A stray dog with a heart problem needs help from someone with a big heart.
Petie, as she's been dubbed by the employees at the Jamaica Plain MSPCA adoption center, was rescued after a Dorchester resident reported finding the 1-year-old Shih Tzu on their front steps the day after Christmas.
Petie was shivering and her fur was matted and dirty when Boston Animal Control picked up the pup. She had no collar or identification tag and doesn't have a microchip, so workers were unable to find her owner.
She was cleaned and her fur was shaved while in the care of Boston's animal shelter in Roslindale. A subsequent evaluation by Boston's animal care staff found heart problems, and she was taken to MSPCA's Angell Animal Medical Center on Dec. 30 for tests.
There, Petie was diagnosed with Patent Ductus Arteriousus, a "condition marked by a blood vessel outside the heart that does not close properly after birth," according to the MSPCA,
When left untreated, it can cause congestive heart failure and death.
“As soon as I placed the stethoscope over her heart I knew her condition was serious — and that it would require surgery,” Dr. Katie Hogan of Angell's Cardiology service said in a statement.
With surgery, Petie is expected to make a full recovery. Shih Tzu's are one of the dog breeds that can live the longest, with an average age of 15 to 20 years, according to Business Insider.
“Given her young age and otherwise good health, I believe she’s an excellent candidate for a minimally-invasive procedure to fix her heart,” Hogan said.
But that surgery is expensive; It's expected to cost more than $3,500, according to the MSPCA.
The animal association has issued an urgent call for donations in order to help Petie.
“We’re pulling out all of the stops for Petie to help make 2017 her best year," MSPCA's adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger said in a statement, "and we hope those inspired by her will continue to support our good work in the year ahead.”
Those interested in donating to Petie's cause and the care of other animals at the MSPCA can visit mspca.org/helppetie.