original vision has proven to be difficult to execute, not only because of funding but because many well-meaning folks were not able to reclaim their pets after the initial three months of boarding. This placed a financial burden on our volunteer boarding facilities and also tied up available foster homes.

The Kibble Kare program is still available whenever funds allow. This program gives temporary help to pet owners by providing pet food for both dogs and cats.

TAG’s primary focus is getting as many cats and dogs as we can out of the shelter system and into loving homes. Last year TAG placed over 85 cats and dogs into homes. This year TAG is well on the way to exceed that number. To help with this effort, TAG has partnered with PALS (in San Marcos) to foster kittens and place them into homes. Our director, Penny Solis, supplies the love, care and shelter for these little “babies.” Naturally TAG will continue to pull from “high” kill shelters. Each dog that is placed into a home opens up space for another dog.

We couldn’t do it without all the support we receive from our second “family” at the New Braunfels Petsmart store, our wonderful veterinarians at Canyon City Animal Hospital, and the fantastic community of adopters, supporters and volunteers.

Thank you to all!