When Spirit was only a few weeks old, a man used this poor, defenseless puppy as a distraction at the border. He was caught on camera throwing her from the Mexico side of the border to the US side only to beat her within an inch of her life, leaving her for dead. When Authorities arrived at the scene, they were shocked to find that the puppy was still alive and immediately rushed her to the Department of Animal Services. When it came time to name the puppy, the staff chose the name Spirit because while the man could break her bones, he did not break her Spirit.
Dan DeSousa, County Department of Animal Control Director, worked closely with Spirit during this time. Television chef/celebrity Rachael Ray contacted the Department of Animal Control and offered to pay whatever it cost for her care.
Spirit’s recovery was long and extensive, but with the help of Dr. Fred Pike and the staff at Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Sorrento Valley, she did indeed make almost a full recovery. Spirit is now eleven years old and has a great life she shares with a house full of cats.
Most days Spirit can be found sleeping on the couch with a cat or two curled up beside her. Occasionally she attends media events promoting the Spirit Medical Fund and awareness for abused and neglected animals.
Although she had a rough start to her life, she has had a great life since. This August, Spirit will be celebrating her 13th birthday with us!
While Rachel Ray paid Spirit’s costly medical bills, other donations continued to roll in. The Department decided to utilize these funds by creating the Spirit Medical Fund. Many animals have greatly benefited from the Spirit Medical Fund and with the continued support of individuals and groups, the fund continues to thrive and help animals.