PAWS Chicago spotlights medical miracles 'Rizzoli' and 'Sunny' during annual Giving Day

PAWS Chicago celebrated its 3rd annual Giving Day on Thursday.

The summer fundraiser is critical because the warmer weather brings in not only puppies and kittens who need homes, but also at-risk, injured and sick homeless pets.

PAWS has expanded its partnership with Chicago Animal Care and Control to manage overcrowding, which is why three times a month we profile our PAWS medical pets who, through the miracle work of this organization, are getting a second chance at life.

In Thursday's special report, FOX 32 spotlighted two of them: Rizzoli the cat and Sunny the dog. They are both medical miracle examples of what PAWS Chicago does every single day.

Rizzoli was brought to the no-kill shelter having difficulty breathing. The vets discovered he had a herniated diaphragm — likely a birth defect. It's the kind of problem that can turn life-threatening in an instant.

During emergency surgery, doctors discovered problems not only with his diaphragm, but also with his liver, gallbladder and small intestine. They were not where they were supposed to be.

The doctors performed a complicated and delicate operation to get everything back into place. And it worked.

Rizzoli spent his time recovering in a foster home, and fortunately for the lucky kitten, he was what they call a "foster fail."

His fosters loved him so much they adopted him.

Sunny the pup was also an emergency case.

He came from Chicago Animal Care and Control. Sunny had reportedly been purchased from a flea market as an 8-week-old puppy and was very sick.

Doctors quickly determined that he was actually only two weeks old and should never have been separated from his mother.

He's what they call a neonate or bottle baby, who requires round-the-clock syringe and bottle feedings.

At just two weeks old, puppies are still dependent on their mothers and have fragile immune systems.

He was dehydrated, lethargic and in such bad shape that he had to be on IV fluids for seven days, oxygen for five days, had three blood transfusions and two plasma transfusions.

Anywhere else, the odds would have been stacked against Sunny. But not at PAWS Chicago.

He is now stable enough to move into a foster home where his recovery is being monitored.  Sunny's outlook is bright. The hope is that he'll be ready for adoption in a month or two.

Rizzoli and Sunny's stories are heartbreaking and also heartwarming.

But really, it's just another day in the PAWS Chicago medical universe.

That's why "Giving Day" donations are so important.

Lots of love and attention for these sick animals truly means the difference between life and death.

If you would like to donate, foster, volunteer or adopt one of these special pets, you can do just that at