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Furever Home: This Fargo cat suffered a heart condition affecting 1 out of 10,000

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Editor's Note:  Furever Home is a regular video series featuring animals that need a second chance. If you have animal rescue, foster parenting or adoption stories, email Chris Flynn at

FARGO — Sara came to Homeward Animal Shelter through a foster’s daughter when she was six weeks old. About three weeks later, it was discovered she had a rare and life-threatening heart defect called patent ductus arteriosus.

With PDA, the vessel allowing blood to bypass lungs in utero didn’t close as it should have after birth causing the heart to work twice as hard to give the body oxygen.

Without surgery, Sara’s lifespan would have likely been a year.

"When they did the surgery, her heart was already starting to become enlarged from working so hard," said Heather Clyde, Homeward Animal Shelter manager. "But now her heart is fixed, so she’s good to go."

Sara’s foster Tasha Hauge said Sara will be going into what is called a foster-to-adopt home.

"What it means is, because of her medical situation we want to be sure that she’s in good health before she’s officially adopted," Hauge said. "So while we are waiting for her final appointment to see how her heart is doing, she will be in a home with the potential adopter."

As long as Sara’s appointment goes well she will officially become the adopted cat of the family.

"Although fostering can be a little hard to say goodbye," Hauge said, "it’s a great experience and it takes another cat out of the shelter, which means there is room for another cat to be rescued."

Check out the video to hear more of Sara’s story. For more information on adopting or fostering cats and dogs, visit Homeward Animal Shelter at

Click here to view the first installment of Furever Home featuring Ollie, a cat who can open doors.