Hannah Was Pregnant And Wounded, But Then A Miracle Happened


Not every dog owner is a good owner. A home is not just a roof over a dog’s head. And, being someone’s dog doesn’t mean they’re set for life. 

Hannah, the poor German Shepherd girl, thought she had it all: a home and someone to look after her. 

Boy was she wrong!

What looked like a life was actually a nightmare. And, Hannah was the prisoner of her own sad destiny.

Hannah’s life finally got tumbled, but in a good way. 

This is the story of her rescue, her incredible recovery, and proof that love and determination could give a chance to even those without any hope left.

Home That Wasn’t Really A Home

photo of dogs lying in shade
Source: The Dog People

Buckeye, Arizona, three years ago…

Arizona’s hot ground was serving as a home for Hannah and her three pups from a previous litter. The owner was absent for more than a year and a half, ending up sick and with family in Oklahoma. 

The dogs were left to themselves, even though friends and neighbors were supposed to take care of them.

November 12th, 2020 was a horrific day for Hannah. Someone shot her at close range, leaving a bullet stuck next to her spine and her hind legs functionless.

Hannah was down. She got paralyzed. 

Soon enough, someone called the Sheriff’s department and they took Hannah to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC), in Phoenix, Arizona. 

The shelter took Hannah in, but they immediately told her rescuers that they wouldn’t be able to keep her alive for long. She was a case destined to fail. The forever sleep list was waiting for her.

But then, a wonderful surprise happened! Hannah’s real savior came in! It was Trish Houlihan, founder of the nonprofit, Saving Paws Rescue Arizona (SPR).

the dog named Hannah lying and woman petting her
Source: The Dog People

Trish was used to coming at the last moment, saving German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois from eternal sleep. This brave woman devoted her entire life to saving pups in need. Hannah’s case was a tough one, but still not too tough for Trish. 

The poor GSD girl couldn’t move, and Trish knew she had to react quickly. She took her to VetMED, in Phoenix, where they did an X-ray and found out that the bullet was lodged near Hannah’s spine.

But, that wasn’t all.

There was another surprise waiting for Trish and the rest of the staff: Hannah was expecting puppies!

The Road To Recovery Was A Long One

Hannah drinking water from a bowl in woman's lap
Source: The Dog People

Seeing how close the bullet was to Hannah’s spine, vets knew that if they didn’t remove it as soon as possible, Hannah wouldn’t make it.

Surgery was done on November 13th. Even though there were significant risks that it wouldn’t be a successful one and that her puppies wouldn’t make it out alive, Trish and the vets decided Hannah’s best chance of survival and to walk again was to have that surgery.

Luckily, everything went according to plan, and Hannah fought like a champ!

And, other people fought for Hannah, too!

A man who claimed to be the brother of Hannah’s first owner called and asked about the dog. Then, the owner’s stepdaughter called and asked if they had Hannah. 

None of them showed up to pick her up, especially not upon learning that there was a huge medical bill of $9,000 for Hannah’s surgery.

The brave girl went into the caring home of Michelle Forster, who nursed her back on her feet.

No one knew if Hannah would ever walk again. But, Michelle did everything she could to help this GSD girl that suffered through a lot.

woman feeding Hannah on the grass
Source: The Dog People

“For the next two weeks, I made sure to get Hannah moving,” Forster said. “We went slow. I was always there to help her walk and get up. We did morning sponge baths, and also in the afternoon if she needed it. I also worked daily on her legs using different therapy—we did bicycle movements, heat, cold, and pressure points. Each day, she was getting stronger.”

Each day brought more and more improvement to Hannah. She was walking with a harness, slowly regaining strength in her hind legs, especially in her left one.

“One of the hardest things to accomplish because she was so heavy with puppies was getting a sling under her belly to help get her up,” Houlihan explained. “I think it made it harder on her to get up while trying to use her back legs and go potty.”

Everything would be so much easier if Hannah gave birth to her puppies.

That day finally came!

On December 6th, Hannah gave birth to 11 puppies. It was a big litter, but unfortunately, not every pup made it.

At the end, she had two females and four males, including two breech. The rest of the litter was gone. 

Hannah looking at her puppies
Source: The Dog People

Hannah turned out to be an incredible mom with impeccable instincts. Although she was struggling with her limitations, she did her best to make sure her puppies were as happy as they could be. 

She had every right to become mean and aggressive to humans, but she knew that not everyone’s the same.

With a lot of help from Michelle, Trish, and the rest of the SPR, Hannah rose above everything, forgot her past, and worked on her future.

Today, she’s healthier than ever, despite her surgery and occasional pain because of her arthritis. 

The pup that everyone said wouldn’t make it is now walking tall.

SPR is a non-profit organization. They fight hard and use all their funds to help out dogs in need – dogs that have no other chance but this organization. Your little bit can mean a lot to them if you donate. 

There are more dogs like Hannah out there. Help them get Hannah’s happy ending!