Tuff Found Forever – A STAR Fund Success Story

Tuff arrived at SHS in May 2023. His breeder brought him to the shelter because they thought he had a broken leg. However, once he met with the SHS clinic team, they discovered that Tuff had septic arthritis in both his left hind stifle and hock. Tuff had perforated his joint and it was open and draining when he came to SHS. The SHS clinic team did wound management while also trying to clear the infection from both the stifle and hock. Tuff did antibiotic therapy, hydrotherapy, and physical rehabilitation. However, when he met with the vet team at WSU for a checkup, they recommended amputation because his cartilage was deteriorating. Now, Tuff is pain-free and the most energetic puppy with his three legs, plus he has the best human family who have experience raising a three-legged dog.

During his time at SHS, Tuff stayed with many different fosters who were able to give him the medical attention and training he required.

Tuff’s first foster was SHS Human Recourses and Facilities Manager Ryan Rodriguez. Tuff was about two months old when he arrived at SHS, so he was packed around by Ryan’s three daughters, and he was given lots of love and attention.

“Tuff, the irresistible little pup, stole our hearts the moment he entered our lives. With boundless energy and an infectious zest for life, he was always ready for playtime, bringing endless joy to our days. But it was his love for snuggling, especially with Olivia on our cozy couch, that truly melted our hearts. We’ll never forget the moments when we took him on gentle walks, carefully stretching his injured leg, witnessing his resilient spirit shine through. Meeting new people and furry friends was his ultimate delight, effortlessly becoming a cherished member of our family. And let’s not forget Tuff’s undeniable weakness for Peanut Butter – it was his ultimate weakness! Our family will forever hold dear the memories of this extraordinary little pup who left an indelible pawprint on our hearts.” – The Rodriguez Family

Tuff’s second foster was Volunteer Spokesperson, Dave Morse. Tuff enjoyed playing with Dave’s two resident golden retrievers and they quickly became best friends. Dave often says Tuff fits right in!

“While my two resident dogs, Finley and Raynn, were sleeping, Tuff would take out every single one of their toys from the toy box. I would walk into the front room and find over 25 stuffed toys, chew toys, or whatever else he found. He would not stop until all the toys were on display. Even though I would have to clean up after him, these memories are the most special because Tuff was the happiest pup playing with so many toys. Sweetest, kindest, dog ever!”

Tuff’s third foster was SHS Veterinarian Dr. Jessie.

“…we brought him home. We have other dogs, other cats… goats and horses, and then I have my two daughters. He’s always just acted like he just belongs here. He has never met a person that he doesn’t like, he’s never met another dog that he doesn’t like, he has met lots of cats that do not like him but he’s yet to give up being friends with cats.” Watch Tuff interact with Dr. Jessie’s family in the SHS FurrBall 2023 Video HERE.

Without the foster program, SHS wouldn’t be able to help animals like Tuff because the shelter environment is not a safe or comfortable place for young, injured animals. We are so thankful for our amazing fosters who open their homes to animals in need. If you are interested in being a foster, please contact SHS Foster Coordinator Amanda Smith: amandas@spokanehumanesociety.org. There are many foster opportunities, you can sign up to foster neonatal kittens who require around-the-clock care, or you can foster senior dogs who need a quiet stress-free environment. You can foster animals with medical concerns like diabetes or animals like Tuff who require frequent vet appointments. SHS has many animals in need of foster homes… but be prepared to foster fail, where you fall in love with your foster and end up adopting!

The cost of Tuff’s procedures and surgeries was covered by the SHS STAR Fund.

Special Treatment and Recovery (STAR) allows us to provide life-saving medical care to abused, neglected, injured and sick shelter animals. Homeless and abandoned pets with poor medical or behavioral conditions tend to be dismissed as adoption candidates, even though many of these animals are simply reacting to the trauma of an injury or the impact of a new circumstance and surroundings. If not for the STAR Fund, we might not be able to provide this life-saving care. The STAR Fund is only possible with the help and support of staff, volunteers, foster families willing to provide temporary housing in a loving home, compassionate veterinarians, and most importantly generous people like you.

Without the STAR Fund program, SHS wouldn’t have been able to provide Tuff with the necessary medical care he required. We ask you to consider donating into the SHS STAR Fund so we can continue helping animals in need; donate HERE.

Since Tuff was such a big part of the SHS family, finding him the perfect home was very important. We are so thankful we found the perfect couple for Tuff and we are so excited to watch him grow up with his two human siblings.