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What a (Sad) Difference a Day Makes…

Our GPRA alumni are all across the southeast, some live across the country, a few across oceans, and sadly, some are across the rainbow bridge.

Apologies for taking a while to post, we needed time to process this morning’s news: Johnny Boy died before sunrise today.

If you need a few deep breaths, or a minute to wipe your eyes, we get it, we’re in shock, too. Our only words are, “How? Why? What happened?”

We shared his horrific story yesterday of being a frequent stray who was hit by a car and left in a mud puddle to endure pelvic, spine, and hip fractures. The wonderful people at Douglas County Animal Control opened their hearts, doing all they could at the shelter. In critical condition, GPRA saved Johnny Boy hours before his scheduled euthanasia.

He arrived at Blue Pearl Saturday morning for pain management and stabilization before a gifted surgeon successfully operated on Johnny Boy’s leg Monday. And then the phone rang.

Johnny Boy crossed over the Rainbow Bridge at 3:30 am Tuesday, March 10th from a heart attack. Sometimes significant trauma like he endured bruises the heart to the point of causing an irregular heartbeat. It helps knowing he wasn’t alone. Intensive care dogs have 24-hour care and those watching over Johnny Boy spent more than an hour trying to save him. He wanted to go. And in his memory, we want to celebrate our GPRA community.

We’re shifting to happy, grateful tears for EVERYONE who became a GPRA $5 Friend to save Johnny. Your previous gifts, and any future donations, cement our shared faith and promise to save Pyrs in need, especially those other rescues might turn away. Thank you.

March 8, 2020

Johnny Boy (AKA Sweetwater) had been spotted roaming the streets and the worst happened…He was hit by a car. He laid in a mud puddle, soaked, crying and unable to move, until a couple of kind people stopped to help him. He was clearly hurt but they couldn’t tell how badly. Johnny was unable to get up and appeared to be in shock. Luckily, Douglas County Animal Control arrived quickly and took him into their care. They were able to get preliminary x-rays done while he went through a mandatory 72-hour stray hold waiting to see if his owners claimed him. No one did.

Douglas County Animal Control faced a tough decision to euthanize him if no rescue was willing to take him. With his euthanasia only a few hours away, GPRA was the only rescue offering to save his life. Luckily for Johnny Boy (named after our founder John H), GPRA jumped into action and he was transported to our vet on Friday afternoon. His injuries were so painful that even with pain meds given, he cried out the entire ride. The only comfort he desired was to simply rest his head in the lap of the volunteer transporter and get some pets.

In the care of our vet, he was immediately given medication to ease the pain and allow for more extensive xrays to be taken. He has two major fractures – one in the pelvic area where it attaches to the sacral (the most painful of all fractures) and in his hip socket but both appear to be fixable as long as his neurological functions remains. If not, the only other option is a leg amputation. The surgeries and his care will be expensive. Thousands of dollars – just to give him a chance. 

Saturday morning (March 8) he was transferred to a specialty veterinary hospital and started on IV fluids and pain management to keep him comfortable. Monday morning he will be evaluated for surgery by our orthopedic specialists. 

With the best in veterinarians in metro Atlanta managing his medical care and GPRA’s exceptional volunteers stepping in to offer any support needed Johnny Boy is in the best possible hands.  

The outcome is unknown but we do know the financial cost will be high. GPRA is launching our $5 Friend program. Of course, we are grateful if you can share more than $5, but at the very least, will you please trade one fancy coffee or something from the drive through menu to help this Pyr in need? You don’t even have to stand up to help him stand up, just click the “button” to donate.