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Helping Paws - It Takes a Village: The Story of the Anatolian Shepherd Family

Updated: May 2

In July of 2023 a client of ours walked into Pennsauken Animal Hospital with a gorgeous female Anatolian Shepherd. Right away our receptionist recognized this beautiful rare breed dog, wasn't feeling too great. 🐶🤒 

Her owner said she had a litter of 13 puppies just a few days prior and now isn't acting normal. Our team immediately got started evaluating mom. We learned she had given birth to her pups outside of an auto shop and was refusing to come inside. The soaring heat combined with tirelessly working to nurse her babies while recovering postpartum, all had quickly took a toll on her body. 🩺

After speaking more with the owner, it was clear although with the best intentions for mom and puppies, their circumstances were not ideal. Their owner needed some guidance and assistance to allow them to grow into the big, happy healthy dogs they could be! 🐕

Our staff was touched by their situation and wanted to help! With the aid of another local rescue, they brought many donated food and care items for mom and puppies to the auto shop to ensure they were well fed and comforted. But their story was just beginning.

Come September, the owner rushed into Pennsauken Animal Hospital with one of the puppies at 2 months of age, who all of the sudden had developed GDV, commonly known as "bloat", a life threatening condition. The owner could not afford care and wanted to surrender. Helping Paws could not see this baby suffer, so our doctors immediately performed the surgery needed, and found him a wonderful foster home to recover in. Lovingly named Erol, meaning "brave", he healed exceptionally and was later adopted by his foster family. 🏡❤️

As time went on, their owner stayed in contact with us, including bringing the pups to the local rabies clinic to get them up to date on rabies and DHPP vaccines, where our staff got to soak up all the snuggles from those adorable pups! 

By December, at 6 months of age, their owner was able to find homes for all of the puppies...except two. 😔 Thankfully, they knew who to call for help- our staff who jumped into action, fostering one pup and assisting with aid from another local rescue in finding a foster for the other. Ahsoka and Ranger were both eventually adopted by their fosters and are now living the good life! 🏡❤️

Unfortunately at the end of March, after living with her new family for several months, 9 month old Kitmir was returned to the auto shop due to no fault of her own. The new owner said they could not care for her. 😔 Once again, our client knew they could count on Helping Paws to find a good home for Kitmir. 

But even more surprising news, in addition to Kitmir, mom had yet another new litter of 7 puppies in January who all needed homes! 🥺

It’s no easy task to find homes for so many on short notice, but thankfully an angel of a foster stepped up and took Kitmir and 4 of the puppies- Simba, Kiara, Sarabi, and Sarafina. ❤️

After spending a week happily in their new foster home, the puppies were suddenly spooked by a loud sound and all went running, breaking the foster's porch fence. The fosters quickly captured 3 of the pups. However unfortunately the fourth, Sarafina, ran too fast into the woods and was lost for 24 hours. Our team posted about her everywhere on Facebook, hung flyers, and drove an hour away to search for her. Even Good Samaritans came out to search for her. The search was almost over for the second night, when a call came in from the local police. Sarafina was found 1 mile away, but had been hit by a car. 😢 

In stable condition yet critically injured, Sarafina’s fosters rushed her to our sister hospital Mount Laurel Animal Hospital where she received the treatment she needed including radiographs, surgery for wound repair, and orthopedic consultation. This was no small bill for our rescue, but no care would be spared. We wanted only the best for our little girl and so the fundraising began! We are so thankful for every one of our generous donations received! 🥰

Amidst all the chaos, our angel fosters fell in love with Simba and adopted him! Kiara also found the perfect family to adopt her! 🏡 ❤️ 🥹

Meanwhile our client understood, although these sweet pups are a blessing, it was time to get mom spayed to prevent future pregnancy. With the owner lacking the funds to provide for her surgery, Helping Paws and our doctors took care of the cost, including a gastropexy to prevent GDV from happening to mom as it had to her pup Erol.

As of April 25th 2024, 10 months and two litters later, some pups have found their happily ever after new beginning, but our client still needed help finding a home for the remaining 3 puppies who reside at the auto shop. 🙏

A local rescue has jumped in to take care of the 3 remaining at the auto shop. Thank you to Phoenix Animal Rescue for becoming part of this story and giving these pups a new chance at life.

May 1st 2024 Sarabi has found her forever home!! We are thrilled she found a loving home complete with a farm, horses, cats, and a veterinarian mom. From an auto yard to a barnyard! A perfect fit.

Kitmir (10 months) and Sarafina (4 months) continue to live at our angel foster’s home as they continue looking for their adoptive forever homes! 🏡

….And so the saying goes, it truly does take a village 💙 Helping Paws is calling on you and all our supporters to be our village. 🙏 

⭐️ Here’s how you can help ⭐️ 

➡️ Share their story with friends/family.

➡️Application to foster:

➡️Application to adopt:

(ALL food and supply expenses are covered by our rescue! 💙 )

➡️Donate towards their care:

VENMO: @helping_paws_pah

Helping Paws is covering Sarafina’s continued bandage changes, all puppies vaccinations, deworming, preventions, spay/neuter when they’re old enough, and comfort supplies. We appreciate donations of any amount. 🙏 


Written by Christina Kenney

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