Janie and Joey had been living at the Dogs Forever shelter in Cedar Rapids for about a year when Janie got away during one of her daily walks. It was the night of December's big blizzard.
"Everyone, of course, was panicked and we had volunteers generously donating their time because they knew Janie," said Nancy Crist, Dogs Forever.
Shelter volunteers found the dog the next day. Janie looked like she'd been hit by a car and had a large injury to her stomach. She spent the night on a patch of ice and her ear was frozen to it.
"She initially had a surgery to close up the wound on her side, we were kind of in a wait and see mode on her ear," said Michele Means, Volunteer. "We weren't sure how much damage had been done by the frost bite."
Since the blizzard Michele Means has been taking care of Janie as the dog has gone through multiple surgeries, including one that cut off part of her left ear.
"It was hugely emotional and overwhelming," said Means. "It was a 24/7 job."
Dogs Forever has spent about $2,000 taking care of Janie since the blizzard. The shelter is a place for canine companions to go if they're about to be put down at another shelter because Dogs Forever never euthanizes.
"The dogs are not on a timeline where they need to get adopted," said Crist. "The goal is, at some point in time, to find them a forever home."
The not-for-profit is funded through donations. The shelter often takes in dogs that have health issues, and nurses them back to health before finding them a forever home, dogs like Janie.
"Helping animals that can't help themselves, or anyone, people, children, is a rewarding thing to do," said Means.
Janie will next need surgery to remove her ear canal, which was severely damaged during the blizzard. But for now, she's looking forward to having her brother Joey joining her in her foster home.
Dogs FOrever is accepting donations on their website to help pay for the cost of Janie's surgeries.
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