SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A miniature Pinscher puppy being cared for by the Rancho Coastal Humane Society underwent a life-saving Thursday to fix a liver condition.

The surgery was the first procedure of its kind for the shelter in 58 years. 

Tessa’s original owners surrendered her to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) after realizing they could not handle the responsibility.

Her foster mom, Traci Vanderhurst, said the moment she met the mini Schnauzer pup, she fell in love with her.

“She is a little go getter. She’s just been such a joy and a pleasure to have around,” said Traci.

After just having Tessa for a few days, Traci noticed that her puppy seemed lethargic she took her in for tests that revealed poor liver function.

“I had her about a week, and she got really sick. They were able to save her and that is when they discovered there was a liver shunt,” said Traci.

A liver shunt means the blood flow to and through the liver is compromised.

Certain dog breeds like Yorkies are more susceptible to liver shunts.

RCHS Medical Manager Justin Pool said, “without the surgery Tessa would probably live less than one year. With the surgery to restore her liver function, she will go on to live a normal life for the next 8 years or longer."

The surgery, however, is expensive with a priced tag of over $4,500.

“I was very worried about the finances, and then RCHS stepped up and said her quality of life can be wonderful,” said Traci.

A vet at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego performed the successful surgery.

Even though the RCHS agreed to take care of the bill using donation money, it is accepting donations to help pay for the surgery that could cost up to $4,500.