EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 1, 2013

Kisses will get her heart surgery, new home

METHUEN — It took less than a week for Kisses the puppy to find a new home, and for the MSPCA to raise more than $10,000 to pay for her life-saving heart surgery.

The tiny poodle-terrier mix has Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), a condition marked by a blood vessel in the heart that didn’t close properly after birth. If left untreated, PDA leads to congestive heart failure.

To help save Kisses, the MSPCA posted a fundraiser page online to collect donations for her heart surgery. The 11-week-old pup’s story was then featured last Friday in The Eagle-Tribune and by other media outlets.

The response was overwhelming. MSPCA officials said they’ve since raised over $10,000 for Kisses, or more than double the amount needed to pay for her surgery, which is expected to cost between $3,500 and $4,500.

Kisses was also recently adopted by a family in the Boston area and will head to her new home this week.

“She got the full ride,” said MSPCA at Nevins Farm Director Mike Keiley. “People really stepped up and helped out this little dog. We can’t thank people enough.”

Keiley said MSPCA officials expected it would take several weeks to raise enough money for Kisses. After her surgery, any left over funds will be used to care for other homeless animals bunking at the MSPCA’s three shelters in Methuen, Boston and Centerville.

“Right now we have three dogs that need knee surgery,” said Keiley. “It’s going to go toward helping them get adopted as well.”

Kisses was brought to Methuen along with her mother and three litter mates by way of a Springfield animal shelter, after their owner flagged down a passing animal control van and surrendered the dogs on the spot.

Weighing in at just 3 pounds, Kisses won’t have her operation until she gains more weight. She’s expected to have surgery at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston within two months.

“As soon as she hits that five-pound mark, we’ll bring her in for surgery,” said Keiley. “We’ll be weighing her on a weekly basis.”

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