3200 Carr Street, Houston, TX 77026. Phone: 3-1-1

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AdoptPress Release

Update on Keiko, Blind Black and White Pit Bull Mix

March 19, 2010 - As updated previously, yesterday afternoon BARC staff obtained a fifth and sixth medical opinion from private veterinarians (including an animal ophthalmologist) regarding the appropriate treatment for Keiko.  All six vets, including the animal ophthalmologist, agreed the surgery should proceed as scheduled.  Each of the examining veterinarians also concluded that Keiko had been the victim of trauma or possible animal cruelty.  Although there is a risk associated with any surgery, all medical professionals believed from their examinations that Keiko should have the procedure performed as soon as possible. 

Prior to surgery this morning, Dr. Mendelsohn conferred with the ophthalmologist regarding what specific anesthesia and surgical procedures should be followed for Keiko.  The two medical professionals agreed on the surgical approach that would minimize the risk to Keiko. Keiko went into surgery this morning at 9:11 a.m.  She had a strong pulse throughout, and displayed no anesthetic or surgical complications during the procedure.  Upon recovery, Keiko had difficulty breathing without pure oxygen, and was placed back on oxygen and assisted ventilation.  As recovery progressed, Keiko’s body temperature began falling.  The medical team applied heating pads and a heating light while they maintained intravenous fluid delivery.  Her pulse and heart quality were good throughout recovery to this point.  When the doctors attempted to let Keiko breathe on her own, she maintained normal breathing and cardiac patterns for several minutes but then stopped breathing and there was no pulse.  Keiko was placed back on oxygen, and the medical team initiated CPR. After 50 minutes of CPR, our medical team pronounced her dead. 

The vets who treated Keiko indicate she had simply been through too much trauma prior to coming to BARC.  We extend our sincerest thanks to the medical team at BARC and in the community who fought hard to give Keiko a chance at recovery from her terrible experience.  Although we are terribly grieved at her loss, BARC is heartened by the incredible power this special girl had to motivate a City to take action on her behalf. 

There is a small group in the large, dedicated animal advocacy community who will choose to beat up BARC for doing the heavy lifting on behalf of Keiko.  We strongly urge that the medical professionals who fought so hard for Keiko over the last five days be treated fairly. Keiko was a very special girl. 

If you witness animal cruelty or an animal in distress, we urge you to contact one of the organizations below:

Houston Police Department: 713-884-3131

Houston Humane Society: 713-433-6421, ext. 396

Houston SPCA: 713-869-7722

BARC: 713-229-7300