Puppy rescued from Hurricane Harvey gets lifesaving surgery in Virginia Beach

Muna recovering from surgery.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey were still rising when rescuers spotted a six-pound puppy tied to the front porch of a Houston home.

They convinced the puppy’s owner to turn her over to them, and they brought her to safety in Virginia Beach. But the 10-week-old puppy, named Muna, still had obstacles ahead. She couldn’t eat without vomiting. Without surgery, she would die.

“She’s the spunkiest little thing and she’s got a tremendous will to live,” said Michelle Westervelt, Muna’s foster mom and a founder of the rescue group Partners Among Cats and Canines. “We just knew we couldn’t give up on her.”

On Tuesday, a surgeon from BluePearl Veterinary Partners operated on Muna to correct a vascular ring anomaly, a condition where the esophagus is trapped by a ligament that extends from the pulmonary artery and the aorta, restricting the ability to ingest food.

During the procedure, Dr. Anemone Andronescu cut the constricting band, which should allow Muna to return to a normal diet.

Muna and Dr. Anemone Andronescu

“It’s a big surgery for a little dog,” said Dr. Andronescu. “But young dogs tend to recover more quickly.”

After the surgery, Muna remained hospitalized so that she could be monitored. She will also need to be watched closely over the next few weeks to assess her recovery. But overall, her prognosis is good, Dr. Andronescu said.

That’s a big relief to Westervelt, who loves watching Muna snuggle and play with her rescue dogs Stella and Baloo.

“Muna thinks she’s a 60-pound dog,” Westervelt said, laughing. “She’s only six pounds but she acts like she’s the boss.”

The rescue group is raising money to help offset the cost of the surgery. Those interested in contributing are encouraged to click here.

Once Muna has recovered, the rescue group will begin accepting applications from those who are interested in adopting the spunky pup. Westervelt said it won’t be easy to say good-bye.

“I’ve fostered a lot of dogs, and she’s definitely going to be one of the hard ones to let go of,” she said. “She’s brought us so much joy.”

Muna cuddling with her foster sister, Stella.