Community comes together to help find dog's forever home

Odin, the Chihuahua mixed breed pup gets ready for surgery (Trish Glose/News 10)

Within a day of being euthanized at an animal shelter in Northern California, Odin, a Chihuahua mixed breed dog, was given a second chance.

“They had reached their capacity and they were going to have to start a euthanasia list, so our Intake Supervisor responded that we would be happy to send the Saving Train down and pull some dogs from their facility, but we didn't hear back from them,” Karen Evans, Executive Director of SoHumane says.

They later found out, a snow storm closed the shelter, which Evans says, thankfully prevented the euthanasia and bought the organization’s Saving Train some time.

SoHumane started up its own Saving Train in 2005. Since then, the organization has transferred more than 9,000 animals out of overcrowded shelters. Just last year, staff and volunteers helped save more than 850 animals on these missions alone.

On this trip, 28 dogs were saved, including Odin. He was picked specifically because of his medical need.

“Most shelters just don't have the resources to take care of an issue like this and we're so lucky with the community here, we figured we would find a way to get the money and help him,” Evans says.

But that wasn’t really necessary. SoHumane’s veterinarian contacted Dr. Cassandra Bliss from Bliss Animal Eye Care to take a look at Odin. Dr. Bliss has consulted other shelters in the past regarding animal eye needs, but she also has donated time and surgeries.

“Odin, at some point in his life suffered an injury to that right eye and as you can tell, you can't even see the eye. The reason why he's painful, you can tell all the tearing and browning around his eye, it's because his lower eyelid has rolled in and if you can imagine having hairs constantly rubbing on your eye, that would be really painful, so it's not that his eye has to come out, it's that why do surgery to repair his eyelid, if there's no eye there,” Dr. Bliss says.

She says she likes to help out as much as she can. She donated this particular surgery, which typically costs $1,800.

“Sometimes I can help out more than other times, there's sometimes where a dog kind of touches your heart and I think that's what he did. He came in, he's sweet, he's nice. You can tell he's been bugged by this eye for a really long time and in my hands, we can fix this, this is nothing,” Dr. Bliss says.

This wasn’t just an eye removal surgery. Odin was getting a two-for-one.

“If we do it all at one time, it’s safer for him,” says Dr. Jessie Holley from Town and Country Animal Clinic in Brookings. She donated her time to neuter Odin while he was under, a surgery that’s usually about $200. It’s all in an effort to reduce the stress of surgery and get him adopted as soon as possible.

“It's just a huge weight lifted off our shoulders and we know we can help another animal that needs something special that might not otherwise get the help,” Evans says.

The team worked fast. Odin was prepped and ready for surgery in a matter of minutes. The eye removal and placement of a prosthetic took about ten to 15 minutes. Then Dr. Jessie stepped in to neuter him.

Dr. Bliss says recovery will be quick and easy, and this little guy will be ready for his forever home very, very soon.

“And he'll be a super cute, wink, and back to flirting with the girls in no time,” says Dr. Bliss.

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