August 17, 2010 - RUPERT GOES HOME!!

Today the OPP Officer who rescued Rupert from a frozen ditch on Hwy 401 Christmas morning adopted his canine pal. Thank you to Kingston for making this happy summer day a reality for the young dog so gravely injured in the dark of a December night.


Rupert with Const. Sean McCaffrey, Dr. Cherie White and Christy Fraser.


Sean and Rupert share a laugh.


Finishing the adoption process. Rupert checks out some kittens.

Sean and Rupert chat with local media.



"Thank you so much for even considering helping this guy.  When I found him in the ditch he had spent the night after being hit.  There was a small blood trail where he had dragged himself about 4 or 5 feet.  He had been there long enough that his body heat had melted the 3 inches of snow and ice under him and he was now in a puddle of cold water. He was shivering and in distress ... BUT did not whimper, whine, bark or bite despite at least 5 fractures to his one rear leg and soft tissue damage to both rear knees. "Rupert" as he has been dubbed by us, made it through a horrific night without a complaint ... if anyone deserves a second chance, he surely does!! Spend even a minute with him ... he will win your heart."

Rupert's care and needs are ongoing. We are so grateful to the community for what has been a remarkable gesture of generosity and compassion for this dog, making possible a level of treament that was otherwise unattainable, however we are still in need of funding for Rupert. Any donations made to Rupert's fund are much needed and greatly appreciated. Any funds in excess of Rupert's needs will be directed to the "Skip & Barney Fund" which exists to pay for the medical costs of animals, like Rupert, who come under the care of the KHS and require special treatment for injuries or illness. Now more than ever we are seeing animals turned over to the shelter with needs that owners could not afford to treat. Please help us give these animals, loving, innocent, trusting creatures, every chance for a new family and new happiness. Thank you.

April 22, 2010

The fracture in Rupert's left leg has been slow to heal but over the past month the bone has finally begun to knit. Early in February, an external fixator was applied to Rupert's left leg to further support the fractured area that had been plated. This helped greatly but did restrict the range of motion required for many of Rupert's rehabilitation treatments.

A CT scan of the fracture this week revealed enough healing to allow a modification of the fixator significantly reducing its size and a removal date of one month from now has been set.

Rupert's patience and goodwill throughout the long journey to recovery is admirable and remains everpresent. His foster mom is dedicated and devoted to Rupert and Officer McCaffrey continues regular visits to the pup he rescued from the wintery highway.

Let's hope that spring means a real renewal for this young dog.

January 28, 2010

Rupert attended his weekly rehabiliation session today. With each week he is getting stronger and his therapist is very pleased with his progress. She reports that his right knee is very stable and he is bearing more and more weight on it. His left leg is coming along but may be a bit sore still for Rupert. However, he is not letting this slow him down.

This week Rupert is shaking a paw while standing which means his weight is being borne by three legs. He is also doing exercises while standing on an incline which requires him to support a bit more of his weight on his rear legs.

Rupert's rehabilitation program is moving ahead as actively as possible, again balancing the need for improvement and strength-building with the time and space to allow for healing.

January 19, 2010

On the road and on the mend

Early last week, Rupert was progressing well, settling in with his skilled and doting foster person, trying out his legs and continuing to win over every human he met, however his rehabiliation specialist was concerned about his right knee, thinking it wasn't as stable as it needed to be. And so, Rupert travelled back to Alta Vista to see Dr. Parker one more time. Although the staff at AVAH were very happy to see this special pup again, it was certainly everyone's wish that he would be quickly back to Kingston and recovery.

X-rays confirmed the worry about the unstable knee and Dr. Parker performed surgery to tighten up the ligaments holding Rupert's knee in place. Friday afternoon revealed a much better placement of the joint and all that was left was for Rupert to rest a bit and let the new repair set.

This morning, one of Rupert's best friends, the OPP officer who rescued him from the cold ditch on the 401 Christmas morning, traveled to Ottawa to bring Rupert back to Kingston. Dr. Parker let Rupert go with optimism and good wishes and upon his return to Kingston, Rupert met immediately with his rehabilitation vet who was both encouraged and delighted by the progress Rupert's made.

The intrepid dog (who took full advantage of his drive back to Kingston to catch a long, restful snooze) is not only healing well but also trying out his back legs. An ever-wagging tail and a thoroughly Labby interest in everyone who comes to say hi, reveals Rupert to be a tough soul whose eyes are definitely set on the bright side of things. Each day brings progress and with the dedicated care of his foster person, Rupert moves steadily ahead. A pink leash wasn't even enough to dampen his spirits today.


January 6, 2010

Rupert comes home

KINGSTON -- Rupert returned to Kingston Wednesday afternoon after spending a week at Ottawa's Alta Vista Animal Hospital where he underwent two successful surgeries to repair a shattered femur and ruptured ligament in his rear legs.

The Kingston community made it possible for Rupert to receive the expert care he required, both locally and in Ottawa, donating nearly $12,300.  Further on-going support for Rupert's rehabilitation has already been pledged.

The one-year-old Lab's injuries, once thought inoperable, have been attended to. This achievement was only possible because of  a generous, compassionate community, the work of several concerned citizens and the expertise of both the Ottawa-based veterinary orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Nicholas Parker, who operated on Rupert, and several local Kingston veterinarians who provided early care and consultation ensuring Rupert's comfort and well-being at every step. Rupert has now returned to a foster home in Kingston to begin a period of recovery and rehabilitation.

"We still have a long way to go," said Dr. Parker. "The race is on ... the screws and plate will hold the bone and bear the weight until Rupert's bone heals. It will take 8 to 10 weeks for the bone to fill in where it is broken. What is needed now is stability to the area and blood flow to allow the bone to heal."
Although the break to Rupert's left leg was severe, Dr. Parker is optimistic. "We have good fixation. If the bone heals correctly, this will not be a limitation to Rupert," said Dr. Parker. "Rupert's knee is more of a challenge. There is a likelihood of arthritis later on."

Rupert will be in his foster home for at least the next eight weeks to rest and heal. Once the bones have healed sufficiently he will begin a rehabilitation regime of gradually increasing activity and exercise. Rupert's early release by Dr. Parker was possible because of the expertise of the Kingston veterinary community. Rupert is under the care of Dr. Cherie White, DVM, a certified rehabilitation therapist practicing at Princess Animal Hospital.

Happy to see Rupert head home Wednesday, the staff at Alta Vista will remember this special pup for a long time to come.

"I was here when Rupert came in, he is so amazing," said Erin, a vet tech at Alta Vista. "I am so happy I was here today to see him go home." About the dog she said, "Rupert doesn't like people who wear hats, he doesn't bother cats and he likes goldfish crackers as a treat."

At every turn of Rupert's story he deeply affected those who met him. From the OPP officer who first found Rupert on the 401 and called for help, to the Kingston vets involved in his early care, to the KHS volunteers who  made endless phone calls arranging for the best care for the dog, to the staff at Alta Vista, Rupert melted hearts and rallied humans to his cause. And nowhere was this more evident than in the rush of support from the Kingston public to assist Rupert.

How Rupert won the community's heart

Rupert was struck by a car early Christmas morning on a bleak stretch of the 401 highway just west of Kingston. The stalwart Lab was found in a ditch where he'd dragged himself after suffering severe injuries to both hind legs, including a shattered femur and badly torn ligaments. OPP officer, Sean McCaffrey was directed to the dog by a passerby.

"After being flagged down, I followed the small trail of blood to the dog who, having lain there long enough to melt the snow and ice beneath him, was shivering in a pool of frigid water," said McCaffrey. "Rupert did not whine or growl when I approached him. He shivered and wagged his tail and gobbled some food and allowed me to cover him with my coat and hold him to warm him."

Rupert was transported to the Kingston Regional Pet Hospital. The next morning, Boxing Day, brought a sad turn to the dog's story. It seemed that Rupert's injuries might be too severe to be successfully operable. The afternoon of the 26th saw an improved prognosis for Rupert, with recovery possible although amputation of one leg likely. Rupert's comfort was a priority throughout the evaluation period and he was kept pain-free and at ease.

Rupert's case was then brought to the attention of Dr. Parker and the Ottawa orthopaedic surgeon agreed to assess Rupert at Alta Vista. Not only did Dr. Parker think he could help the dog, he believed that both legs could be saved.

So the young dog made the trip from Kingston to Ottawa late on the 29th and spent the morning of the 30th being assessed. Following the exam, Dr. Parker began surgery to pin and plate the broken femur and repair the torn ligaments in the other leg.

"I spoke with Dr. Parker, a veterinarian orthopaedic surgeon at Alta Vista Animal Hospital in Ottawa. He has fully assessed Rupert and he feels the prognosis for Rupert is quite good," said Janice Saunders, president of the Kingston Humane Society, in a release dated December 30th. "The current plan is to repair Rupert's fractured left hip. Damage to the cruciate ligament in the right hind leg was also detected and Dr. Parker is repairing this injury during [the] surgery as well."

The following morning Rupert underwent a final surgery to adjust the plate and pins and then spent the next five days resting and recovering from the successful but arduous surgery.

When Rupert was first brought to the emergency clinic in Kingston he was a stray with no identifiable owner. The Kingston Humane Society sent out a plea to locate Rupert's owner, unsure of the dog's future and seeking a reunion. The community responded immediately offering concern and financial support for the dog.