Marta, a gorgeous ten pound pug, was found at 2:30am in an Austin Texas Walmart parking lot by a Good Samaritan who rushed her straight to an after hour’s emergency veterinary hospital. It is unclear who or what attacked Marta so severely. Both her eyes were hanging from their sockets and she suffered blood loss from major bite wounds on her head, neck and throat. Mud had become impacted within her wounds and down her throat, suggesting she may have drug herself from the attack location to a parking lot. Blood work results showed she was anemic and her liver was producing elevated enzymes.

Marta was immediately treated with pain meds, antibiotics and intravenous fluid to help eliminate the extreme swelling from her bite wounds. Due to the severely of her wounds and swelling, feeding tubes were surgically inserted into her abdomen to get food directly into her stomach. Pug Rescue of Austin (PRA) has a relationship with the emergency clinic and was called to see if they could take Marta in. Not hesitating a moment, PRA assumed responsibility for Marta’s care and the costs of her treatment. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) provided PRA grant funding to help with the astronomical bill.

Marta had both eyes removed and her sockets sutured closed. Her left eye became infected after the operation, thus needed to be reopened and flushed out. On top of all her misfortune during this time, Marta developed pneumonia. Once PRA was able to clear Marta’s pneumonia, anemia, eye infection and elevated liver enzymes, she was placed in a loving foster home to continue her healing.

During this time, PRA wrote ISF, “Marta is a tiny 10-pound dog with a larger-than-life story of survival and resilience. From dragging herself in severe pain into a parking lot to withstanding two weeks of surgeries and post-care in the emergency clinic, she exemplifies survival. Now that she's in foster care, she demonstrates resilience by enthusiastically exploring her new environment as she learns to navigate the world without sight. Despite enduring a traumatic attack, she is trusting, loving and happy. Through social media, Marta has touched the hearts of many. She has been an inspiration to her vets, our rescue and those who’ve followed her story.”

Once all of her life-threatening medical needs were met and she was settled into her foster home, Marta had dental and palate surgery to further enhance and improve her breathing. Marta is now able to eat dry food and sleep through the night. Her fur has also begun to grow back in the spots were it had been ripped out of her body during the attack.

With the loss of her vision aside, Marta made a full recovery and does not show any lasting effects of her trauma. Her scars are gone, her esophagus and digestive system are healed and she navigates her environment with skill. Sweet and loving, Marta is the embodiment of what PRA and other rescues strive for.

Throughout the Austin area, Marta received quite a bit of attention from people who wanted to adopt her. During adoption events, however, it was noticed she would cling to her foster mom and follow her voice everywhere. She also developed severe separation anxiety when her foster mom or pug brother Brutus weren't in her presence.  It was during this time her foster mom realized Marta had already found her forever family and decided to adopt her. Well, let’s face it, Marta decided to adopt them!

Marta has become somewhat of a pug-lebrity in her community. Now officially the spokes pug for PRA, she attends all of their events and kicked off the multi-rescue event “Dogtoberfest” promoting dog rescue and adoption. She has appeared on KXAN, Austin’s NBC affiliate, to promote Best Friends “Strut Your Mutt” where PRA placed 3rd in fundraising and 1st for “Best Team Spirit”. Attending a Round Rock Express game (Austin’s local minor league baseball team), Marta was interviewed on the Jumbo-Tron. Marta can also be found gracing the cover of this year’s 2015 Pug Rescue Calendar!

Of rescuing Marta, PRN wrote ISF, “The ISF grant gave us the boost we needed as we turned to the pug and Austin rescue communities to raise funds to cover Marta's emergency room and regular veterinary bills. Watching our team and the rescue community come together to rally to save Marta was an incredibly empowering and emotional journey, and we are so glad that ISF played a part in it.”  


Written by Veronica Hampton