Edmonton’s ‘Christmas miracle’ dog cleared for adoption weeks after being found ‘near death’

Karen Melnyk, a registered veterinary technologist at Edmonton's Animal Care and Control Centre, holds a dog name Terra. Dean Twardzik/ Global News

Less than two months after being found emaciated in central Edmonton, a dog who a veterinary technologist said was one the most severe cases in her career, has been cleared for adoption after being nursed back to health by the team at the city’s Animal Care and Control Centre.

“She’s our Christmas miracle,” Karen Melnyk, a registered veterinary technologist at the centre, told Global News on Friday. “She was very close (to death).

The city said the dog, Terra, was discovered by animal control peace officer Isaac Firt on Christmas Eve. He was shocked and saddened when he responded to a stray dog call that led him to Terra and said she couldn’t lift her head, was foaming at the mouth was blinking her eyes very slowly.

Melnyk recounted the moment the Shepherd-cross was admitted to the Animal Care and Control Centre.

Story continues below advertisement

“She was severely emaciated. She couldn’t stand. She couldn’t walk on her own,” she said. “They immediately transferred her over the the Guardian Veterinary Centre who was our emergency clinic that we use for injured animals. They started treatment on her when she got there and then transferred her to us.”

Melnyk said that although Terra appeared to be near death, there was still fight left in her.

“She looked at us and said, ‘I’m not willing to give up yet,’ so we weren’t willing to give up on her.”

READ MORE: Emaciated dog rescued from hurricane Dorian ruins aptly named ‘miracle’

The team at the centre watched Terra 24 hours a day at first, turning her to prevent sores from developing and helping her put on weight. She required a blood transfusion and then an emergency spay.

Terra, who is six years old, will now be adopted by a registered veterinary technologist that saw her at the Guardian Veterinary Centre the night she was admitted. The dog will first be transferred to a local rescue group this weekend and then the adoption process will go forward.

“It’s a very happy ending,” Melnyk said.

“She’s touched a lot of hearts around here and it’s going to be tough to see her go.”

Story continues below advertisement
Terra and her dedicated team of caregivers. From left to right: Amy Buijze, Jessica Stern, Christina Pederson, Dr. Christine Hitesman, Karen Melnyk, Shea MacCallum and Sherri Tobert. Missing from photo: Janice Rossetti, Cindy Liddle and Dr. Karen Lange. CREDIT:

Charges have been laid under the Animal Protection Act against Terra’s previous owner in connection with her condition when she was taken in.

The city says anyone who sees an animal in distress should call 311.

Sponsored content