Porcupines are solitary creatures that like to keep to themselves. They never attack unless they’re feeling threatened, so they’re of very little threat to us humans. Dogs, on the other hand, are equal parts inquisitive and bold, and these two positive attributes can easily get a dog in a prickly situation.

Dennis Mazur, a youth worker from Saskatchewan, Canada, was out walking his three dogs Solijah, Mahalo, and Nestah when they came across a porcupine. When the dogs went up to the porcupine to investigate, they were met with a barrage of painful quills.


Solijah got the least amount of spines. As you can see he was feeling pretty good about his battle scars!

Nestah’s injuries were more severe. She has hundreds of quills embedded in her muzzle. If any of them snapped off or migrated deeper it could cause necrosis in her most sensitive tissues.

Mahalo’s injuries were by far the worst despite the fact that they’re nowhere near her face or eyes. The spines have punctured so deep that they’re prodding at her heart, lungs, and other vital organs.

Quills may not appear all that dangerous to the naked eye. But they’re actually covered in very small barbs that make them slide deeper. The veterinary procedure to remove them requires a delicate touch and a great deal of skill.

The medical bills for the procedure to remove the quills totaled over $8,000, but it couldn’t be postponed. That is a very large sum to pay out of nowhere, so Dennis and his friend Mike Gerrand made a crowdfunding campaign to help offset the cost.

But the campaign did way more than just “offset the cost.” Thanks to hundreds of anonymous donations they were able to raise over $12,000! This means that not only was the operation paid for, but any follow-up visits or medications were covered as well! Dennis was even able to stay home for a while with his dogs while they recuperated.

The operation to remove the quills was pretty serious. Dennis  said that “Mahalo had quills that migrated up into her lungs and into her heart, and the fact that she’s alive right now is a full miracle.”

Mahalo’s looking great now though. She pulled through like a champ!

We’re glad to see that these beautiful dogs are making a smooth recovery thanks to the kind donations of people from all over the world!

For any other dog parents who find themselves in a similar situation, here are a few tips on how to proceed:


  • Porcupines are nocturnal. If you live in an area that is known porcupine territory, be very wary after sundown.
  • If your dog is quilled, keep them still. Movement makes the quills bury deeper.
  • Don’t try to yank quills out, either. It’s painful for the dog and nearby quills may be pushed deeper.
  • Go to the vet IMMEDIATELY, even if it doesn’t look that bad. All it takes is one missed quill to burrow into the wrong organ to cause a whole host of issues.

All image source: Mike Gerrand/GoFundMe