Great Dane Pups Quigly and Quilla Survive to Find Their Forever Homes

These strong little pups recovered from a sickness that took their littermates. Now Quigly and Quilla now have new homes and new names.

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They say it takes a village to raise a child. This saying couldn’t be truer than with newborn puppies who need all the help they can get just to survive.

When PawSafe Animal Rescue in Patterson, New York, took in nine Great Dane puppies, staff knew it would be a challenge. They immediately reached out to their network of amazing volunteers and arranged to split up the puppies among three different foster homes. Newborns require round-the-clock care, including bottle-feeding, so separating them would ensure they all got the attention they needed.

One of PawSafe’s foster volunteers, Chrissy Preste, says she’ll never forget getting the call asking if she could take three of the puppies. “I received a message while at work that our (foster coordinator Sharon Schreiber) was en route to Pennsylvania to pick up nine 2-day-old puppies who would need to be bottle-fed every two hours round the clock,” Chrissy said. “Was I up for it? YUP. No hesitation on my end!”

Sharon arrived late Saturday night with the three puppies, where Chrissy had a sterile and warm spare room waiting for them. She was shocked at the newborns’ tiny, fragile appearance. “I about passed out when I saw the babies!” she said. “I’ve seen 4- and 5-week-old puppies, but let me tell you, a 2-day-old puppy is so much smaller than I could have ever imagined.”

Two of the litter
Newborns Quigly and Quilla. (Photo by Petcha Photography/Tina Quatroni)

The other six puppies were delivered to their respective foster homes. The first few days seemed to go smoothly for all of the puppies, with everyone eating, sleeping, pooping, and peeing as they should. But tragedy soon struck.

One of Chrissy’s puppies, named Quest, started to refuse the bottle. “My best eater suddenly became unable to suckle,” she said. Despite heroic efforts from Chrissy and her veterinarian, they lost Quest the next day.

As it turned out, some of the puppies had contracted canine herpes virus from their mother prior to entering into Pawsafe’s care. Although adults rarely show symptoms of being infected with the virus, CHV is the leading cause of death in newborn puppies. In rescue, it is a sad reality that some things are out of your hands.

Despite heroic efforts on the part of all three foster volunteers, one by one, each foster house started to lose puppies. Four weeks later, only two puppies remained. Quigly, at Chrissy’s house, and Quilla, at the home of PawSafe founder Diane Scuderi. Chrissy and Diane threw everything they had into ensuring the survival of their final two “miracle puppies,” as they came to call them.

Photo by Petcha Photography by Tina Quatroni)
Quigly and Quilla. (Photo by Petcha Photography/Tina Quatroni)

The two pups not only survived, they thrived. Eventually, Quigly moved in with Diane so he could snuggle and play with his sister Quilla. They grew bigger, and stronger, and did I mention BIGGER? They are Great Danes, after all!

Finally, the pups were ready for forever homes. Quilla was adopted by Eileen Logiudice of Dover Plains, New York. The pup, renamed Willa, now has a Great Dane-mix brother named Oliver. “Bringing home our puppy was an amazing experience,” Eileen said. “After seeing so many pictures and following their story, to actually have our little miracle home with us thriving was just an unbelievable feeling.”

Quilla now Willa. (Photo by Petcha Photography/Tina Quatroni)
Quigly now Cael. (Photo by Petcha Photography/Tina Quatroni)

Quigly hit a bump in the road right before his adoption when he developed pneumonia. But he pulled through stronger than ever and now is with his new family, Michelle and Jay Flynn of Enfield, Connecticut, and their two young sons.

“When I saw the first picture of Quigly — now Cael — I was in love,” Michelle said. “Right then, I knew 100 percent in my heart, he was meant to complete our little family. I told my husband ‘that little Harlequin Dane is going to be ours!’ He just laughed it off. Then he met Cael, his heart melted too!”

Thanks to the incredible efforts of all the volunteers at Pawsafe, these two puppies beat the odds. “These puppies renewed our faith that miracles do happen,” Chrissy said. “They epitomize the term “silver lining!”

Top photo: Quigly now Cael by Petcha Photography/Tina Quatroni.

Jackie Brown

Jackie is a freelance writer specializing in the pet industry. She lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and adorable Miniature Poodle, Jäger, who is obsessed with fetch and killing all the toys. She is the former editor of Rescue Proud, Dog World, and Puppies 101. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.


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