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Last Updated:
4/12/2024 8:03 PM


In loving memory of all HUGS Alumni & Canine Volunteers
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3-9-2016. Kiah was a gorgeous, sweet, approx 1.5 y.o. girl who up until rescue lived as a stray on the reservation. Reservation dogs lead a very hard life with no shelter, little food, and no vet care. Many of them die young due to accidents, deprivation, and/or sickness among other causes. Kiah, was found with her litter of 7 puppies. The pups, would surely have died as the temperatures dropped. With below zero wind chills, nights can be dangerously cold at Rosebud & Pine Ridge Reservations for the more than 2000 stray dogs and puppies trying to survive out in the elements. Sadly, and despite everyone's best efforts, Kiah didn't make it, due to traumatic injuries and damage that she had suffered prior to coming into rescue. Luckily, thanks to their amazing foster parents, Kiah's pups all thrived and survived. We are sorry that Kiah didn't get to enjoy her second chance at a better life in rescue, but we are very glad that at least her pups will. Kiah's legacy lives on in her gorgeous pups, and this sweet girl will never be forgotten.

Hawthorne *Silva's Puppy*

3-4-2016. Sometimes rescue leaves you heartbroken. Unfortunately, one of our new rescue puppies lost his fight with Parvo yesterday. Hawthorne (along with his other litter mates), struggled with Parvo since birth. Receiving round the clock care just wasn't enough to help him win this fight, and in the end, little Hawthorne's body gave up. Parvo is a completely preventable disease, all it requires is a vaccine. The puppies' mother, Silva, must have been exposed to Parvo and passed it on to her pups when she gave birth to them. A special thanks to Jennifer VanderMeer for saving Silva and pups, and finding them rescue so that they could have a chance in the first place; to volunteer Anita for dropping everything and picking up Silva and pups and transporting them to Omaha; and to volunteer Gisèle, for providing round the clock care and meds, bottle-feeding, and even sleeping with the puppies to monitor them. Sometimes, no matter what you do, it just isn't enough. We are all devastated. RIP little Hawthorne, your life mattered

Koko (aka Queen Koko)

2-13-2016. HUGS has just lost another beloved member and canine volunteer. Koko was a gorgeous, long-coated GSD who just lost her battle with cancer at approx 8 y.o. Koko lived a pretty rough life that almost ended tragically, prior to rescue. She was a remarkable girl who rose above her difficult past when she was adopted by our very own Keri & RJ. Under her wonderful parents care, Koko Bean quickly became a breed ambassador who charmed everyone with her grace, poise, and elegance. Queen Koko was one of the founding HUGS dogs and our hearts hurt due to her loss. Her mom, Keri, could not have said it better: "We had just adopted her a year ago. I wish she could have been with us longer but sometimes we don't have a choice. Koko was such a wonderful part of our family and we were blessed she chose us. She has been such a great support for myself and my husband who also was battling cancer and lost his fight a month ago. Every dog who comes through my life teaches me more and more and whether they are here for a month, a year or more, I always feel blessed to have been able to rescue yet another one. You will always be a part of my heart, Pretty Awesome Kokobean!". Our hearts go out to you, Keri. Koko will not be forgotten.


2-2-2016. Gemma was a 6 week-old, unvaccinated puppy living on a reservation in South Dakota. When she became sick, someone left her on a rescuer's doorstep. Unfortunately, she had contracted Parvo and by then she was already lethargic, hypothermic, and had severe vomiting and diarrhea. She was transferred to our vet for care, where the entire vet team worked hard to save her. Sadly, this beautiful girl did not make it. We are glad that we were able to give Gemma a chance, and that when she passed away, she was comfortable, and in the arms of people who cared and grieved for the loss of her short life. RIP Gemma, your life mattered.

Tilly (Miracle dog Matilda)

3-20-16. Matilda (aka Tilly) arrived to HUGS on New Year's day in very poor shape. She came from a kill shelter in California, where she had been dumped. During transport, it became clear that something was medically wrong with Tilly. Upon arrival she was hospitalized and shortly after, she was diagnosed with cancer. She was given 2-6 months to live, and unfortunately our sweet girl just lost her fight. Her wonderful foster parents were with her until the end, loving her and treating her like a member of the family; because to them, that's what she was. Matilda especially loved her foster dad and had an incredible bond with him. Although we are deeply saddened by her loss, and wish she could have had more time here, we are also happy that she crossed the bridge knowing she was loved. This is what her amazing foster mom had to say about their experience with Tilly: "Although Tilly was only with us for a few short months, we knew she was happy and she knew she was very loved. Many have asked us how we could foster a dog knowing we would lose her within a short time. My answer? How could we not? She had been a stray and was in horrible condition when she came into rescue. We wanted to give her the best life we knew how, for however long she would be with us. Would we do it again knowing the outcome? Absolutely. We are much better people for having known Tilly. She was such a sweet spirit. Run free, Tilly." Special thank you to everyone who played a part in her rescue, including the Miracle GSD Network, HUGS volunteers Gisele, Brian and Kimberly for dropping everything and driving all the way to California to bring her into rescue, and most of all to foster parents Dave and Donna, for being Tilly's loving family and angels all the way until the end. We are so thankful for your family. RIP Tilly, your life mattered.

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