dog in cone

Gracie’s Superhero Story

Meet Gracie.

Actually, meet Gracie’s X-ray.

We knew Gracie was an incredible dog but we had no idea just how special! Gracie is young, sweet, and friendly.

A local dog, she spent most of her life tied out in a backyard.  Despite a sad start, Gracie has never encountered anything or anyone that she wasn’t excited about.

x-ray of dog chest

In late January, our veterinary team was preparing Gracie for a routine spay surgery when they found what at first appeared to be a fairly common umbilical hernia.

Thankfully, the UVHS team is thorough. With further examination, and because Gracie also had a heart murmur, the team conferred, decided to err on the side of caution, and obtained an X-ray at a local vet clinic. And it’s a good thing they did!

That’s when we discovered Gracie’s health issues. Gracie had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia – essentially, she had a hole in her diaphragm.

Gracie’s internal organs had shifted from her belly into her chest cavity, compressing her heart.

To have any chance of survival, Gracie needed an extremely complicated, costly surgery.

dog with head in hand

Gracie’s team of caretakers asked serious questions:

  • Could we find a surgeon with the skill and willingness to do the risky surgery?
  • Post-op, how could we keep her healthy in a shelter environment?
  • What quality of life could Gracie expect – was the procedure in her best interest?

Yes, to all! Our medical team found a highly skilled surgeon who even reduced his fee in order to help Gracie. Then our animal care team identified a clean, quiet room where Gracie could recover, removed from the stressors of shelter living.

There was still no guarantee. Even for the best surgeon, the procedure would be complicated.

Gracie might not make it, but she deserved a chance. You, our supporters, gave her that chance.

On March 23rd, we sent Gracie off to a surgeon in Vermont to repair her diaphragm and put her organs back where they should have been.

With heavy hearts and soaring hopes, we said our “I love yous” and “Goodbyes” to sweet Gracie as she left for surgery. We might not see her again.

Thanks to your support, there’s great news! Gracie made it!

She had a smooth road to recovery and was quickly back to playing out in the yard. Looking at her, you would never know the medical issues she overcame. She is a superhero.

dog in superman outfit

After waiting an entire summer to be adopted, she finally found a home in time for the holiday season this December. 

We are incredibly grateful for the support of our community and the hard work of our animal care team for helping Gracie get through this and find a loving family.


We are currently open for adoptions by appointment. All available animals are listed on our website. If you see one you are interested in or require assistance through one of our programs, please call or email us.

General Contact

Phone (603)448-6888

Fax (603)448-3593


Mailing Address – UVHS : PO Box 789 : Lebanon, NH 03766

Physical Address – 300 Old Route 10 : Enfield, NH 03748

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