Faces of No-Kill: Swift action saves puppy’s life

Whitney the puppy wearing a protective cone
Whitney needed help fast after swallowing a foxtail.
By Best Friends staff

The Faces of No-Kill series highlights stories about pets who have become a statistic in the best way. These are just a few of the many pets who once slipped into danger; they lost their homes, they had health or behavioral challenges, their families couldn’t care for them, or all the above. But each one of them got assistance, and today they are thriving thanks to an animal shelter program that helped them rather than killed them. Best Friends’ goal is for every animal shelter and every community to reach no-kill by 2025. The story below is just one example of why it’s so important.

When Whitney arrived at the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City, there was no mistaking that the puppy needed help. Her neck was swollen and looked as if she’d swallowed two grapefruits. She had a high fever, too.

The tiny, sick puppy could have become a statistic when she landed in a shelter, but luckily, the shelter is one that has partnerships with other organizations, including Best Friends. That’s one of the most important ways that shelters across the country have reached no-kill — by working together to save pets who need extra care or time.

Best Friends veterinarian Dr. Megan McCarthy performed emergency surgery on Whitney and discovered that she had swallowed a foxtail. Dr. Megan was able to successfully remove the foxtail. And after a few days of rest at the lifesaving center, Whitney was on the mend, ready to get back to the business of being a puppy.

[A foxtail seed in his paw caused this little dog pain, but that’s behind him now]

She didn’t waste any time. In a foster home, she romped around in the grass, played with the family’s dog, and took the big new world by storm and with tail wags.

It wasn’t long before she captured the attention of someone who had their sights set on adopting a puppy. When they met Whitney, they fell in love and adopted her. Today, she’s having the time of her life with her new family. Nothing, not even a foxtail, can slow Whitney down.

Let's make every shelter and every community no-kill by 2025

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill by 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. 

Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

You can help save homeless pets

You can help end the killing in shelters and save the lives of homeless pets when you foster, adopt, and advocate for the dogs and cats who need it most.

Saving lives around the country

Together, we're creating compassionate no-kill communities nationwide for pets and the people who care for them.

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