Four Dogs, Four Stories, Four Surgeries

Twix, a 3 year-old chow chow mix, came to us from our friends at Lightshine Canine. Twixxie, as he’s known in rescue, was found as a stray out on the ‘rez’ in South Dakota and was seen being picked on by other dogs. We knew when we brought him in that he had a shattered front left leg, but had no idea how it had gotten to be so broken.

Once we got Twix’s x-rays back, though, we realized the damage was caused by bullet fragments that lined his leg. Immediately, we knew that surgery to amputate the leg was absolutely necessary. Twix’s leg was removed and he was neutered at the same time.

However, Twix suffered a surgical complication during his neuter procedure that involved extreme swelling of his genitals, and had to go back under to have the excess tissue removed.

Twix dirty
Twix in a sweater
Twix yappy

Please consider making a donation today to help cover the expenses for animals that need extra care. And right now, you can double your impact! Every donation from now until March 31 will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000, by our friend Paul Morrison, a RE/MAX Results agent in St. Cloud!

Maggie was surrendered to us because she didn’t do well with the cat in her previous home. After a foster stepped up to take in the 4 year-old American Staffordshire Terrier, we received vet records that stated she might be a bit of a tougher-than-usual case due to previous ailments that prevented her from exercising for long periods of time. We discovered that she had a torn ACL that had never been fixed and knew she needed to see a veterinarian to assess the damage.


Maggie visited our partner vet and the diagnoses was disheartening: she needed surgery. ACL tears are serious and the only way to give Maggie the quality of life she deserved was to have surgery. Her procedure went as well as to be expected and she is now recovering in her loving foster home.

Sometimes, when animals come to Ruff Start, all they need is routine vetting like vaccines and microchipping (and a loving home, of course). Other times, like in the case of Twix and Maggie above or Trip and Blue Ivy below, they need much more attention like extra testing, special medications, and unfortunately, major surgery. Ruff Start depends on community donations to cover expenses above and beyond routine vetting. Donations of any amount are so important so that together, we can save more animals’ lives.


Trip, a 3 year-old yellow Labrador retriever, came to us from one of our partner shelters in Texas. When Trip arrived in Minnesota, he was quite obviously in pain, continually limping on his left rear leg. We had him checked out at a partner clinic and x-rays confirmed he had a healed femur fracture as well as an ACL tear. The only way to fix these issues was to perform a TPLO (tibial-plateau-leveling-osteotomy) surgery to stabilize his joint(s) after the ruptures and long-term degeneration that weakened his ligaments over time.

Ever the fighter, Trip went in for TPLO surgery as well as his routine neuter and is healing, at the time of this posting, as well as we could hope. We believe he will continue to have a slight limp due to his previously fractured femur healing on its own, but are already seeing much better movement in his leg thanks to the surgery.

In all, Trip’s surgery cost $1,911.84. On top of this, Trip was also heartworm positive. His treatments are not yet completed but are expected to incur at least another $300.

Remember, every donation we receive between now and March 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000! Perhaps your donation will be what helps pay for Blue Ivy’s expenses.

Blue Ivy, a 7 year-old American Pit Bull Terrier, came to us from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control after being surrendered there with her puppy. Her previous owner could no longer care for them as she was moving to care for a family member. Immediately, Ruff Start stepped up to bring both Blue Ivy and her puppy who has since been adopted into rescue.

When Blue Ivy entered her foster home, it was obvious that she favored her left hind leg and showed signs of pain when touched. After a radiograph, the cause of her suffering was discovered: she had a luxating patella, meaning her patella continually popped in and out, causing severe pain.

Blue Ivy

Blue Ivy went to one of our partner clinics for surgery to repair an extracapsular (bone fracture near a joint) and luxated patella. She is recovering favorably but still has a long way to go.

Twix, Maggie, Trip, and Blue Ivy are not only surviving, but THRIVING after getting a second chance at life thanks to the quick and meticulous work of our vetting staff, the constant love provided by these dogs’ amazing foster homes during their recovery period, and our wonderful vet partners, who offer us discounted services in an effort to give back to these animals that need us most. These four pups are enjoying an improved quality of life because generous, animal-loving people like you choose to support Ruff Start. We are so grateful to our wonderful supporters. And don’t forget – any size gift made between now and March 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

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