Valley girl's commitment to saving two sick puppies gets the attention of Virginia Tech

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- UPDATE: 6-16-17

The two puppies here in the Valley with a rare breathing disorder, Molly and Tiny died on Monday.

Their owner said she tried all she could to save them, even taking them to Virginia Tech for a specialized surgery.

However, when they got there, their health was not strong enough for an operation.


UPDATE: 6-1-17

After spending nearly $10,000 trying to figure out why her two puppies were not breathing normally, Christa Dean set out for Virginia Tech on Thursday morning, hoping doctors there could treat the problem.

Dean said. before they decide to do surgery, the doctors want to make sure the diagnosis is correct.

They believe Molly and Tiny have laryngeal paralysis, a disease that affects the voice box and breathing, typically in older dogs.

Even though the puppies are in stable condition now, Dean said it could change at any time.

"It's gonna be a long road but they're fighters. They're still here, and they have made it this far and they're only going up. So I'm not giving up on them yet, and I know Virginia Tech will not give up on them," she said.

Molly and Tiny will stay in Virginia Tech's care until a decision is made to move forward with the surgery or not.

WHSV reached out to doctors at Virginia Tech, but with their busy schedules, they were not able to talk with us.

Dean said she'll continue to pay what she has to as long as the puppies keep fighting.

You can find information on how to donate toward Molly and Tiny's medical expenses in our Related Links section.


Christa Dean has saved more than 100 dogs in a year and half from high-kill shelters through her non-profit Valley Rescue of Virginia.

She's on a mission to save two more, no matter how much it costs.

"I just really find myself in helping them," said Dean.

Now, all of her attention is on two special puppies.

"This is Tiny. That's Molly. She was a happy, playful puppy before her very first spell," said Dean as she shares pictures of the pups.

Both dogs, however, started struggling to breathe last Tuesday.

"It was kind of like if a person has asthma, just wheezing a little," she added.

The symptoms only got worse.

"Her tongue was turning purple. She was gasping and looking at me. I feel like she was begging me 'Please help me'," said Dean.

Seven vet appointments and almost $10,000 later, Dean finally got a diagnosis.

"They found that it was laryngeal paralysis," she said.

It's a disease often found in older dogs and now threatens the lives of these eleven week old puppies. It's a case that intrigued surgeons at Virginia Tech.

"They didn't have an appointment for three weeks and they called me back and said we'll see you at 9:00," said Dean. "I was about to explode, my heart was so full. They have a chance!

She says no amount of money can steal her joy to see Molly and Tiny healthy again.

"If that means giving them every chance they have for me to have nothing left than I'm fine with that," she said.

The surgery is scheduled for 9:00 on Thursday morning at Virginia Tech.

If you would like information on how to donate toward Molly and Tiny's surgeries, see our Related Links section.