Rescuing Medically Needy Dogs in Central Florida

by Denise Carey-Costa

METTA Rescue Family is a 501c3 non-profit all breed foster based rescue founded by Carrie Henderson and located in Central Florida. Their rescue dogs are housed with fosters throughout Volusia, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, and Lake counties in Florida.

According to their mission statement, the goal of METTA Rescue Family is to work with other rescues, shelters and the Central Florida community to reduce the number of homeless, neglected and abused dogs. They focus on and have a soft spot for medically needy dogs that would otherwise be euthanized.

The origin of their unique name stems from the Buddhist term “Metta” meaning loving, kindness, empathy and compassion for all beings. The METTA family is comprised of volunteers, fosters, and adopters.

Some of the four-legged family members of the rescue include Boogie, a 7-month-old male. Boogie’s life started out in a motel room, with his mom and his siblings. His siblings had all been given away, but Boogie remained because he suffered from puppy Strangles, which causes a puppy’s immune system to attack its own skin. After undergoing several months of treatment, he is doing great! According to Boogie’s foster, this resilient little boy knows how to sit, stand, come, down, shake, high-five and roll over.  He is also good on a leash and loves to snuggle.  Boogie is ready for that special someone to take him in and love him forever! He is an attention hog and his personality will keep you laughing!

Another member of the METTA furry family is Lucha, (short for Luchadora) rescued at nine-weeks old.  Sweet Lucha was born with a spinal deformity that has left her paralyzed from the waist down. She has no control of her urine or bladder and wear diapers. She will need to stay on pain medication and joint supplements for life. Continued physical therapy like hydrotherapy is necessary to keep her body limber and muscle tone. Lucha has a cart that she loves to scoot around in.

Being on two legs does not stop this energetic and playful girl from enjoying life. She loves to chase lizards, sticks, acorns or anything she sees along her walks. She is quite sociable and always greets the neighbors. She loves all people and is fine with other cats and dogs. She is a snuggler!

Lucha has her own Facebook page. Lucha will be a foster-to-adopt situation until the adopters are prepared and fully committed to all her special needs. A family with someone that is home during the day is necessary for Lucha.

Kahlo joined the METTA family on May 30th, 2020. An urgent call for help came into the rescue requesting help for a four-month-old puppy that suffered from a severe spinal cord injury.  METTA sought advice from two University of Florida veterinarian surgeons. Kahlo was diagnosed with a T8-T9 vertebra break, likely completely severed, and T13-L1 fracture. The prognosis was grim. Surgery would only have a 0-5% success rate. Euthanasia was presented as an option, but METTA wanted to give Kahlo every opportunity to live.

Kahlo is undergoing a very conservative treatment plan which has its own risks such as chronic pain, urinary tract infections and the possibility of a re-break anytime during her life. The medications are making a positive impact and like Lucha, Kahlo depends on a cart to get around in. Kahlo also has her own Facebook page.

Please consider donating towards Kahlo’s medical care or purchase supplies she needs from her wish list.

PayPal direct: https://www.paypal.me/MettaRescueFamily

Because METTA has such a soft spot for medically needy dogs that would otherwise be euthanized, their medical expenses are extremely high. To continue this lifesaving work, they need everyone’s help.

To get involved with METTA Rescue Family and to find out more about their adoptable dogs, volunteer opportunities, donating, and fostering, check out their website Or their Facebook page.

*This story was originally published in Pet Rescue Report.

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