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Homeless Puppies from Georgia Need Surgery to Mend “Broken Hearts” Before Loving Homes can be found

MSPCA-Angell and Northeast Animal Shelter Pull out All the Stops to Save “Coco” and “Reesie”

BOSTON and Salem, Mass.— Feb. 17, 2021 – At just 12 weeks old, “Coco” and “Reesie” have already experienced their share of hardship: surrendered to a rural Georgia animal shelter just after birth, with Reesie sickened by deadly Parvovirus, both now face surgery at Angell Animal Medical Center to repair heart conditions that would be fatal if left untreated.

But thanks to the MSPCA-Angell and Northeast Animal Shelter (NEAS), Coco and Reesie are getting the life-saving care they need before they can be placed into adoptive homes.

Reesie was diagnosed with Parvovirus, a highly contagious GI disease that can be fatal if left untreated, just after the twosome arrived at NEAS’ Salem headquarters by way of its Saving Homeless Pets Across America program—which has already brought nearly 150,000 animals from other parts of the country to Massachusetts, where they receive shelter, medical care and—ultimately—loving adoptive homes.

Coco and Reesie arrived on Jan. 16, along with 31 other animals from Georgia, all of whom will ultimately be adopted.

Coco tested negative, but was isolated for 14 days as a precaution, while Reesie was treated for symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.

Neither puppy is out of the woods, however: health checks revealed both are suffering from Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), a condition marked by an abnormal blood vessel outside of the heart that does not close properly after birth.  Left untreated, the condition leads to congestive heart failure.

Dr. Katie Hogan of Angell Animal Medical Center’s cardiology service, is set to perform a noninvasive procedure to place specially designed “occluders,” [plugs] within the end of the affected blood vessels, which in most cases repairs the problem.

“Now that Reesie has recovered from Parvo, they are both good candidates for the procedure,” said Dr. Hogan.  “I expect they will do well, and I’m so grateful to play a role in providing them the bright and healthy future they deserve.”

Help Mend these Broken Hearts!
Reesie and Coco’s procedure is set for Feb. 24, precisely 10 days after St. Valentine’s Day and 10-14 days before they will be placed for adoption by NEAS.

Because the puppies’ medical bills will exceed $10,000 and NEAS is asking donors to help offset the cost by donating at

Mike Keiley, Director of Adoption Centers and Programs at the MSPCA-Angell, and Interim Executive Director of NEAS, is eager to get the puppies out of danger and into new homes.

“Both of these puppies have endured more than their share of challenges in such a short period of time, and they’re just two of the hundreds of animals we’ve helped since our affiliation with NEAS was announced.  We’re only able to meet their extensive medical needs because of the generosity of donors, and I’m grateful to everyone who steps forward to help them,” he said.

Soaring Demand for Adoptable Puppies

Keiley added that the puppies are expected to be available for adoption, in separate homes, by March 10, and that anyone interested in adoption should email

“Demand for all pets—and especially puppies—remains at an all-time high, and our teams will do the best we can to respond to every inquiry, but we ask for patience and understanding as we know that there will be so many more people interested in Coco and Reesie—and our priority is finding them the best possible home, especially after all they’ve been through.”

Keiley said the puppies will do best in homes committed to socializing and training them—and ensuring that they receive a recheck four to six weeks after their procedures to ensure their hearts are healthy.  “If all goes well, we may not need to see them at all long-term—or we may recommend annual follow-up exams,” said Dr. Hogan.