Fetch – November 2018 – Chili

Chili got the emergency surgery he needed to walk again

UPDATE!! Chili has been adopted!!

His story is still very special to us. Please read below…


Chili had a rash when he was transferred to your Rancho Coastal Humane Society through our FOCAS program. That’s an easy fix with medication and a few days wearing the “cone of shame” to keep him from scratching. His behavior assessment said Chili, a 6-year-old, 32-pound Bassett Hound mix, was social and affectionate.

He was adopted and went to his new home to live happily ever after. Shortly after that, we got a call from Chili’s adopter. He wasn’t able to use his hind legs!

Situations like this are usually due to a trauma. A leap off the bed. A fall off a wall. A twist or turn that went the wrong way. But Chili had done none of that.

His owner took him to a specialist who determined that Chili dog had ruptured a disc. That, combined with internal bleeding, were putting pressure on his spine and taking away his ability to walk. He needed surgery and he needed it right away.

The bill for Chili’s surgery was going to be about $10,000. $10,000 that his owner could not afford. With no other options, she surrendered Chili back to RCHS.

Kathy Zerkle, Vice President of Adoption Services, says Chili’s chance of full recovery was 95% if he got surgery right away. If we delayed, his chances dropped to less than half.

Even with the discount that the surgeon and hospital gave to RCHS, the surgery was still going to cost around $4,000. We don’t have that much money just lying in our emergency medical fund waiting to be spent. But Chili needed help and he needed it right away. So we took a leap of faith and scheduled his surgery.

It was a complete success! There were a few more days wearing the cone while he recovered. You can see the patch on his back where the fur is growing back. Kathy says that Chili is back to his old self and ready to be adopted, but he’s still not telling us how he hurt himself.

The medical fund at RCHS needs to be replenished. We might have a few weeks before a big need comes along, but it might happen tomorrow. When that happens, we want to make sure we can give the next animal the same chance that we gave Chili dog.

Please consider making a donation. For more information (or to meet Chili dog) visit RCHS at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas or call 760-753-6413.

Chili is a perfect example of what we mean when we say Every Animal Deserves a Tomorrow®.