**Warning: Images below may disturb some readers.**
On March 15, 2016, a very uncommon stray dog found herself in the care of Miami-Dade Animal Services. Lily is a petite, 10-year-old Maltese weighing only 5 pounds. She’s the kind of dog you’d expect to see at an upscale grooming salon, not at one of the country’s most high volume shelters.
Normally, small dogs are adopted quite quickly from county shelters, but Lily was in no shape for adoption when she arrived. Her tiny abdomen had been infiltrated by a massive ulcerated and infected mammary tumor. She would require surgical intervention to save her life. To make matters all the more complicated, Lily tested heartworm positive.
A Missouri-based rescue organization caught wind of Lily’s plight thanks to an extraordinary online community of rescuers on social media. Mac’s Mission is a 501(c)3 charity named for a very special Pit Bull who was not much bigger than Lily when he was rescued by the group’s founder. Since 2013, Mac’s Mission has given away nearly $100,000 and rescued dogs, cats, exotic pets, and wildlife.
Lily update!! This is Lily enjoying the warm weather yesterday. Lily has a vet appointment today so we can make an appointment to get her massive stinky mammary tumor removed. We can’t wait to see how much she runs around and plays once it’s removed because you can tell that it bothers her. Love, MacStinkyLess
Posted by Mac the pitbull on Monday, March 28, 2016
Mac’s Mission is still in the process of gaining licensure and funds for their new rescue facility, so they teamed up with Hearts for Rescue to handle Lily’s adoption once she arrived in Missouri. But before the tiny pooch could be taken across state lines, she would need the help of a Florida foster pawrent to care for her during her veterinary treatment, and help her obtain a health certificate. Luckily, Lily had no shortage of angels fighting for her.
Florida foster mom, Luciana escorted Lily to her vet visits for X-rays and bloodwork. She also opened her home to Lily until she could be cleared for travel to Missouri. A Mac’s Mission volunteer donated her airline miles so that founder, Rochelle could travel to Miami and personally escort Lily home.
On March 30, Lily finally underwent lifesaving surgery to remove the huge, foul-smelling tumor she had been living with for far too long. The Mac’s Mission “Marshall Emergency Medical Fund” will cover 100% of Lily’s veterinary expenses until she is well enough to move on to a loving adoptive home. The Marshall Fund was named for a puppy who tragically lost his battle for survival, but inspired the folks at Mac’s Mission with his sweetness and bravery.
We think she likes not having that nasty tumor on her belly!! Love,MacTumorless
Posted by Mac the pitbull on Sunday, April 3, 2016
The surgeon who cared for Lily at Veterinary Specialty Services in St. Louis said that her plum-sized tumor had sadly been growing and festering for years. The massive growth was nearly the size of Lily’s own head, and as hard as a rock. The discomfort it must have caused the tiny Maltese is unimaginable. Lily’s surgeon also spayed her during the procedure, and recommended a dental cleaning when she has recovered.
Lily is convalescing in style and comfort in the home of a Mac’s Mission volunteer. She is happy, outgoing and affectionate, despite all she has been through. Lily owes her second chance to so many caring individuals who stepped up to make her dramatic rescue a reality. She may not be a Pit Bull, but this brave little dog demonstrates Mac’s motto perfectly. Lily is definitely “Pit Bull Strong“!
Mac’s Mission is well on their way to raising their goal of $120,000 for their new rescue facility. You can support the mission with a secure donation through PayPal, or by purchasing one of their originally designed tees, stickers, or onesies featuring the “Pit Bull Strong” motto on their Etsy store. Be sure to like them on Facebook for more updates on Lily, and Mac’s other furry friends.
Featured Image via Mac the Pitbull/Facebook