Two-week-old Beyonce, who is not much bigger than a business card, has escaped the jaws of death four times. Saturday the puppy made her national television debut on Good Morning America.
Thanks to The Grace Foundation, an El Dorado Hills-based animal rescue group, and local publicity little Beyonce is quite possibly now the most famous puppy in the country and she has an amazing story to share.
Beyonce’s mother Casey was abandoned by her previous owner and living on the streets during the first part of her pregnancy. Living on the streets is a hard life for any dog, let alone an 8-month-old, small, pregnant Dachshund mix. Casey was lucky enough to survive the streets until she was picked up by Devore Animal Control. This was little Beyonce’s first brush with death.
After being picked up by animal control Casey was scheduled to be spayed and have her puppies aborted. After being examined by a veterinarian, however, it was determined that Casey was too far along to have her pregnancy terminated. This was Beyonce’s second brush with death.
Like many of the expectant or new mothers who are picked up off the streets or dropped off at local shelters, Casey was then scheduled for euthanasia. Unfortunately animal control agencies do not have the capability to care for expectant mothers or mothers with young litters and as a result these animals often end up on the euthanasia list. The animal control agencies and shelters then do their best to find rescues to pull theses mothers and puppies.
Luckily for Casey and her unborn litter, a community rescue group that help to place dogs from Devore animal control contacted The Grace Foundation of Northern California, which quickly came to their rescue. This was Beyonce’s third brush with death.
Executive Director Beth DeCaprio called the dogs Grace takes in “last chance” pups — dogs that the shelters either can’t or won’t find homes for.
DeCaprio called Casey and her pups very lucky. “Hundreds of dogs are euthanized because they’re a mom with puppies,” she said, explaining that the shelters just don’t have the time or resources to care for these animals.
Once safe and sound at The Grace Foundation, Casey was taken to Blue Ravine Animal Hospital for an ultrasound. Because she was so far along and so large, The Grace Foundation wanted to make sure that she would be able to deliver safely on her own. Blue Ravine found that Casey was pregnant with five puppies, one of which was abnormally small and would most likely be stillborn.
On March 8 Casey delivered her puppies with Decaprio, who is also Casey’s foster mom, and Dr. Michael Russell, Grace Foundation veterinarian, standing by. Beyonce’s fourth, and hopefully final, brush with death happened in the first minutes of her young life.
“She weighed less than an ounce,” DeCaprio recalled.
Beyonce, the smallest puppy, was the last of the five puppies to be born. At birth she was not breathing and did not have a heartbeat. Dr. Russell quickly preformed heart compressions and was able to get her heart started. Although her heart was now beating strong, Beyonce was still not breathing. DeCaprio quickly stepped in to give little Beyonce mouth-to-mouth and was able to get her breathing normally.
At one day old, Beyonce was so small she could fit into a spoon. Due to her small size, Beyonce needed to be bottle fed every hour because her mouth was too small to be able to nurse properly. Now at almost two weeks old Beyonce is almost as big as an iPhone. “She’s now almost four ounces,” DeCaprio said. “The other puppies are a pound.”
Despite her rough start and unusually small size, Beyonce is thriving and is normal in every other way.
Sadly, Beyonce and her family’s story is just one of thousands of moms and pups that will be dropped at animal control agencies around the country this puppy season. Many of these litters will be euthanized. Help The Grace Foundation in its efforts to educate the public about the this tragedy and the importance of spaying and neutering pets, as well as adopting rescue dogs.
DeCaprio said any help is welcome, whether people want to sponsor a dog, foster dogs or adopt them. Next week a group from Oregon State is coming down to improve The Grace Foundation’s doggy area. The public is invited to help.
If everything continues to go well Beyonce and her family will be up for adoption in the next few weeks. For more information on how people can adopt one of these precious pups or help Grace in its efforts to save many more of these “last chance” dogs visit the foundation’s website at www.thegracefoundation.com.