When a tiny, half-pound puppy was brought to the San Jose Animal Shelter, the veterinary team was not certain that she would make it. The puppy had been found in a park by a good Samaritan who had tried to nurse the puppy back to health on their own, but without the guidance of a team of professionals, the sick puppy’s health quickly deteriorated. Realizing that helping the puppy survive was out of their hands, the rescuer turned her in to the shelter in hope that they would be able to help her. Although the veterinary team was not properly equipped to handle an emergency situation, they did everything in their power to help Lily, the puppy, recover.

When Lily arrived at the shelter, she was cold to the touch. Her gums were grey and she barely responded to touch. Without the care of her mother or a professional, young Lily suffered from hypothermia, hypoglycemia, and dehydration.

The veterinary team at the San Jose Animal Shelter had little hope that she would survive even 30 minutes. In spite of not having the necessary medical equipment to help her, they quickly got to work by using a spinal needle as a makeshift catheter. 


 The catheter helped Lily maintain her blood sugar, but she still needed to eat. The veterinary staff made sure that Lily got all the food she needed through syringe-feedings. After feeding, the young puppy would immediately fall back asleep. 

After spending some time in intensive care, she started to swallow food on her own. She also became more responsive to veterinary staff. 

…Of course, her feedings were still followed by naptime. 

Lily was soon picked up by a veterinary nurse who is now fostering her through Fred’s Friends




Lily is still a young puppy, so even though she’s out of the woods in terms of her medical emergency, she still needs careful attention from an experienced caregiver. If you ever find a baby animal, it’s easy to let your parental instincts take over and try to care for them, but the right thing to do is to turn them over to trained professionals. Contact your local vet or these animal rescue hotlines to find out what you can do to help an animal in need.

All image source: Tails of a Shelter Vet