There is no scene more heartwarming than a dog’s maternal instinct when caring for her newborn pups. Nursing them, cleaning them, protecting them from danger, and as they mature, teaching them independence. Taking care of them until they are ready to be adopted into a home filled with love. Without the maximal support from their mom, pups would never make it far in life. After her pups have all been adopted, life can start looking brighter for a formerly homeless and now sheltered dog. It is now her time to be placed in a forever family. Unless she has a medical condition.  A condition, which left untreated, can prevent her from finding her true happiness. This is the story of a lovable dog named Ruby.

Ruby, a Chiweenie-Sharpei Mix, was relinquished to a shelter while nursing her pups prior to the holidays on December 22, 2014. At the time, Ruby was three years young. The shelter placed this scared, yet devoted, momma dog in a foster home until her pups were ready to be adopted. Unfortunately, Ruby tested heartworm positive. Her fate appeared to be sealed as no one came forward who was willing to adopt her and take on the high cost of her treatment. The shelter policy dictates it does not keep or treat heartworm positive dogs. Therefore, her foster mom was instructed to bring Ruby back to the shelter to be euthanized, even though she had a very treatable illness. It seemed unimaginable Ruby’s life would end after she herself brought new life into the world.

Ruby was placed on the shelter’s euthanasia list, but by some miracle ACTion Programs for Animals stepped in. This rescue organization’s mission is to assist their community in New Mexico in reaching their No Kill goal. They regularly pull at-risk dogs and cats from the municipal shelter. It seemed as if Ruby would be given another chance at life, a chance she so desperately deserved. She was one of five dogs pulled from the shelter on February 27, 2015 who tested heartworm positive. Ruby’s foster mom delivered her to the shelter where ACTion Program for Animals volunteers were waiting to rescue her rather than having her euthanized. Volunteers stated “she cried when she handed Ruby’s leash over to us, but her tears were bittersweet because she was grateful we were giving the wonderful dog a second chance.”

Life was looking up for Ruby. She was placed in a foster home with several other smaller dogs. Her foster mom raved about what a good dog she is and described her as “wonderful and happy.” All four of the other dogs pulled received local sponsorship for their treatments, but not Ruby. ACTion Program for Animals reached out to ISF in hopes of receiving assistance with the high cost of Ruby’s lifesaving medical treatment. ISF Emergency Medical Grant for Animals was able to cover part of the cost for her treatment, consisting of a month of Doxycycline followed by Immiticide Injections. Ruby did very well throughout her heartworm treatment. The biggest challenge was keeping Ruby on crate rest for the required month after her treatment, as she is active and playful. Through it all, Ruby behaved well and continued to heal. Looking into Ruby’s soulful eyes, it was easy to see she shared a lot of love and joy with whomever she was around. Her former foster mom from the shelter, who helped care for Ruby and her pups, kept in touch with her new foster mom throughout her treatment.

It was no surprise when Ruby was adopted on the very first day she was brought to an adoption event. Ruby found her forever home on June 20, 2015. Ruby’s new Dad immediately fell in love with her. He stated, “Ruby has changed my life.” He went on to say if he knew just how much benefit a dog would have on his own happiness, he would have adopted years ago. ACTion Programs for Animals contacted ISF to say, “Ruby is such a happy, bubbly dog, it would have been such a shame for her to die for a disease that is treatable and from which she can now live a long, happy life because she has fully recovered.”

Ruby is truly a loving dog who thankfully persevered and overcame her illness with the help from individuals and committed organizations who believe every animal’s life is worth saving.


Written by: Theresa Blangiforti

Edited by: Bob Stone