TACOMA – A 12-week-old huskie puppy who underwent a lifesaving emergency procedure after nearly choking to death is finally at home with his family again after national pet charity Frankie’s Friends stepped in to help.

The reunion is especially touching because owner Andrea Jones recently suffered the devastating loss of her brother, who died from cardiac arrest as a result of choking. In fact, Jones adopted the puppy, named King, from a friend to help cheer up her family after her brother’s death. 

“King was like our little breath of fresh air,” Jones said. “I just couldn’t believe it when he started choking. I was like, this can’t be happening.”

The scary episode began the morning of March 9 when Jones found King gasping for breath. She immediately rushed the puppy to her local veterinarian who then referred her to BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Tacoma for emergency care. Once there, the medical team worked to stabilize King, but he wasn’t out of the woods yet. By late Thursday, he developed aspiration pneumonia, which is caused by inhaling material such as food or liquid.

King was near death but Dr. Katrina Huskie wasn’t ready to give up. Although previous X-rays failed to reveal what was causing King to choke, she decided to try one last time. This time, the X-ray showed some foreign matter in King’s throat. A lifesaving emergency procedure was the puppy’s best bet.

But the procedure was going to be expensive. That’s when national pet charity Frankie’s Friends got involved. The organization, which provides financial assistance to families with pets who need lifesaving medical care, agreed to provide a grant to help pay for a portion of King’s care.

“We’re just so grateful,” Jones said. “I don’t know what we would have done without their help.”
The surgery, performed Saturday night, was a success. By Sunday afternoon, King was reunited with Jones and the rest of her family.

“It’s cases like these that really make us proud to do what we do,” said Danielle Martin, executive director for Frankie’s Friends. “We couldn’t be happier that King is safe and back home with his family where he belongs.”

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