The story of Miss Rosa is one of perseverance, community, and love. Rosa has overcome abandonment, heart surgery, and recovery, as well as moves from Louisiana to Texas to Ontario. A community of amazing dog lovers and rescue supporters covered Rosa’s $5,000 vet bills within 5 days and surpassed her required goal on Christmas Day 2018.
On December 20, 2018, a civilian in Lafayette, Louisiana discovered Rosa in a dumpster at an approximate age of 4 months. When Rosa was examined, it was revealed she was born with a left-to-right shunting patent ductus (PDA) - the most common congenital heart disease in dogs. There is failure of a blood vessel (ductus arteriosus) to close normally after birth; it remains open. The presence of a PDA causes more blood than usual to circulate through the lungs and left heart chambers, causing heart enlargement. Untreated, most dogs with a PDA go into congestive heart failure (CHF) and succumb to this complication by one year of age. Rosa was seen by a cardiologist at the Louisiana State University Veterinary Teaching School. The recommended surgery would cost up to $4,800 CAD.
At this same time, an avid rescue intake coordinator - Debby, quickly enlisted a foster home in Lafayette, LA with Stacy and arranged Rosa’s fundraiser launch. In less than 5 days, over 100 generous strangers stepped up and donated over $5,000. Rosa received her final donation to surpass the $5,000 goal on the evening of Christmas Day.
5-month-old Rosa’s surgery was scheduled a month later. Due to location and timing, Rosa’s foster mom needed assistance. An amazing volunteer, Susan stepped up to drive Rosa to a temporary foster home of another wonderful volunteer, Mary – closer to the Vet School, in Baton Rouge, LA. Rosa made it through surgery with flying colours. Her loving volunteers took care of all of Rosa’s follow-ups and after a month, Rosa went back to Lafayette to her original foster home. Rosa had another volunteer, Bob, who took care of booking her appointments, collecting her donations and paying her bills.
Rosa had gained quite a following and had supporters in U.S., Canada, and even U.K. via social media. Everyone was rooting for her and anticipating her arrival in Ontario. At this time, it was difficult to arrange transport and her amazing foster mom was 9 months pregnant. Through the generosity of dog lover & owner, Rachel of Texas Tails Pet Resort and Academy, Rosa was given another temporary home until a transportation journey was available for her. The original plan was to have her spayed in the meantime, however due to her situation, Rosa needed a special type of anesthetic, only in available in Canada.
Having fallen in love with Rosa through being the key fundraiser and closely following this girl’s journey, I decided to foster Rosa once she came to Canada, and ultimately hoped to give her a forever home. Unfortunately, the timing of the transportation was going to arrive at the busiest time of year for me. A fourth amazing foster and friend, Wendy stepped up and welcomed Rosa into her home in Wallaceburg, Ontario. As the strong warrior she is, Rosa made the three-day journey seamlessly and was welcomed into Canada with love and open arms. At the beginning of May, 3 months after her heart surgery, Rosa was spayed. 10 days after her surgery and 5 months since I virtually met her, (which fittingly happened to be on Canadian Mother’s Day), my Dad and I drove 3 hours to pick up Miss Rosa – together at last!
She has now been adopted by me and Billy, my 5-year-old JRT, who had been suffering from separation anxiety for over 2 years (after splitting with his best friend, Bella). With Rosa settling into her life in midtown Toronto, Billy has shown remarkable progress in overcoming his separation anxiety, and we know we have Rosa to thank! Rosa and her new brother have started going on lots of adventures: long walks on the Beltline Trail, subway rides, and shopping trips. Billy no longer goes to daycare; and Rosa has truly changed our lives and is a dream come true. Not to mention, she is cute as a button, funny, exciting, brave, and a real-life warrior. She reminds me to be strong every day and I already cannot imagine my life without her.
- Rosa's Mom