13 Days of Gratitude | Kola (Koa)


Kola (later named Koa) was a reservation dog who came in very pregnant and had 9 puppies at our shelter.

After her pregnancy, the veterinarian removed her bad eye and she was successfully adopted in 2014! Kola (now Koa) was featured in our 2015 calendar. Here is what her furever home had to say:

“Before I start my story, I changed her name slightly to ‘Koa’ instead of ‘Kola’. I also did some research and we’re almost positive that she is an Australian Kelpie,” said Koa’s human.

She continued, “Kola came into the Western Hills Humane Society via Lakota Animal Care Project based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. No name on a card that simply said “pregnant, not going and a bad eye”. Staff member Becky named her Kola, meaning friend in Lakota. Her eye was checked by a veterinarian but they chose to do nothing at that time because it was determined she was in no pain. The staff had no idea how far along she was with her pups, so they took her temperature daily and monitored her food in hopes of determining when her pups would be born.

Her favorite thing to do on walks was to find snow banks and put her head straight in! She would try and roll in the snow but her belly was simply too big and she would let out a big sigh. The night she had her pups, WHHS board Treasurer Penney Williams spent the night at the shelter as all 11 pups were born. Sadly, Kola lost 2 pups but she was a tough love, amazing mama. She raised all the pups at WHHS and all were slowly adopted.

After Kola’s pups left, the staff started seeing her own personality coming out. After a month, the staff noticed her bad eye was turning redder, and she was squinting which indicated Kola was in pain. Becky took her to Belle Fourche Veterinary Clinic where Dr. Bill Marlatt felt it was time to remove her eye and her surgery was scheduled a few weeks later.

While waiting for her surgery, we stopped in from North Dakota while waiting for our son’s next baseball game. We met Kola and called the shelter the next week indicating we would like to adopt her and agreed to wait until after her surgery. Dr. Bill removed her eye, donating his time, and a dedicated volunteer also donated money for her eye removal. Kola has a special spirit that made all who met her fall in love with her.

When I first brought Koa home I was unsure if I had made the right choice or not because she was so shy and terrified. About two days later she warmed up to me and it seemed like I had had her since she was a puppy. Koa gets along with all of the other animals. At least once a day she runs over to the neighbors to play with their dog. Everybody that meets Koa absolutely loves her because of her sweet and gentle nature.

Now that I have her I can’t imagine life any different. She goes everywhere with me, such as, to the lake, friend’s houses, or even just on short car rides. She’s my best friend and I love having her around so much!”

We are so grateful for Dr. Bill at Belle Fourche Veterinary Clinic for donating his time to help Koa and for our dedicated volunteer who donated money.

Would you like to give a dog like Kola (Koa) a furever home with your family? We’d love to introduce one to you this holiday season. Stop by our shelter anytime during our normal business hours!

We also invite you to make a donation today in support of the additional care needed for dogs like Koa while they are here with us. Just click here to securely make a cash donation. And thank you!