GEORGETOWN - Here in Central Texas, one organization is taking life-saving steps to help shelter dogs suffering from cancer. Now it needs your help to find loving homes for the animals they've nursed back to health.
Joline is a sweet dog, full of love and life. Watching her run and play around the yard, you'd never imagine she had a radical mastectomy.
"She had mammary cancer in all of her teats," said veterinarian Stacy Hodges.
Joline is just one of the dogs veterinarian Stacy Hodges is helping to beat a disease that kills scores of humans and dogs every year.
"People hear the word cancer in dogs and they automatically think it's a death sentence," Hodges said.
Ketopet Sanctuary in Georgetown takes in dogs with cancer from shelters where they would ultimately be euthanized.
Right now 16 dogs are being treated by vets, oncologists and technicians, using human therapies to prolong canine lives.
On the 120-day program, some dogs undergo chemotherapy.
"They don't really lose their hair, they don't get very nauseous or anything like that, dogs handle chemo incredibly well compared to humans," Hodges said.
The four-legged patients enjoy a playground and acres of ranch land where they can get much-needed exercise.
The dogs also spend time inside a hyperbaric oyxgen chamber to help accelerate healing.
"Some of them are daily, some of them are weekly, some of them need x amount of treatments," said Hodges.
And a key part of the treatment involves a ketogenic diet, which is high-fat, low carb, and adequate protein.
Meals consist of ground beef, chicken and shredded fresh veggies.
"We feed them green beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli," said Ketopet's Ami Molina. "They get nothing but the best."
Right now there are four dogs, Joline, Dempsey, Jacy and Spot that are cancer-free, and Ketopet doesn't want to send them back to a shelter.
The organization needs adoptive families willing to continue the dog's special diet.
"It's imperative for their health and the rest of their lives that they continue to stay healthy to help ensure that their cancer does not come back," she said.
Ketopet Sanctuary is funded by public and private donations. They are holding an adoption day on November 1 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at their site, 8701 Ranch Road 2338 in Georgetown.
The organization is not charging anyone to adopt the pets, but will vet any potential owners to make sure the dog is going to the right home.
(© 2016 KVUE)