Homeless ‘Puppy Mill’ Mastiff with Congenital Eye Damage Needs Surgery

Just one day before the Boston City Council passed the “Puppy Mill Bill”—making Boston the first city in Massachusetts to ban pet stores from selling puppies, kittens and rabbits—a sweet 10-month-old Bull Mastiff named “Zoe” was surrendered to the MSPCA-Angell’s Jamaica Plain center, suffering eye damage that requires surgery to correct.

Jamaica Plain adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger spends time with Zoe at the MSPCA-Angell

Jamaica Plain adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger spends time with Zoe at the MSPCA-Angell

Zoe was purchased from the Pet Express pet store in Danvers by her previous owners who soon after discovered she had a severe case of “Cherry Eye.” Cherry Eye is the result of inflammation in the third eyelid which turns the eyes a blood-red color and causes severe irritation. The condition, common in certain dog breeds, can lead to blindness if untreated.

Zoe’s owners—who had already determined they would give up the dog due to the pressures of starting a new job—arranged for eye surgery to be performed by their veterinarian. That procedure, however, was unsuccessful, and shortly thereafter they surrendered the dog.

Angell Animal Medical Center to the Rescue

According to adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger, a second surgery is now the only way to correct the condition.

“Zoe’s is one of the worst cases of Cherry Eye I’ve ever seen in the adoption center, and it’s especially sad because her owners had done all they could to try and correct the problem,” she said.

Krieger added that Zoe had previously suffered from giardia—an intestinal infection common in puppies raised in commercial breeding facilities—as well as a urinary tract infection.

“It’s sad when such a young dog has had so many medical issues, but we’re going to do all we can to ensure she has a brighter future,” added Krieger.

To save Zoe’s eyesight Dr. Martin Coster of the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center Ophthalmology team will perform a surgical replacement of Zoe’s third eyelid glands. It is hoped that this will be Zoe’s final procedure and she can then go on to be placed for adoption.

Donations Sought

The surgery costs $1,200 and will be paid for by Spike’s Fund, a fund that pays the medical care costs of homeless animals in the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center.

Anyone who wishes to donate toward Zoe’s care, and the care for animals like her, can click: www.mspca.org/helpzoe.

“Any donations we raise will be used to offset the costs of Zoe’s surgery and to administer ongoing veterinary care for animals like her,” said Krieger. “We’re hopeful that those who support our good work will keep doing so, and we can continue going above and beyond for the animals in our care.”

The surgery is scheduled to take place early next week. Zoe will require several days of rest and recovery and then she will be placed for adoption. Readers interested in adopting Zoe can contact the adoption center team at adoption@mspca.org for more information about the process.