“Just because a dog has a disability does not mean it deserves to go without adoption.”
Lee Desmarais said so about a lovable pit-bull named Gigi.
Originally a starvation case, Gigi arrived at the Taunton Animal Care Facility in March 2016 where Lee volunteered at the time. After a spay that July, Gigi could not walk without assistance. Lee, unsatisfied with the diagnosis of a degenerative spine disease, pushed for further evaluations that ultimately led to the truth: she’d suffered a stroke. It left her right side paralyzed, and they’d discovered that she lacked the reflexes to blink one of her ey
Gigi has also had two tumors removed. One was benign, but the second, unfortunately, was a level 1 Mast Cell tumor.
With her maladies, caring for Gigi requires a fair amount of financial commitment. Her paralysis in her hind legs will likely worsen until she needs wheels to get around. There are therapies to afford, therapies that have so far have really helped improve her quality of life, like acupuncture and hydrotherapy. And then there’s always the reality that her cancer, which suspended those therapies for a time, might return.
But thanks to the patrons from a recent Sip & Sign fundraiser, to the Friends of the Taunton Animal Care Facility
who have set up an account for Gigi’s benefit, and to a philanthropist who Lee calls Gigi’s “Fairy God Mother,” Gigi has already received enough money to begin six sessions of acupuncture therapy.
There’s more good news. After more than a year of caring for Gigi, Lee is no longer
her foster mom: she’s officially adopted her.
“She’s a happy, friendly, cheerful dog,” Lee reports.
es as well as a herniated disk.
There was once worry over Gigi’s integration into a home with both dogs and cats. Through counter conditioning, however, Gigi has befriended her three kitty housemates and two out of three of her fellow dogs. It’s a huge and happy step because Gigi did tend to be dog reactive (a fear of other dogs) when she arrived.
She has a family now, and she’s very much home.