James is devoted to his Boston terriers, so much so, that he has three generations living under one roof. He acquired Cookie when she was just a puppy, after breeding her, James kept one of her puppies, Pup Pup, who he also bred. Pup Pup was the mother to his final litter, from which he kept one puppy, Bubba. With no plans to continue breeding his beloved Boston terriers, James was content with his family of three.

Like many, James utilized a dogie-door to allow his dogs use of the backyard at their leisure. He had a tall wooden fence and never had an issue with his dogs getting out. One ordinary morning, James returned home from a short errand and caught a glimpse of a small black and white animal.  He supposed it was a cat under a vehicle near his home.  After second thought, he backed up to take a closer look and was surprised when Bubba came out from under the car and scurried into his arms, covered in blood.

James figured the dog had somehow escaped his yard and was struck by a vehicle. He immediately took Bubba to his primary veterinarian who referred Bubba to Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital [VESHW] for treatment due to the severity of his condition. Our doctors discovered the wounds were punctures, caused by an animal bite, not a car. In a panic, James called home to check on his other dogs. The next several moments were a whirlwind ending in a 911 call.

Somehow a pack of three dogs had managed to break into James’ yard, attacking his Boston terriers. Bubba retreated the same way the intruders came in, and hid under a vehicle. The other dogs ran back into their home, downstairs, and the attack escalated. When animal control officers arrived, Cookie was pinned down by the three larger dogs. They were able to break up the attack and get Cookie and Pup Pup to VESHW.

All three dogs needed surgery. “I was in absolute shock” James said, “and when I got there, everyone from the doctors to reception went to work immediately. We didn’t even have a conversation about money yet; their only concern was stabilizing my dogs.”

James worked for the City of Wichita for 40 years, retiring in 2012, but after applying for payment options, the remaining cost of treatment was beyond his means. That’s when The Paw It Forward Foundation was suggested. “The application process was fast and went smoothly” James said, “I am so grateful. They really went out of their way to help me and always kept me updated on the status of my dogs.”

Bubba was able to return home the following day, Pup Pup after two days and Cookie on the third day. However, Pup Pup refused to eat at home and by the third day, James brought her back into the hospital. The skin around her wounds was dying and her blood levels were showing signs of sepsis. She was hospitalized once again; the entire staff had become emotionally invested, desperately wanting her to survive, but she was spiraling. After three days of aggressive treatment, Pup Pup went into cardiac arrest. Seven minutes of CPR was performed, but tragically, Pup Pup passed.

James wanted to share his story in hopes the heartache of his event serves as a lesson to others. He said “Just because you have a fence doesn’t mean your dogs are safe. Use dog doors with caution and be mindful of your surroundings.”  In the end, James is thankful the Paw It Forward Foundation financially helped allow his other two dogs to return home.