Actress filming in Santa Fe helps save dog’s life

SF dog saved pic

SANTA FE (KRQE) – He was left to die, on the brink of heat exhaustion. But right when a dog needed help, an actress filming in New Mexico spotted him and stepped in to help save his life.

The dog, now called ‘Grandpa,’ was found alone in a Santa Fe park Friday, dehydrated and weak. He was abandoned in the heat of the day.

“He kept trying to stand up on his front legs, but his back legs had totally given out, we thought he was injured,” recalled Rachel Brosnahan. The actress is filming the second season of ‘Manhattan’ in Santa Fe this summer. She also starred in the hit series, ‘House of Cards.’

But to the old dog she found Friday, Brosnahan is simply a life-saver.

“The poor guy had just been toasting out there I think,” Brosnahan told KRQE News 13. “We brought him some water and called Animal Services.”

Brosnahan has two rescued dogs of her own. Both of them were with her when they came across Grandpa at a local dog park.

“I think the parks are a little bit emptier on those really, really hot days, and I’d like to think that if other people had been walking by, they would have done the same thing,” Brosnahan told KRQE News 13.

She made a shade for the dog, brought him water and waited for Animal Services. She said her pups sat by, concerned for the old guy too. “They both I think knew something was wrong,” she recalled.

The overheated dog was taken to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter with a temperature of 106.

“It’s for sure a life threatening situation, heat stroke and heat exhaustion,” explained Jennifer Steketee, Medical Director with the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

The dog was immediately given fluids and medical attention. Aside from his age and arthritis, veterinarians said Grandpa is healthy. “He’s just very elderly, his blood work did not show any signs of organ failure,” said Steketee.

“He will hopefully learn to feel safe, and cared for,” said Ulla Pedersen, Founder of the Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary. Pederson will take Grandpa to her hospice facility for animals, where he will live out the rest of his life.

“They don’t have to go one more place, or do one more thing for people,” said Pedersen, referring to the animals at her sanctuary. “Sometimes they get their second wind.”

Though it’s labored, Grandpa is now walking, and getting lots of love and attention both in person, and online on the Santa Fe Animal Shelter Facebook page.

“It sounds like we and everybody else were sort of fighting to sort of foster him,” said Brosnahan. “And while we’re sad that we don’t get to temporarily have him as part of our family, this is better than everything I could have hoped for.”

“I’m so glad that they took such incredible care of him,” Brosnahan told KRQE News 13. “Because for being as old as he was, you know, I’m not sure that all shelters would have handled the situation the same way.”

The actress said she plans on visiting and staying in touch with Grandpa the dog. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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