Mya’s Story: Resilience & Recovery with Support from PASS and Dogs Matter

Gentle senior pup Mya’s owner was entering recovery — but during her temporary foster stay, Mya would soon find herself in need of some medical treatment of her own. When a small bump on her lower lip began to rapidly grow, our teams worked quickly to get Mya the life-saving care she needed.

How Mya Joined the DPA Family

Mya entered the care of DPA’s Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender (PASS) program in mid-October, when she and her brother Kade were in need of a temporary foster home. We learned of Mya and Kade through partnering organization Dogs Matter, a program that helps recovering addicts and alcoholics place their dogs with temporary fosters while they begin their journey to recovery.

Prior to connecting with our PASS team, Mya and Kade’s owner had nowhere else for them to stay while they sought out in-patient treatment, and the dogs were both at risk of being surrendered to a shelter. Through the efforts of PASS and Dogs Matter, we were able to help this family during their time of need.

Dedicated fosters stepped up to care for both pups, and we were able to successfully prevent an unwanted shelter surrender. Their owner had a huge weight lifted knowing that Mya and Kade were in great hands, allowing them to focus on their own recovery and look forward to reuniting with their dogs in the near future.

Mya’s Medical Scare and Road to Recovery

Mya’s amazing foster parent opened their heart to this sweet senior gal, giving her somewhere safe to stay and providing the comfort and care she needed while her owner was in treatment. The journey, however, was far from easy. 

While in foster care, Mya was soon facing an uncertain fate when a small bump on her lower lip turned into a concerning mass that rapidly grew to the size of a ping-pong ball. Unfortunately, oral growths are often cancerous in nature. If left untreated, these masses can spread cancer cells throughout the body, and even cause difficulty with everyday functions such as eating and drinking. 

Senior dog Mya prior to recovery, with a ping-pong ball-sized tumor on her lower lip.
Mya, a 9-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback

Mya’s life had just taken a challenging turn — complicated further by her age and an existing chronic heart murmur. Recognizing the urgency of her situation, we knew there was no time to waste in helping relieve Mya’s pain and getting her the care she needed. 

In a crucial moment, Mya was brought to Mazie’s Mission and underwent a medical dental cleaning, during which the tumor was successfully removed and sent out for further testing. Mya was closely monitored in the following weeks, ensuring she was comfortable and well-cared for while she healed from her procedure. When the results of her biopsy finally came in, it brought a huge wave of relief – the tumor was benign, and Mya was cancer-free! 

The Impact of Dallas Pets Alive’s PASS Program

Mya’s story not only highlights the resilience of animals facing adversity, but also the critical role of Dallas Pets Alive’s PASS program. From our amazing partners Dogs Matter and Mazie’s Mission, to the incredible PASS volunteers and fosters that all stepped up to help Mya — these dedicated supporters are all committed to the well-being of animals, ensuring that other pets like Mya receive the foster care, medical attention, and resources needed to overcome challenges during their family’s time of need.

The compassion and generosity of the community played a pivotal role in Mya’s care. The financial burden of her medical expenses, which exceeded $1,000, was lightened by the support of generous donors who believe in the mission of Dallas Pets Alive and the PASS program.

Mya’s owner was beyond grateful that we were able to help get their dog the care she needed, and was incredibly relieved to hear the news that Mya is cancer-free and recovering beautifully. Mya and Kade both enjoyed their stay in the expert care of our dedicated fosters for the remainder of their owner’s treatment program.

After finding a new home with a huge yard for the dogs to play in, and looking forward to a healthier lifestyle, Mya and Kade’s owner was ready to welcome their dogs home! Both pups were beyond excited to reunite with each other and their owner after being apart for several months. See their joyful reunion for yourself here! 

Mya and Kade’s joyful reunion with their owner

How to Help Other Animals in Need Like Mya

Mya’s story is a testament to the transformative power of compassion and community. Together, we can create more success stories like hers, offering a second chance to those who need it most – because every animal deserves a chance at a brighter, healthier future.

As we celebrate Mya’s victory, we invite you to join us in supporting the PASS program. Your contributions can make a tangible difference in the lives of other animals facing adversity. Every bit of support helps to ensure the PASS program continues to thrive!

Here are a few ways you can get involved:

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