(Shonda Feather/Humane Society for Southwest Washington)
How to help
Learn how you can help the Humane Society for Southwest Washington in its mission to find caring homes for homeless pets by calling 360-693-4746. The shelter is beyond capacity for cats and is running a special “name your own adoption price” promotion until Sunday.
A shaking plastic storage bin abandoned outside the Humane Society for Southwest Washington's thrift store held a heartbreaking surprise.
In April, a Humane Society volunteer noticed a car drop off the box at the donation trailer by the ReTails Thrift Store, 3308 N.E. 52nd St. Looking inside, the helper found an 8-pound Chihuahua — wide-eyed and a bundle of energy, but clearly in pain.
The puppy's front legs were broken.
An exam the next day gave bad news, the dog's limbs were fractured in multiple places, presumably from being hit by a car or falling from a high height.
Shelter staff named the spirited dog Hashi, Japanese for "chopsticks," because of the braces used to support her hobbled legs.
The nonprofit takes in about 10,000 animals a year and relies on adoptions to make room for a steady stream of strays and abandoned pets. With costs always a concern, many seriously injured animals are euthanized when the shelter is unable to pay for their recovery.
But this story has a happy ending.
"We all felt like we wanted to do something for her. She was adorable," said Lisa Feder, shelter operations director. "Luckily, we have resources out there."
Many stepped up to lend a hand: The Oregon Humane Society offered use of its X-ray machine, VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas, Ore., performed surgery at a deeply discounted rate and a foster home put Hashi up during two months of doctor-ordered "cage rest."
The money to pay for Hashi's surgery came from the Humane Society for Southwest Washington's Chopper Fund, which was created a few years ago to help pay medical bills for adoptable animals. Chopper was a Rottweiler in the organization's care who needed surgery for his broken hind legs.
With metal plates now permanently fixed to the dog's bones, Hashi was fully healed and ready for adoption by July 11. It only took a week for her to be claimed by Vancouver's Palmquist family, who quickly fell in love with her energy and cute face.
The family of three renamed her Penny to match their other dog Benny, a Jack Russell/dachshund mix they adopted from the shelter last year. Robert Palmquist, 26, said the pets are now constant companions who love to traipse around the yard and lick crumbs off his 1-year-old son Titus' face.
"She's a part of the family now," he said. "I would never even guess that her legs were ever broken. She's way more active than my other dog."