*Leech Lake Legacy is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization

Envisioning a world where every reservation dog and cat is well cared for

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mimiteh (means 'new moon') ... her long, healing journey begins

Mimiteh arrives in the cities on 7/23/14
By Marilou Chanrasmi -Co-Founder/President, LLL

On Friday, 7/19 I received a call from Jenny Fitzer, Program Director of LLL. She learned that the Leech Lake Reservation Community Services Office/CSO had picked up an older german shepherd mix with severe mange and taken her directly to our partner vet clinic in Bemidji, Animal Care Clinic. We typically send our adult dogs with mange to our partner, Red Lake Rosie's Rescue (in Red Lake Reservation) where Karen Good (founder/ED of Red Lake Rosie's) provides and care and treatment for them till we are able to transfer them to a partner shelter or rescue. Unfortunately, with the overwhelming number of mange and sick animals already in her care, Karen is unable to take Mimiteh. We request for a 4 DX test to be run on Mimiteh and the results come back showing Mimiteh is positive for heart worm, lymes, erhlichiosis and anaplasmosis! She also has sarcoptic mange ... She is an older shepherd (probably close to 10 years old), is malnourished, has no hair on her tail and is continuing to lose hair, and she is very listless.

Leech Lake Legacy does not adopt out, nor do we foster long-term ... we focus our efforts on transporting animals (from Leech Lake and Red Lake reservations) to our partner groups who then vet the animals and place them up for adoption. With our partners being full and at capacity, and no one able to take an older dog with MANY health issues that would be costly to treat, and quite frankly, a big question on whether or not she would even make it, Jenny and I struggle with what we should do. I ask the vet tech at Animal Care Clinic, 'can you tell if she is in pain?' They tell me she seems comfortable but repeat over and over, 'she is in really rough shape.' I flash back to December 13, 2013 when another GSDx, Ituha, was brought into the clinic -- the worse case of mange I have ever seen and literally frozen. We lose Ituha that night and many, many hearts were shattered. But out of that pain, emerged the Ituha Animal Care Project (click here to read more about Ituha and the Ituha Animal Care Project). All I can see is Ituha ..... Jenny and I agree, "we can't give up on her. We have to at least try."

I put a plea out on the Leech Lake Legacy volunteer Facebook group to see if anyone has the ability to create a quarantine area at their house and is able and willing to temp foster Mimiteh so we can bring her down to the cities. Within a couple hours, I receive several emails and one of our volunteers, Melissa, says "I have a spare bedroom I can quarantine her in. I just need a day to move out the bed and staple down a tarp." Our hearts are full of gratitude and we immediately set the wheels in motion to get her down on transport.

Mimiteh arrived on an emergency transport yesterday (Wednesday, 7/23). A huge thanks to Tom O'Sullivan for transporting her all the way to the cities. She was seen by our vet (Dr. Meghann) last night and has begun treatment for her mange (Advantage Multi) and has also begun doxycycline which treats the tick-borne diseases (erhlichiosis, lymes and anaplasmosis) and also provides initial treatment for her heart worm. Blood work has been sent off to the lab so we can see how her other organs are doing. We will hold off on heart worm injections until she has more time to heal and Dr. Meghann knows more about how her other organs are doing. Mimiteh appears to have grinded most of her teeth down .. her tongue hangs to the side as she has no teeth to hold her tongue in place. We often see reservation dogs with teeth in these conditions. Karen at Red Lake Reservation tells us that dogs grind their teeth down on the rocks as they search for food. Melissa (Mimiteh's foster) gave Mimiteh a bath last night and fed her some high quality food (donated by Chuck & Don's). With no teeth, Mimiteh has challenges eating ... I received the following text from Melissa last night, "I mix warm water with dry and one can of wet .. she eats by scooping it up with her bottom jaw and swallowing the food .. I started crying when she was eating. The will to live is amazing."

Mimiteh has a long journey ahead of her. I ask for you to hold her in your heart and to send loving and healing energy her way.

If you are able to help with Mimiteh's care, please consider donating towards her care, and the care of others like Mimiteh.

Dr. Meghann and Mimiteh
Mimiteh with foster mom Melissa :)
Thank you Melissa!!


  1. It was wonderful meeting and working with all of these people; their skill and dedication are truly inspirational!
    Email This
    Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook
    Share to Pinterest

    Omaha emergency veterinarian