Rescuers discovered Frannie in the slums of the ‘5th Ward’ in Houston. Near death, it looked like this young German shepherd had given up on life. Thanks to the tireless love and care of her rescuers, she made an astonishing recovery.
Frannie a young German shepherd, was first discovered by a group of volunteers in a slum area of Houston, Texas. She was homeless, and extremely emaciated, and was found nipping at a dead animal. Those volunteers often spend their time patrolling the slum known as ‘The 5th Ward’ in Houston searching and feeding homeless and starving dogs such as Frannie. They quickly alerted a Val’s Pals dog rescue team, who went out the next day to look for Frannie.
The rescue team was unable to find her at first as they combed the streets, and were about to take off before someone spotted the shepherd curled up under some brush. It looked to her rescuers like she had given up on life. “The poor girl was barely holding on”, said Eric Holliday, one of the Val’s Pals rescuers. She was near death, and they suspected she would not have lived through the night with the forecasted freezing temperatures.
According to Life with Dogs, the rescuers immediately brought Frannie to ‘Vergi 24/7‘, a top-rate veterinary emergency clinic. Her condition was considered critical, the worst any of the staff there had ever seen. The young animal weighed only 23 pounds, and was guessed to be 2-3 years of age. A German shepherd that age should have weighed around 70 pounds.
“The poor girl was barely holding on”, said Eric Holliday, one of the Val’s Pals rescuers.
It would have been dangerous to feed her right away. Proteins, vitamins and minerals would have to be gradually introduced into her system. Through an IV, they started to feed her small amounts every two hours. She was expected to be under intensive care for weeks, and at one point staff at the Vergi thought they were losing her.
Her condition was considered critical, the worst case that any of the Vergi staff had ever seen.
Later Val’s Pals organized a prayer vigil and a candle lighting for Frannie. Perhaps that had some effect, because the young shepherd seemed to make a miraculous recovery.
Frannie was introduced to her first medical foster home five days later, where she was taken in by Jill Washburn. There, Frannie would be closely monitored, and fed very small meals every four hours. Every couple of days, she would be brought to the vet for blood sampling.
Once Frannie was able to handle larger meals every six hours, she was transferred to more long-term medical care in the home of Amy Boram Wilson. There, her treatment would continue with frequent trips to the vet for checkups.
At one point staff at Vergi thought they were losing her.
Holliday, expressed his view, “Amy and Jill gave Frannie all the love and care she never knew before. They are the real heroes in Frannie’s tale. Without fosters who take in these dogs and offer them love, compassion, and care, no rescue group like ours could save a single animal.”
“Amy and Jill gave Frannie all the love and care she never knew before”, said Holliday.
Two months later, Frannie found her new forever home, and her new foster mommy and daddy, Jan and Jack Long. Right from the start, they seemed to be a perfect match for Frannie. Jack and Jan have been doing their best to encourage her, though her difficult life on the street has taken its toll. “She’s leery of new things until they reassure her things are okay,” reiterated Holliday. Though she seems to be picking up steam. “[S]he’s a very opportunistic eater,” said Holliday.”She is a little energizer bunny—she will run and play all day.”
Here are some before and after photos marking Frannie’s gradual progress:
The Long household recently adopted a new brother for Frannie, another German shepherd. “Frannie now has the mom and dad she never had and a brother. Her life is perfect. It is hard to believe seeing her today and knowing it’s barely 7 months since she was a mere skeleton on death’s door,” said Holliday, “We will never know who was responsible for her condition, but we know the many who came to her aid and offered her a hand.”