In Early December, The Great Pyrenees Club of Western Pennsylvania received a call about a poor abandoned family that desperately needed lifesaving care.
Mom (Nana) and her five 5-week-old puppies had been living in absolutely hellish conditions, with no care and very little food. Mama was very emaciated, and her skin was bright red, inflamed and covered in wounds from her scratching and chewing on her skin. Her puppies had drained her of all her energy and continued to try to nurse from her, even though she had nothing left to give. Even in her condition, she continued to be an amazing mother to her 5 needy babies. As is true with so many rescues, The Great Pyrenees Club was at capacity and did not have the room or resources to help any more dogs at the time. But when they saw the awful, heart-wrenching pictures of the family, they knew they had to do SOMETHING. They immediately began reaching out to potential fosters.
More Bad News for the Family
They found a number of homes willing to take them in, at which point they arranged transport to get the dogs checked out by a veterinarian, where they were sadly diagnosed with sarcoptic mange – a highly contagious, irritating, and painful skin condition where mites burrow under the skin, causing hair loss, inflamed tissue, and unrelenting itching. Nana and her pups were absolutely miserable. Because of this illness, and how contagious it is, to both humans and other dogs, they would need to be quarantined for at least 3 to 4 weeks. Original foster plans had to be thrown out the window, and a new plan needed to be put in place.
Part of their care would involve ongoing vet checks, weekly medicated baths, medications distributed multiple times a day to relieve the itching and the skin inflammations, and supplements to bring their bodies up to a healthy state. Beyond that, disposable scrubs and gloves would need to be worn to tend, care, and yes, even LOVE up on this poor family – or risk contracting the mange. Any human that went near them had to be covered head-to-toe in protective gear.
All of this would be a costly endeavor, but the Great Pyrenees Club was determined to help this family and give them the life that they deserve.
Enter Paw & Order Dog Training
In early 2022, Paw & Order took in a Great Pyrenees rescue, Nala, who was unable to find her forever home. She is currently living her best life on the Paw & Order Paradise Ranch. With that in mind, Lynn Pilarski, director of The Great Pyrenees Club of Western Pennsylvania, decided to reach out to Elissa Weimer-Sentner, founder and owner of Paw & Order.
Elissa agreed to take in this neglected family. She cleared one of her extra-large barn stalls, making sure the dogs had plenty of blankets and heated lamps to keep them warm during the extreme cold we had in December. She set up an isolated fenced-in area for the family to potty and exercise. Elissa, with the help of her husband, Steve, as well as many of her employees, spent hours each day gearing up in disposable scrubs to feed, care, and love up on these pups, while also separately caring for their 8 personal dogs and their many farm animals (micro cows, mini pigs, peacocks, chickens, ducks, cat, horse, and a donkey!). All while continuing to run their dog training business!
The Great Peter Pan Pyrs
After some back-and-forth, and with the help of some Facebook followers, the family would be named The Great Peter Pan Pyrs, each puppy being named after one of the characters: Peter, Captain Hook, Wendy, John, and Tinker Bell. Mike Burdine, artist and owner of Birdie B Kicks wanted to do something special for this family, so he painted a Peter Pan themed mural that would be auctioned off to raise money for the continued expenses of this poor family. There was a bidding war at the end of the auction, so Mike decided to paint a second mural. The two paintings went for $275 each, raising a total of $550 for the family!
Finally, Mange Free!
After 5 long weeks, the Peter Pan Pyrs were finally cleared by the great folks at VCA Met Vet West Animal Hospital in Robinson, PA, and were ready to go to their new foster and/or forever homes. Elissa and Steve fell in love with this entire family, but they felt a special connection with Captain Hook, who is now a permanent member of their family. Check out their Facebook page for updates on his progress! As of this post, Nana and all but one of the puppies have found their forever home, with one puppy being cared for by a loving foster home. Many of the pups start puppy training classes soon at Paw & Order, and their owners plan on staying in touch with each other!
It Took a Village
So many people helped this poor family, including the awesome people at The Great Pyrenees Club of Western Pennsylvania, VCA Met Vet West, Paw & Order Dog Training, Birdie B Kicks, and ALL of the people that so generously donated money to help cover all the expenses involved. It’s the type of story that starts off with bringing a tear to your eye for being so sad but ends with even more tears of happiness.