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The Bow Wow, Issue #5: Donnie's Story

Your Donations Mean the World

This is the time of year we hope you will support with a donation the work we do everyday to sustain the excellent level of care for the lost and abandoned dogs and cats of Sonoma Valley. This work is sometimes extremely challenging, it can, at times, be heartbreaking and more often than not, incredibly rewarding.

We are committed to each dog and cat that comes into our care and without sugar coating it, this takes consistent funding. We are lucky to have friends like YOU to help as we receive no government funding or subsidies of any kind. Animal welfare organizations nationwide are facing a crisis of more animals coming into the shelters and less adoptions. And the intakes we are experiencing are often medically and behaviorally compromised.

Here's one story of a dog's journey with us.

Donnie was approximately 10 year old male Chihuahua who was transferred to us from our partners, the Sonoma County Animal Services in December of 2021 and diagnosed as heartworm positive. As he was just diagnosed, this little fella had a long journey ahead of him before we could get him back to good health and find him his forever home. Donnie, as you can imagine, became a staff favorite was a mischievous lad. But he always knew he'd gone too far when staff would have to call out to him using his proper name... "Donald, get back here". It worked every time.

Here is the medical rundown on Donnie from our Shelter Manager and RVT, Denise Asaro.

Heartworm treatment lasts for 4 months and consists of 3 injections, being on oral medications a month before and after each injection. These injections are very traumatic for the animal and they often take a few days to recover from them. Prior to treating you need to do chest radiographs and a baseline blood panel. After his injections we had a cardiologist perform an echocardiogram on him to make sure there was no heart damage from his heartworm disease. A month after treatment you retest to see if heartworm is still present then 8 months later test again. It’s a long process and during treatment they need to be monitored closely. Once his first test came back negative we were able to neuter him and put him up for adoption.

Here is the breakdown of costs for Donnie's care:

  • Each injection: $300 x3= $900

  • Oral medications: $100

  • Radiographs: $300

  • Lab work: $200

  • Cardiologist: $700

The good news is that with a few days short of being here for a year, Donnie's humans found him and he is now in a loving and caring home. (See picture below) We ask that you please give what you can during this time. No donation is too big or too small.


Pets Lifeline believes all dogs and cats in Sonoma should be safe and healthy and living in loving homes. Every day we work side-by-side with the community to shelter lost and abandoned pets, get them healthy and find them forever homes. Without Pets Lifeline, these wonderful animals would miss the chance to experience their full potential and share their joy with others. #WeLoveSonomaPets

  • For more on Pets Lifeline, please explore our website at

  • Contact us at 707.9964577 if you'd like to visit us on Eighth Street East.

  • Email us at


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