NewsLocal News


Helen Woodward puppy to receive complex surgery to repair heart murmur

helen woodward puppy cowboy heart surgery_2.JPG
helen woodward puppy cowboy heart surgery.jpg
Posted at 4:48 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 19:50:19-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — An orphaned puppy at a local animal rescue will receive a state-of-the-art heart surgery to repair a rare heart murmur.

Helen Woodward Animal Center said Tuesday Cowboy, a terrier-blend brought to the center last October, has an irregular heart rhythm, so intense that veterinary staff could actually feel a distinct and loud rumble if their hands were placed on his chest.

The puppy was brought into the center with his mother and five siblings, all of whom have found new homes.

RELATED: Puppies found abandoned in Escondido park adopted out to new homes

Since Cowboy arrived at Helen Woodward, he's been cared for by center staff and a foster owner and administered a medication called Atenolol to take pressure off his heart.

“We care deeply about every single orphan pet that comes into our care and go to great lengths to make sure that each one of these wonderful animals has the chance to live a long, healthy and happy life with a loving forever family,” Jennifer Shorey, Helen Woodward Animal Center Director of Operations, said. “When we learned about Cowboy’s unique condition, we didn’t hesitate to find him the expert care he needs. We’re looking forward to seeing him thrive through surgery and eventually find a family of his own.”

Cowboy is now set to receive a complex surgery in May.

RELATED: Sea lion pup rescued by SeaWorld from rocks in Ocean Beach

Cardiology specialists at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Center in San Diego will perform the procedure, which involves placing a deflated balloon into Cowboy's heart valve and inflating it to open the stricture and ease blood flow to lower his heart pressure.

The center is accepting donations to help fund Cowboy's state-of-the-art surgery. Anyone who would like to donate to support Cowboy and other pets at the center can do so by calling 858-756-4117, extension 347 or by visiting