The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Meredith, the Parvo Puppy~Adopted

Meredith, the Parvo Puppy~Adopted
Matt of Newman DeLand with the Parvo Pup
Matt of Newman DeLand with the Parvo Pup

06/01/13:  I was shopping in DeLand with Sarah, it was “grown-up girl bonding day” (that’s what she calls it), when I noticed a missed call around 12:30 PM from Newman Veterinary Centers in DeLand.  Yes, I have every Vet programmed into my phone.  Sarah was trying on a pair of shoes when I told her, “stop, I have a call, and it’s DeLand Newman.”  They never call me!  At first I thought maybe one of my former adopters was in trouble, or they needed some paperwork, so I called, and it was Matt.  Matt works at the Deltona office often, and he has been my Vet tech many times.

“I have a Parvo puppy here, and she’s a Border Collie, can you take her?”  I thought it to be odd so I asked him a few questions, and I asked him to send me a photo, not really believing that it was a Border Collie.  “The dog’s owners surrendered her to us (the Vet) because they couldn’t afford the treatment.”

I paid for Sarah’s things, left the store and waited in the van, and there it was.  A text message from Matt and a gorgeous Border Collie looking like… well… Parvo!

We drove though McDonalds to grab a bite, and I headed over to Newman’s.  As I was driving, I explained to Sarah we would have to make chicken stew.  We would have to setup a crate in my bedroom, and set it all up Bart-style.  Sarah was quick to interrupt me (that’s her job, she’s a kid) and she named the pup.  I’d rather not share her name at this point, since her fate is still in God’s hands.

She's TDL now!
She’s TDL now!

When I arrived, I saw a lifeless body, a dog that was emaciated, a dog that wouldn’t lift her head, a dog that had evidence of Parvo.  “She hasn’t vomited in two days,”  Matt explained.  He went into detail about the dog’s history, but as he was, I realized that I could not bring this dog home with me.  If she’s not eating or drinking, she needs ISO, and she needs to be hospitalized.  “Oh, you must have misunderstood me,”  Matt explained.  I meant will you take ownership of her, and transport her to Deltona and watch over her care!”

You know what my answer was!

He gave me her IV fluids, some medicine, I signed paperwork to take ownership of the pup, and took copies of her lab results.  I just so happened to have a crate in my van, and he loaded her up.  Deltona was contacted and were aware that the pup was on her way.

hearing my voice she lifted her head briefly
hearing my voice she lifted her head briefly

Apparently, this pup was suffering for several days, not eating and vomiting.  The owners took her to DeLand on Tuesday.  She was given fluids and was treated for Parvo.  DeLand strongly urged that the owners take her to Deltona, where they can provide long-term treatment.  They promised they would, and Deltona was on standby waiting for a Parvo pup to arrive, but they never showed up.  Instead, they went back to DeLand on Thursday.  By that time, the pup was in really bad shape.  They had two options.  Euthanize or surrender the dog to Newman.

Why?  The dog was suffering without the treatment.  The cost to treat would be high, and the owners said they could not afford to treat.  For two days the folks at Newman Deland watched over the pup until she was stable…. hence the phone call to me!

On the way to Deltona, the unthinkable happened.  My van, the van that lost third gear last week, started to squeal, and smoke.  “Pull over Mommy!”  Sarah shouted.  I kept driving!  The mechanic warned me that I’d lose 2nd gear soon, and I guess that time has come.

I made crazy noises for her to face me, looks like she's asking "Is this van going to make it?"
I made crazy noises for her to face me, looks like she’s asking “Is this van going to make it?”

I arrived at Newman Deltona, (van still smoking) where George was waiting.  I was greeted by Dr. Pinzon and he reviewed the pups paperwork.  Her white bloodcell count is dangerously low.  The fact that she hasn’t vomited in two days is meaningless considering we don’t know when’s the last time she ate anything.

George carried the pup into the ISO room, laid the pup down in the same metal crate that Bart stayed in, and that’s when the flashbacks of Bart really started to him me.

I shared with Dr. Pinzon our success with Bart, the combination of glucose, anti-nausea shots, and a vitamin B shot.  I was hopeful.  Clearly, we’ve done this before, surely we can do it again.  Dr. Pinzon explained what I know to be true at this point; it’s a hit or miss.  There are no guarantees.  There is little hope, yet we won’t deny optimism.  It’s a 50/50.

George to the Rescue
George to the Rescue

So where does this pup come from?  If she’s 16 weeks old, she should’ve already been given her three sets of shots, and she should be clear of the threat of Parvo.  She couldn’t have come from a shelter or pound, she would have had all of her shots, and been spayed.  Could she come from a rescue that doesn’t quarantine and vet?  Did she come from a pet store or was she a flea market puppy?  We don’t know…. but maybe you know!  Maybe you’ve seen her face before on Facebook.  Maybe she looks familiar?

Bart's ISO Crate
Bart’s ISO Crate

Regardless, the folks at Newman are going to treat her with aggressive treatments, including a transfusion.  I’m not a vet, and I don’t understand everything that they are doing to her right now, but I know they are doing everything!  Her treatment will cost a minimum of $400 per day, including a vet tech to stay with her overnight.  I’m not really concerned about that at this point, because I know that the next 24 hours are critical.  I’m either going to get a call that she didn’t make it tomorrow, or I’m going to get a call that she’s eating.  It can go either way at this point, and we all know that.

I really want to be stocking up and arranging the private bathroom into an ISO room for her. I want to be shopping and get ready to make chicken stew. But I don’t think it’s wise right now to do all of those things. I need to force myself to wait, wait at least 24 hours. Wait to see what God has in store for this little girl.

Some people don’t believe in treating for Parvo, and sometimes I think it’s crazy.  I think Parvo is a God thing.  They either make it or they don’t.  Sometimes I feel that you’ve got to at least try.  She’s made it this far.  I don’t think it’s really up to us, you know?  I can tell by the look in her eyes that her will to live is very tiny at this point.  She probably feels like she’s been run over by a bus, and she’s probably sick and tired of feeling sick.  I can’t blame her.

For a moment, after really looking over this pups condition, knowing how many days she has suffered, I wanted to say that most people in general, suck! But people don’t suck! Look at the folks at Newman DeLand, how they called us, they called us to save this girl. Look at how Newman Deltona folks were chomping at the bit to help her. Everyone wants her to make it. People don’t suck!!!!  If she was a he I’d name her George, or Matt… or even Newman, but that’s not going to happen this time!

I have a lot of confidence that TDL supporters will help this pup, they always have… or I should say, YOU always have. I know you are going to pray for her, cheer her on, and help her in anyway you can, because that’s what you do.  I know that times are tough, but I still have a lot of confidence that if this little girl pulls through, you will help, and we watch her get stronger, we will watch her take her first bite of food, we’ll see her first wag, see her give her first kiss, and scream with pride when she starts running and playing. Because that’s what we do!

On the way home, I drove in the rain, again, just like I drove home in the rain when I left Bart there last year.  But when I drove home after leaving Bart in that same metal kennel, if you recall, I saw a rainbow.  This time, I looked all around me, waiting and hoping.  I turned left, I turned right, and looked over my shoulder, and I couldn’t find Goldie’s Rainbow.  I pulled into the driveway and shut the van off.  I disposed of the blanket that was in the crate, and stored the crate on the side of my house.  I looked around my neighborhood… still no rainbow.

Evening Update:  She is having her first transfusion.  She is standing up in her crate (great sign).  Nicole, a Vet Tech will be staying with her tonight so she will not be alone.  She will be closely monitored.  I’ll be happy when she starts to eat.  Until then, we watch, wait and pray!  Thank you for your outpouring support and prayers.  You can see more photos of the pup on Facebook and take a moment to read all of the supportive comments!

06/02/13 Morning Update:  I spoke with Ray at 7:30 am, and he said that the pup’s white cell count is within range, all of her blood work is within range, so the transfusion was a success.  I called at 10:30 am and spoke with George.  He believes she is much better today, she is lifting her head, and walking around in her crate a bit!  I suppose they are going to try to feed her soon, and she if she cares to take a bite.  If she does, we’ll have to see if she can hold it down.  If she does, she’s coming home with me.  No Woo Hoo yet, until I can see that she is eating.  My crock pot is ready to make gallons of chicken stew, but for now it’s sitting on the counter top, unplugged.

Wishful Stew!
Wishful Stew!

11:46 Update:  I am the most impatient person I know!  I can’t just sit here all day worrying and wondering.  One whole chicken, two sliced turkey legs, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, rosemary and garlic.  After it’s cooked, and I de-bone the chicken and turkey, I’ll add beef liver and a few noodles.  When it’s cool, before I serve, I’ll add more water, crushed vitamin C, and yogurt on the top!  This is Bart’s recipe, thanks to Andi Brown!





06/04/13 Update:  I brought Meredith home yesterday.  After taking a close look at her features, I wonder if she’s an Old English Sheepdog or Great Pyrenees mix!  She settled in quickly into her crate, and much to my surprise, not a peep.  She is not eating, and I’m very concerned.  Here’s what she has to say today.

Good morning Peeps. I’m still not eating. I threw up a little bit this morning. I slept all night, didn’t make a sound, boy I needed that. Gisele is really worried, I can see it in her face. She comes into my new room, and listens to me breathing. She is afraid, afraid of the potential that I will get upper respiratory. Seriously, that is the next phase if I don’t start eating. 

I know it’s not good to be a pessimist, and you guys are all cheering me on, but it’s Gisele’s job to be prepared, know her enemy and prepare for war. Parvo is an ugly thing, but Parvo and Pneumonia is… well, unspeakable.

I have a name now, thank you for that. Gisele is keeping her heart at a distance, giving me a chance, and trying to be hopeful, but knowing that my fate could turn on a dime.

She wants to start me on new meds today, but is reluctant because I’m not eating. One thing is for sure, I’m much happier here than at the Vet’s ISO room, no offense. More updates coming soon. ~Meredith

4:00 PM Update: Two syringes full of purified stew, and she’s eating on her own.


I had two bowls of stew this morning... I'm a moose!
I had two bowls of stew this morning… I’m a moose!

06/06/13 Update:  Meredith’s people have contacted TDL confirming what had happened to her.  She was very much loved by her owners, who could not possibly afford the treatment for Parvo, not many people can.  This is mainly because you never know what the pup will need.  Will it be two days in ISO or a week?  Will the pup need multiple transfusions or just one?

I’m very impressed with Meredith, she has not coughed, and her progress is incredible.  She had a beautiful poop yesterday, yes poop is important, and I had it tested.  Meredith is Parvo Negative!  She is still very emaciated, but her immune system  is fighting to stray strong!

We are actively looking for the right foster home, or adopter for  Meredith.  The Dog Liberator is now in the red.  When we are finished with Meredith’s care, including a third round of boosters, rabies, de-worming, spay and chip, Meredith will be at least a $1,200 dog.  While we received donations for her Veterinary care, I believe the donations totaled less than $200.  While we appreciate every dime, the money we spent on Meredith could have saved so many dogs, but that’s what we’re here for!  Meredith was worth it.  She will have a wonderful life, and she will be someone’s heart dog that is for sure!  Could it be you?

Meredith and her boy
Meredith and her boy

We always try to share as much as we know about all of our dogs.  What we don’t know, we guess.  We were contacted by Meredith’s original family.  A friend of the family saw her photo on our Facebook page.  Since they surrendered Meredith, they have been heartbroken.  I’m sure we’ve all been in their shoes, not knowing if our dog is going to make it or not.  I know when my Reckless had pyometra, I was devastated.  The cost for the surgery was over $1,000 and I didn’t have that kind of money, luckily, a friend helped me pay for her medical bills.  But what if I didn’t?

What happened with Meredith’s owners was knowing the cost of treating her, and the 50/50 chance of her surviving.  Many dogs who have parvo could cost up to $1,000 a day in ISO.  In Meredith’s case, she received a blood transfusion, and without knowing how many it would take before her labs were safe, the vet estimated that it could cost anywhere between $5,000 – $7,000.  This ballpark verbal quote was truly accurate.  However, Meredith surprised us all.  After one blood transfusion, her labs were perfect!  I took her home earlier than expected, mainly because she was going berzerk at the vet!  I kept her on medication to increase her appetite and medication for nausea.  That, combined with Andi Brown’s chicken stew, and Anita’s idea to use a syringe to force her to eat… worked!

In short, Meredith got lucky.  She had dozens of people praying for her, a great vet and veterinary staff, a medical treatment plan that worked… Meredith had all of us working together to save her life.  The folks at Newman’s Veterinary Centers were amazing.

After interviewing her previous owners, and discussing Meredith’s condition, they agreed to reimburse The Dog Liberator for Meredith’s care.  Meredith went back home tonight.  She was more than excited to see her old family, and it was obvious that they love her so very much.  Meredith will have her third booster shot in two weeks, and she will be spayed two weeks later.  She will be fostered by Linda and Leon of DeLand and after her spay, she will be their dog, once again.

I’ve talked about how quick we are to judge people while in rescue, probably because we see so many wrongs.  Dogs that are emaciated, beaten, tied to a tree all of their life, we’ve seen it all.  But sometimes, bad things happen to good people.  In Meredith’s case, she was suffering, and there were no guarantees that she would survive.

Wanna Go Home now?
Wanna Go Home now?

If you told me that my dog had cancer, might not survive, and it could cost $5,000 to try to save her, I personally would have to stop and think about it.  I’d have to weigh it all out.  I’d be scared as hell.

I know that at one time, you have all had to watch your dog suffer, not knowing if medicine can save him or her.  If you’re living pay day to pay day like I do, it’s a hard pill to swallow.  I have no doubt that regardless of the decision they made that day, it was hard on them.  Euthanize, treat or surrender is a decision many dog owners have been faced with.  If you’re wealthy, or are financially secure, your decision would be a no-brainer.  Not everyone is that fortunate.

I am convinced that when a dog owner finds out that their dog has heartworm, and they are given a quote to treat, many owners surrender that dog to the pound.  It’s so sad because there are other options to treat heartworm, but many times those options are offered to the owner.

What we have here in Dog Liberator is a community of caring people who help each other.  That’s something that Linda and Leon didn’t have.  They didn’t have a support system like we do.

After they left, I wondered if puppy insurance would’ve covered Parvo treatment?  I don’t know the answer to that question.  I suppose the Pet insurance company could consider Parvo a pre-existing condition, and it would not be covered.  I did find one company that does cover Parvo.  Should all new puppy owners buy pet insurance?  Maybe!  You can always drop it after your pup is 12 months old, and has all of its shots!  But check the policy and ask if Parvo is covered.  Read the fine print and check if Parvo is considered a pre-existing condition.

Meredith will receive excellent care, she will put on the weight that she lost due to this nasty virus, and she will be right as rain within no time.

I want to thank everyone with Newman Veterinary Centers, they were amazing (as always).  They really cared about Meredith the Moose!  They really wanted Meredith to make it, and she did because of them.

For those of you who donated toward Meredith’s care, THANK YOU!  If you’d like TDL to reimburse you for your donation, please drop me a line at If I don’t hear from you, rest assured, your donations go directly into our Veterinary Care Fund waiting for the next Meredith that we rescue…. together!

As a side note, I just want everyone to be aware of the numerous grants out there, that are available for dogs in need.  Some are designed for the dog owner, some are designed for the Veterinary Center that offers to discount their service.  Never give up!  Use the internet and find help!

06/08/13 Update:  After sorting through all of the facts and the emotions regarding Meredith, I realized that all of us have had a moment where we wish we could turn back the hands of time and have a do-over.  I guess that’s what Meredith’s family had a chance to do, do-over and get their dog back.

This comment was left on Facebook this morning.  I really appreciated reading it!

Kelle Taylor Brooks wrote:  That story touched me so much because I have been in that families shoes..a few years ago after depleting all savings and running up credit cards while going through breast cancer treatment a worker left my gate open and heart sheltie was hit by a car..It was after hours so my vet was closed and the emergency vet kept making me come up with hundreds of dollars for each procedure one at a time before they would treat..I was calling family members begging them for money or their credit cards. I had never been in a position where I had no credit to rely on. After $2000.00 and a horrible night my dog was euthanized at my vets in the morning. It is a helpless feeling when you have no additional funds to keep going on. That is so awesome that you were their saving angel who gave that boy his best friend back.

Sarah Buxbaum wrote:  I liked what you said about how we are sometimes quick to judge when we hear about surrenders. Sometimes it is their only chance, ya know? I am so Happy for Meredith that she not only survived this huge trial, but will get to keep her family. In her adoption pictures you can see the joy on her face to be with her people again.  Congratulations baby girl!

Meredith’s family wrote:  I have my baby girl home and thanks to Newman Deltona,  Gisele, Matt at Newman DeLand, and all staff  at Newman Veterinary Centers-SO SO GRATEFUL for all of your help to save her.  She was a gift to my husband who loves animals and he was recently claimed totally disabled, was forced into retirement and this pup was being given away at my place of work.  I thought she would  be  like a service dog which we could train her to be his right hand girl or at least give him a reason to live.

Thank you for all you did for our Camay.  We’ve been married for 26 years and have had pets for our kids.  We have had our first, who was a 10 year old rescue golden retriever Ajax, then came another GR  Comet, and then Ivory, which all have been lost to old age.  Then our sweet boy Kaboom is 3 years old this month.  

I haven’t seen Leon, my husband, this happy in a while.  We were so sad last week when we surrendered her but we  were so happy today when we picked her up and she was a pretty happy girl too!  Tomorrow we will go crate shopping, much to Leon’s dismay!  We will do what we are told to keep her happy and safe and healthy!  ~Linda

7 thoughts on “Meredith, the Parvo Puppy~Adopted

  1. That’s great news to hear, first thing in the morning! 🙂 I know she has a long way to go, but wonderful news none the less. If she’s anything like my Thunder, she will be eating that stew, and wanting “more, more” 😉
    This keeps up, she’ll be running around next to Bart very shortly 🙂

  2. Gisele,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Parvo Girl. Whatever her fate, I want to thank you for trying to save her. If it wasn’t for you and your supporters Pete and I would not have Bart, who we treasure more and more each day. He was definitely worth saving.

  3. Hey…I found this website through a friend and came upon this page and have to say that I have a feeling I’ll be here a lot to check on this little one. I used to work for a vet and I know parvo is such a hard thing for a puppy. Really really hoping she makes it. She’s absolutely beautiful too. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help at all. Exactly where are you located?

  4. I have my baby girl home and thanks to Val uVetNelson Deltona Giselle and yes Matt and all staff at ValUVET in deland SO SO GRATEFUL for all your help to save her she was a gift to my husband he loves animals and he was recently claimed totally disabled was forced into retirement and this pup was being given away at my place of work and I thought she would be like a service dog which we could train her to be his right hand gir or at least give him a reason to live Thank you for all you did for our Camay.we’ve been married for 26 years and have had pets for our kids we have had our first who was a 10 year old rescue golden retriever Ajax, then came another GR Comet, and then Ivory, which all have been lost to old age then our sweet boy Kaboom was akc and bought and and he’s 3 years old this month then we saw our sweet Camay we’ve kept them all in the cleaning supply names lol she wasn’t a Goldie but just as sweet as them. I haven’t seen Leon this happy in a while we were so sad last week when we surrendered her but we were 100000xxxx happy today when we picked her up and she was a pretty happy girl too ..tomorrow crate shopping much to leon’s dismay oh so sorry we will do what we are told to keep her happy and safe and healthy if anyone has one the want to get rid of ….I’m looking

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