In July, a shelter dog named Hutch arrived at the Atlanta Humane Society (AHS) from a shelter in North Carolina. Once he arrived, it was clear to the AHS staff that he had a problem. Hutch had trouble breathing and was coughing, so the shelter’s medical team examined him. They found the dog had a heart murmur, which is very dangerous for dogs. He required further testing to understand how serious the murmur was and the staff had a difficult choice on their hands. The issue was that testing and treatment for a heart murmur is very expensive. It’s also tough to find an adopter willing to take on a dog with medical needs and agree to expensive medication and ongoing treatment.
So, the AHS reached out to a donor who agreed to cover the cost of Hutch’s testing and treatment. Hutch went to a cardiologist and was diagnosed with pulmonic stenosis, which means Hutch has a partial obstruction that was preventing blood flow to his heart. His heart was quite literally broken, but doctors knew they could fix it. Hutch went to Auburn University in Alabama for surgery and it went well. He was then transported to a foster home, but he needed another miracle: a forever home who was willing to take on a dog with special medical needs.
As it turns out, all it took was one Instagram post. A woman named Jamie Butler saw the post and knew he was meant to be a member of their family: her daughter also has pulmonary stenosis. It was the perfect home for Hutch and his new sister Page, who is the youngest of four girls. Page also had successful surgery and will need monitoring for the rest of her life, just like Hutch. It was the perfect place for Hutch and for his sister, knowing they will go through their treatments and challenges together.