Homeless Dog in Beirut Survives Gun Blast to the Face, Undergoes Reconstructive Surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center

A stray dog from Beirut, Lebanon is lucky to be alive after he was shot in the face at close range and rescued from the streets by volunteers from Animals Lebanon before being flown to the U.S. on Jan. 31, where he was taken in by Sweet Paws Rescue in Groveland, Mass. The Sweet Paws Rescue team sought advice from area veterinarians about how best to repair the extensive damage to the two-year-old dog’s face and ultimately sought out Dr. Mike Pavletic, head of surgery at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center. “Luke,” as he’s since been named, was evaluated last week by Dr. Pavletic and his team. “It appears he was shot at close range with ammunition similar to buckshot because there was so much damage to his skull and face—I’m astounded that he even survived,” said Dr. Pavletic, who noted that Luke has been breathing through a hole in his snout because his nasal passages were seared closed by the blast.

Angell Animal Medical Center: Protect Dogs Against Canine Version of Flu Virus

Flu season is well underway in Massachusetts—and with it the body aches, congestion, fatigue and other ills associated with our collective seasonal misery. Now veterinarians at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston are concerned about a second category of potential victims: dogs. There is zero risk of dogs contracting human flu—nor is there a canine flu epidemic underway in Massachusetts. However, several states, including Illinois, Georgia and Kentucky, are racking up hundreds of positive canine flu tests and that has the veterinary community concerned. “This flu season has been severe for humans and that’s why there is so much attention on flu right now,” said Dr. Virginia Sinnott of Angell Animal Medical Center.

Photos: Woof! Jamaica Plain’s Puppy Bowl!

Before the big game on Sunday, there was a more dogged event on Saturday -- Jamaica Plain's first-ever Puppy Bowl hosted by Fancy Schmancy and JP Centre/South Main Streets. There were treats for all of the dogs, games, some slobber and a lot of licking! All photos by Sacred Harbor Photography

Jamaica Plain’s 1st Puppy Bowl Party on Saturday!

Calling all Labs, huskies, poodles, doodles and Dobies because Fancy Schmancy is hosting Jamaica Plain's first-ever Puppy Bowl on Saturday! Before the big game on Sunday, and the actual televised Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, bring your canine to Fancy Schmancy (606 Centre St.) for the party. There will be lots of snacks (for dogs), prizes and a winner (not human) for each quarter -- and there will also be a halftime show! It costs $5 for each dog to be in the bowl. The bowl is from noon to 2 pm.

MSPCA Seeks a Ho-Ho-Home for Tiny Yorkie with ‘Floating Head’

If badges for courage were awarded to homeless animals then two-year-old Yorkshire Terrier “Scrappy” would surely win, say staff at the MSPCA-Angell who have been caring for the tiny four-legged pup since he arrived at the shelter in August barely able to walk, and with a worrisome leftward tilt to his head. X-rays confirmed Scrappy was born with a congenital deformity marked by missing bone where his spine connects to his head. Since birth, Scrappy made do with these deformities, but a tumble down the stairs prior to his surrender severely damaged his nervous system, and that made walking, running and playing very difficult for him. Scrappy’s family was unable to meet his evolving needs and opted to surrender him to the MPSCA, which assumed responsibility for his care. “Our best option was to fit Scrappy with an immobilizing head and neck brace, which he wore nonstop for two months to allow scar tissue to form,” said Dr. Jennifer Michaels of Angell Animal Medical Center’s neurology team.