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Photo by Jim Quigg
November, the puppy licks Jerry Turkowski as he passes the dog to his son Austin Turkowski. A friend found the the puppy in a box with a severely damaged leg, and the Turkowski's found a vetinarian willing to complete a life saving surgery on the puppy.

Injured puppies get medical attention, find families

Loving families, generous veterinarians make two puppies' Christmases especially merry

Star Editor

Until recently, these puppies’ futures were about as bleak as a 100-year Mojave Desert storm.

Despite two distinctly different stories of uncertainty, the pups share a single outcome of hope, love and family.

In mid-November, a friend called Terri Turkowski of Hesperia to say she found a little puppy in a field near her home. Its front paw was injured, and the puppy was in pain. So the woman brought the pooch over to Turkowski’s home.

“I took one look and realized this puppy needs help,” Turkowski said.

She took the boxer mix to a local veterinary office, but the news wasn’t good.

“They said, “It will be at least $2,000, and if I were you I’d take this puppy to the pound.’”

But, according to Turkowski, the city’s animal control facility didn’t offer a solution. “Apparently there was nothing I could do.”

‘Traumatic week’

With family surround her, Inez Hanna died Tuesday after receiving hospice for a terminal illness. Afterward, her niece, Jessica Adams, and her family were driving to their Hesperia home early in the morning when they saw a small figure and stopped the car.

“There was a puppy in the middle of the road looking up at everybody,” Adams said.

She put the injured chow-shepherd mix into her trunk and drove home. Then Adams arranged for her children to go to daycare early so she could begin the frustrating journey to help the helpless dog. Adams took the pooch to several local veterinary offices but none offered much hope for the puppy. One vet said he wouldn’t look at the pooch unless he paid $200 up front.

“I don’t have any money. I really want this dog to get fixed but I don’t have any money for it.”

Animal control didn’t seem to have a magic answer for her either.

“It’s been a traumatic week,” she said.

Vets, organizations offer help

Adams and Turkowski would soon discover that people were ready and willing to help.

Turkowski’s husband Jerry Turkowski took their injured puppy to Hesperia Animal Hospital and asked, “Could you help us? What can we do?”

Dr. Shafeeq Ahmed said the puppy’s leg was severely injured.

“Basically the bone was severed,” Terri Turkowski said.

Dr. Ahmed said he would do the amputation for only $600 and give another $300 discount to the Turkowskis.

“Basically the $300 we paid went for the oxygen,” she said. “He [Dr. Ahmed] is awesome.”

Earlier this week, Adams decided to try another vet, so she took the dog to Animal Medical Center in Hesperia. An X-ray revealed the puppy had a relatively simple break to her humerus bone. Adams had three choices: Pay $1,800 to completely repair the leg, pay about $800 to amputate — or put the puppy to sleep.

“It really broke my heart. I really didn’t know what to do.”

Adams asked friends if they could help out. Family friend Chris Sonmor donated $100. Then the LifeLiine for Pets organization pitched in $300, and Animal Welfare Association gave $100.

Then the veterinarian contacted her with a generous offer.

“They pulled me aside and said, ‘We’ve got so many people calling wanting to help her, and we want to help her too.’”

They reduced the leg repair surgery by $1,000 and essentially donated their labor.

“Everybody at the office has already fallen in love with her,” Adams said.

New families

Today, thanks to help from two veterinarians and others, the puppies have found new families that love them.

The Turkowskis named their male puppy “November” in honor of the month he was found abandoned in the field.

“He became my puppy when he came to the door,” Turkowski said. “He’s got a home, and we love him. It’s amazing, as bad as the situation was he’s here, he’s alive, and he’s loved.”

Adams named her female puppy “Hanna” in honor of her late aunt.

“It’s just reminding me that things happen for a reason,” she said. “This dog comes into this family’s life. It’s a new beginning. The last thing I wanted to do was put her to sleep. I was going to find a way. She came into our lives, and now she’s part of our family.”


How to help

Both the Turkowski and Adams families are welcoming assistance to help pay the remainder of their veterinarian bills.

To help the Adams’ family pay for Hanna’s surgery, donations can be made in Hanna’s name to Animal Medical Center in Hesperia. Call (760) 948-2497 for information.

To help the Turkowski family pay for November’s surgery, donations can be made in November’s name to Hesperia Animal Hospital. Call (760) 948-1553 for information.


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