Justice saves dog with leishmaniasis from euthanasia: ‘right to life’

Boris is a 3 year old French Bulldog. The dog was diagnosed with leishmaniasis – a dangerous and incurable disease – he was sentenced to death. The animal’s former teacher handed it to the Zoonoses as soon as he received news that the puppy had fallen ill. He claimed that he did not have the financial means to provide the dog with proper treatment, the only condition that could save his life.

Boris’ sacrifice was scheduled for Tuesday (5/10). However, an injunction issued by the Federal District Court ensured that it survived. The request was made by a group of animal advocates, who have committed to taking care of the animal and taking all necessary measures to prevent the disease from spreading – to other animals and humans.


Prior to the diagnosis, Boris frequented the pet store for vet Marcia Maria Lodi Ventoroli. The thinness, as well as other symptoms, set off an alert in the professional. One day, the dog became very ill, and after a blood transfusion, a test for leishmaniasis was taken. The result was positive.

Watch Boris after the rescue:

When the animal’s former teacher said he would not be able to tolerate the treatment, and would deliver it for euthanasia, Marcia tried to stop him, saying he would take responsibility for veterinary care. However, on the condition that Boris is taken up for adoption. The proposal, however, was not accepted.

Faced with disapproval, Marcia sought help from the São Francisco Project. The institution then entered the Court of Justice for the Federal District and Territories (TJDFT) with the intention of rescuing Boris. “I am 25 and have never done it. I have done it now why? And he indicated his position is good to come back.”

The court’s decision came this Tuesday, a few hours before the animal was scheduled to be euthanized. With the injunction in hand, Marcia celebrates saving Boris. “It’s the first time I’ve been through a case of rescuing a euthanized dog from zoonoses. I actually took some dogs that owners didn’t want and they gave me the treatment. But I never got to that point. My heart overflows with joy.”

Survive carefully

“It has conditions to survive. It is a 3-year-old animal, which is in good shape to start treatment,” the vet explained. For Marcia, the dog did not deserve to undergo euthanasia. “He has no way to defend himself. And I felt compelled to do my part.”

Leishmaniasis is a serious disease, both in infection in animals and in humans. However, according to the specialist, dogs with the disease can go on to live if they receive proper care. Treatment must be carried out by a veterinarian.

“The disease is transmitted by the hay mosquito. To rid people and other animals of infection, it is necessary to use an insect repellent, thus preventing mosquitoes from biting the dog. In addition, it is necessary to update the vaccination every semester. With that, the transmission rate is almost Zero,” he said.

Although there is no cure, the vet praises the affected animals’ potential for survival, with due diligence. “Whenever in doubt, you need to speak to the vet. We can support and clarify. You have to be careful. But with treatment we can, yes, make the animal live well with the family. And there is no danger to the family.”


In the decision, Judge Carlos Frederico Maruga Medero stressed the importance of measures to prevent the spread of the disease. He noted that “as a counter-warning, I owe the caregiver the obligation not only to take measures aimed at treating the animal, but above all to prevent the spread of disease.”

“The initial decision to prevent the euthanasia of the dog Boris is to recognize the right to life and dignity guaranteed by the Federal Constitution to animals, a right we will always strive to ensure respect,” said São Francisco project attorney, Ana Paulo de Vasconcelos.

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