Second Chance Fund helps save the life of dog named Zeus — starved, sick, covered in waste and fleas

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LODI — For a dog named Zeus, 2017 has brought a second chance at life. He’s been through a lot — but he found his forever family on New Year’s Day!

This all began with a phone call to Lodi Veterinary Care from a couple who rescued a neglected dog.

“They called us right away and said, ‘he’s in much worse shape than we were led to believe. We need to bring him down right now,'” Beth Poulsen, small animal veterinarian said.

Starved, sick and covered in waste and fleas, Zeus could barely lift his head.

“Actually, his sodium was so high our machines couldn’t even read it,” Poulsen said.

It was touch and go for a week — as Zeus underwent intensive treatment for dehydration and malnourishment.

“The owners were just awesome. They said ‘whatever he needs, just do it,'” Poulsen said.

Help for Zeus didn’t come without a cost.

“Around $5,000 just initially,” Poulsen said.

The cost of saving a pet reaches far beyond many owners’ means — and sometimes that means a heartbreaking decision must be made.

“When the option becomes that the animal has to be euthanized because of a cost thing, quite frequently the Second Chance Fund can step in and provide an alternative for that,” Shelly Rucinsky, VP of the Second Chance Fund said.

Second Chance steps in to help save the lives of animals who don’t have someone to pay the bill.

Poulsen said as her clinic expands, she sees more pets that need expensive care before they can find their forever home.

She received a Second Chance grant to help cover Zeus’ intensive week of care.

“I don’t think I’ll ever forget this. When I walked up to him and put my hand on him, he just started wagging his tail.┬áThis dog could hardly stand up, you know? He had to stand with someone holding him underneath, but his tail was wagging,” Poulsen said.

Poulsen said donations and well-wishes are still needed, as Zeus isn’t in tip top shape just yet.

“We’ll be seeing him quite frequently to monitor his weight, and he still has — he’s on his way, but he still has a long way to go,” Poulsen said.

Zeus is off to a good start in 2017. He has gained five pounds, and he got to go home with his forever family on New Year’s Day!