When Spaying Saves Lives
by Lee Chambers
“You and Dakin may be our last hope, and Roxie's as well,” the email read. “I hope you can help.” When Dakin's Executive Director Carmine DiCenso read the message sent by Paul St. Pierre last month, he was moved by Paul's plight and sprang into action.
Paul's dog Roxie, a pit bull mix, was diagnosed with pyometra, which is a dangerous infection of the uterus. Pets who contract it (it's found mostly in dogs and cats) need to undergo surgery as soon as possible to prevent sepsis, which occurs when the infection enters the animal's bloodstream. The surgery itself is a delicate process and great care is needed to remove all of the infection.
“I emailed him over the weekend,” Paul recalls, “and he called me on Monday to say 'no problem, it's already set up.' All I had to do is bring Roxie in.”
Paul knew about pyometra, as his other beloved dog Cujo endured it last August. He contacted Dakin for help in treating Cujo, who had developed sepsis. “She was literally at death's door when we brought her to Dakin for her surgery,” Paul recalls, “and today she is a robust, loving member of our family.”
When Roxie became ill, “I thought, 'here we go again,'” says Paul. “But my first thought was that she's going to be taken care of...we'll find a way. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to her.”
For the second time in three months Paul was helped by Dakin's staff (who saw him and Judi through their dog's health crisis), and by affordable spay/neuter surgery fees. He now firmly believes in the importance of spay/neuter surgery for pets. “We came close to losing both of our girls. Spaying is very important not only to prevent unwanted pets, but to prevent pyometra as well as certain cancers. If Dakin didn’t have their spay/neuter service, I don’t know what we would have done.”
Saving pets in crisis is important to Paul and Judi. Earlier in the year they sent in a donation to Dakin’s Buddy Fund, which helps underwrite the expenses incurred by shelter pets with medical complications. “We gave a small amount,” Paul recalls, “all we could afford. I sent Carmine a note that said 'if everyone gave just a little, it would make a difference.’”
The couple is thrilled that both dogs are happy and, once again, healthy. Roxie and Cujo are part of a busy pet household that also includes 5 cats (Lucy, Philly and Dakin alums Trouble, Lucy and Mineau) as well as Harley the turtle. “The cats tend to groom Roxie, and she grooms them right back. Trouble thinks she's a dog and follows the dogs all around,” Paul reports.
What does he value most about his animal companions? “That's easy. They provide unconditional love,” Paul replies.