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Balto’s Story

Just like the heroic sled dog he was named after, little Balto embarked on a lifesaving journey. With the help of his foster mom, Pam, the 5-month-old Hound puppy made the 7-hour trek from San Antonio to LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge Louisiana, where he received the heart surgery he needed to survive.

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Balto first arrived at the San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS) in early April with a loud heart murmur. An echocardiogram revealed he had severe pulmonic stenosis, a condition that restricts blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body, causing his little heart to work overtime.

Through a coordinated effort between SAHS veterinarians, his foster mom, Pam, and LSU, the surgery was performed on May 31, and it was successful.

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“The procedure to correct this condition is a balloon valvuloplasty, which requires specialized equipment usually only located at veterinary teaching hospitals,” SAHS Associate Veterinarian Dr. Leslie Hopes said. “LSU was incredible in working with us to help get Balto the care he needed.”

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It’s been almost two weeks since the surgery, and Balto is doing great – his heart is now stronger! This resilient boy is now ready for his next adventure – finding his forever family. He will now be able to live a full and happy life.

Balto’s story is another great example that fostering saves lives. His foster mom played a major role during his entire journey and recovery.

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“Pam is truly a rockstar. She not only fostered Balto prior to surgery but transported him to Baton Rouge, stayed multiple nights in town during the procedure, and then transported him back. She then cared for him post-operatively,” Dr. Hopes added. “I am forever grateful to Pam for being the real MVP in this case!”

As for Pam, she describes this foster experience as truly rewarding.

“I feel so fortunate to have been part of the team caring for Balto,” Pam shared. “It became even more special after I met the LSU team. They were all so caring and showed a special interest in Balto and his story.”

According to Pam, Balto was an amazing travel companion and was responsive to the training they were able to accomplish.

“Balto is a very sweet puppy. He loves to be petted and snuggled. He will be a great addition to a family looking for a sweet, loving puppy,” Pam concluded.

If you’d like to adopt Balto, he will be available for on June 11.

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About SAHS

The San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, no-kill organization that has served Bexar County and its surrounding areas since 1952. The SAHS shelters, medically treats, and rehabilitates thousands of dogs and cats every year.

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