7-Eleven takes on a whole new meaning in Marla’s saga. Fair warning: her story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Marla was a stray German Shepherd mix who ended up in the Aiken County Animal Shelter in South Carolina on August 31st. The shelter pegged her age at seven. Testing heartworm positive meant Marla was not eligible to be adopted under the shelter’s policy. That was bad enough, but her being older and larger made a rescue commitment, which was her only way out alive, all the more difficult.

On September 11th Mary Lou Seymour of The Heart Beat Goes On program with the Palmetto Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) sent out an urgent plea for help to save Marla and three other dogs in danger. We responded by offering to assist with the heartworm treatment costs for Marla to help motivate a rescue to take her. On September 14th Dog Star Rescue in Connecticut agreed to take Marla and she was taken directly to the vet to get spayed.

Unfortunately, the news from the vet was not good. It turned out that Marla was pregnant. With the vet determining that it was unlikely that any of the pups, or Marla, would survive the birthing process, the decision was made to proceed with the spaying. Marla also had two mammary tumors. Following her recovery from the spaying, Marla had an evaluation exam, x-rays and blood tests done. The good news was that there was no indication that the tumors had metastasized. The bad news is that they were very deep and would require two separate surgeries. To make matters worse, the vet felt that Marla’s heartworm disease would quickly lead to complications without treatment.

As for 7-Eleven, it turns out that Marla was not 7, but more like eleven! The vet did not recommend any surgery at her age and in her condition. Hospice care and immediate heartworm treatment were the best options for Marla. Dog Star Rescue and the Palmetto Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) agreed that the best thing for Marla would be to keep her in South Carolina in foster care. Then came a lucky break for Marla: The grandparents of a foster for PAWS, who are in love with Marla and are accustomed to elder dogs with health issues, agreed to give her a ‘hospice home’ to live out her remaining time. To see more photos of Marla, click here.

RADAR paid all of Marla’s evaluation exam, blood tests and first heartworm treatment costs, totaling $330.

UPDATE! All funds for Marla have been raised! Thank you!

If you would like to help us have the ability to help other dogs, please visit our Donations page.

Thank you to the following contributors, who have given specifically to Marla:

Helping Hands for Hearts Fund; Chloe’s SOS Fund; Mara Alexander; Linda Siegert & Ernie Lenton / Collars of Hope Creations

Added on October 22, 2015.

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