I have seen nothing like it. Fur matted, bald patches everywhere, infested with fleas, mange (and only Heaven knows what else), dull, listless eyes, an overpowering odor of malnutrition and neglect, and cracked, bleeding paws.
The sight of this pathetic creature was enough to test the patience of even the most seasoned of us who had worked in animal care for a very long time.
The dog in question was homeless. No name, no owner, no known address. The only thing this animal had going for her was her courage, spunk, and will to live despite overwhelming (and often heartbreaking) circumstances.
The first thing we did upon her arrival was give her a thorough exam, to see what was going on with her. Not surprisingly, we found out that she had a whole host of medical issues, malnutrition,dental disease, flea infestation, ear mites, clouded retinas, heart palpatations, and infection among just a few of them. We then started several IVs of antibiotics and to treat her kennel cough. That was another thing. Crusted eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezes and rattles in her lungs as she breathed. Possible pneumonia.
She was one very sick dog.
We knew that Gracie (as we named her) would not be going anywhere soon. If she lived, she would probably be adopted, or if nobody wanted her, we would probably have to end up doing the inevitable: putting her to sleep, so her long-standing history of suffering and pain could be put to a merciful end.
Yet we had to do something. We all wanted the same thing: we all wanted Gracie to pull through, so she could have some sort of a viable future full of hope and promise. She may have only been an animal to most people, but she deserved to live and have the best in life. We were determined to give her exactly that.
*To be continued.*