Edwin behind a kennel door

For many dogs that end up in rural shelters, rescue is their last hope.

By Sam Sommers

Edwin is a senior Boxer mix who was surrendered by his original owner in January 2021 to a shelter in Laredo, TX, with a note that simply read: “owner could no longer care for.” Right away, the employees at the shelter noticed that Edwin had trouble using his back legs and suspected hip dysplasia. Edwin also tested positive for heartworm, but the staff said that he was a sweet and spunky boy with plenty of life left in him. Unfortunately, many animal shelters do not have funds available to provide adequate care for animals with special health needs, so some of the dogs are placed on a “code red” list, which means that the animal has a date set to be euthanized. Edwin had only hours left before Ruff Start Rescue answered the call for help.

One of our Volunteer Intake Managers, Kelly, took a special interest in Edwin’s case. Kelly found him on the code red list and made it her personal mission to save Edwin– she threw the Hail Mary pass to see if the Ruff Start Vetting team could help with his medical needs and if a foster could offer him a temporary home. Thankfully, no one hesitated to say yes to helping this deserving boy. 

With a foster commitment in Minnesota, Edwin secured a spot on the Ruff Start Rescue transport van. He had a soft and squishy bed waiting for him at the Ruff Start office in Princeton when he arrived. Kelly, the Intake Manager who handled Edwin’s rescue, met him upon arrival and spoke to Edwin to let him know he was safe and that we would take the best care of him. Kelly said, “his eyes told me that he definitely understood.” 

After the Ruff Start Rescue vetting team took a closer look at Edwin, it was noted that Edwin has an old cruciate ligament tear (like an ACL tear in humans) and major muscle atrophy in his rear legs–his knuckles move too quickly for his back legs to follow. Edwin was also recently neutered, and the dragging of his back legs was irritating the incision area. Edwin was fitted with a front/rear harness with handles for people to hang onto to help him get around. He was started on medications for pain, anti-inflammatory, antibiotics, and joint supplements. Edwin was also lucky enough to receive a donated wheelchair from a partner rescue–he is still learning to use it, but he enjoys the newfound freedom of mobility!  

Edwin will need ongoing medical care, so it takes a special type of foster to provide the right kind of home for him. His foster mom has nothing but wonderful things to say about him:

“Edwin has settled in beautifully at my house with my pack of pups. He absolutely loves my son! Edwin sleeps in bed every night with my son and his two big pups, Harley and Murph. He is a super special boy that deserves the world! He loves to snuggle and likes it when you’re right with him.

I’m super thankful that Ruff Start Rescue took a chance on this boy and honored that we are able to give him a chance at a loving home until he finds his forever! He deserves a home with a family that will see him for who he is and not what his limitations are.”

Ruff Start Rescue was able to say yes to Edwin–along with thousands of others like him–because of the wonderful work that our volunteers, fosters, adopters and supporters are doing to rescue these animals. You can be a part of this life-saving effort by donating today! Even if you only have $5 to spare, every little bit counts. 

Edwin enjoying a car ride

Edwin enjoying a car ride.

Edwin resting on blankets

Edwin relaxing in his foster home.