LOGAN SQUARE — Chicagoans have raised thousands to help Parmesan, a puppy who was seriously ill when she was rescued from a city construction site this weekend.
Heather Owen, who cofounded the One Tail at a Time rescue, said the group’s volunteers were at the Chicago Animal Care and Control shelter on Saturday when a man brought in a small white puppy. The man said he’d found the dog at a construction site in Woodlawn and brought her in to get her help.
The puppy was about 3 months old and was in “rough shape,” Owen said: Her paws were swollen, a sign of infection, and her skin was bright red, raw and enflamed in spots. Her ears were particularly bad and she was lethargic.
The rescuers couldn’t even determine Parmesan’s breed — though she might be a white German shepherd — because she’s so young and her skin is so damaged.
“She just looked miserable, basically,” Owen said.
One Tail at a Time stepped in, bringing the pooch — who was quickly named Parmesan Crisp — to an emergency veterinarian.
Parmesan spent the night with the vet and, after being discharged, was taken in by a foster home. Owen said the puppy likely has an autoimmune disorder common in puppies that led to her skin condition. She’ll receive medication, rest and good food that will hopefully help the disorder resolve on its own, Owen said.
“She’s good” now, Owen said. “You can tell she doesn’t feel good, but she’s got a little bit of that puppy feistiness in her. She’s not happy about taking her medication, which is not always fun, but it’s a good sign because it means she’s starting to feel better.”
But One Tail at a Time’s emergency fund tends to be lower at this time of year, and the Logan Square-based shelter expects a bill of $1,000-$2,000 for Parmesan’s overnight stay at the vet — not including the costs of her ongoing medical care.
On top of that, One Tail at a Time also took in a puppy with a broken leg on Saturday and the pup will need surgery, and the shelter rescued another 12 dogs last week, including a senior dog who will needs “a lot of care,” Owen said.
The rescue posted about its plight online and managed to raise more than $4,000 over the weekend.
“It makes our day,” Owen said. “It makes us so grateful because every time we have a big emergency vet bill we worry that we won’t be able to do our normal level of rescue, but when people get together and help us raise the money then we know that we can keep rescuing animals.”
Owen isn’t sure how much Parmesan’s medical care will ultimately cost since it will depend on how quickly she recovers.
But those who wish to help the shelter can do so by becoming a member and pledging to donate $10 per month or by making a one-time pledge in Parmesan’s honor, Owen said. The shelter also needs foster families who can take in dogs and care for them until they find a permanent home.
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