Poodle Puppy with Heart Problem to Get a Second Chance

January 22, 2013

Methuen, Mass.—Jan. 22, 2013 – An adorable poodle-terrier puppy with an ultimately fatal heart condition is getting a second chance at life thanks to the MSPCA’s Nevins Farm and Angell Animal Medical Center, the organization announced today.  The life-saving surgery that Angell’s Cardiology team plans to perform on Kisses, however, will likely cost thousands of dollars—and the MSPCA is seeking donations to offset her care.


Kisses was surrendered, along with her three littermates and mother, to the Thomas J. O’Conner Animal Control and Adoption Center in Springfield four months ago.  Shelter veterinarians discovered she was suffering from Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), a condition marked by a blood vessel in the heart that does not close properly after birth.  If left untreated the condition leads to congestive heart failure.


Realizing the spirited four-month-old needed advanced surgery it would be unable to provide, T.J. O’Conner sought help from Mike Keiley, the director of the Noble Family Animal Care and Adoption Center at the MSPCA-Nevins Farm.  “Upon hearing about Kisses’ friendly and playful personality, and the increasingly urgent need to repair her heart, I knew we had to do whatever we could to help her,” he said.


Mending Kisses’ Broken Heart

Keiley and his team arranged for Kisses to be transported to Nevins Farm, then reached out to the Cardiology department at Angell, renowned for its minimally invasive cardiac procedure program.  Dr. Rebecca Quinn, part of the four-veterinarian Cardiology team at Angell, examined Kisses on Jan. 17.  “She’s an excellent candidate for the kind of non-invasive procedure needed to repair her PDA—but since she’s still too little we’ll have to wait until she’s grown larger to perform the procedure.”

 Kisses at MSPCA-Nevins Farm (Credit:MSPCA-Angell)

Dr. Quinn estimates that the surgery will likely be scheduled in two months.


Because Kisses’ surgery will cost thousands of dollars the MSPCA is seeking donations to cover the cost of her care.  Readers who wish to contribute can click here to help Kisses and animals like her get the life-saving treatment they need before they are placed into new homes.


The operation, which will be made more challenging by Kisses’ small size, involves placing a specially designed plug into the end of the affected blood vessel, which in most cases repairs the problem.  Angell heart specialists recently performed the same procedure on another homeless dog named “Lyssa,” who was adopted into a new home after she recovered. 


According to Keiley, Kisses has captured the hearts of everyone involved in her care.  “Our mission is to save the lives of as many animals as we can and place them into permanent homes.  It’s difficult and expensive work—but worth all of our efforts when these pets are adopted into loving homes.  I’m hopeful that our friends and supporters will help us raise the money we need to offset her care, so we can continue this vital work.”


Kisses will require up to a week to recover from her surgery.  The MSPCA-Nevins Farm, in coordination with the Angell Cardiology team, will then announce her availability for adoption.




The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions of individuals who care about animals. Please visit www.mspca.org.