Earlier this month, Pure Hearts Rescue, a Central Florida animal rescue, received an urgent message from a Good Samaritan. A message that rescues, animal control workers, and anyone who is associated with animal welfare in any community dreads receiving, but also one which almost never fails to elicit an immediate response, recognizing it to be a life and death situation.
The message from the Good Sam was about a dog he had found who was suffering and who now needed immediate help, help that was beyond his means to provide. This Good Sam took the steps needed to save one life. Please join with Pure Hearts and travel along with ‘Journey’ on his road to recovery. Though he is not yet out of the woods, Pure Hearts posted an uplifting message on their page today, with some very good news, revealed below. Haley Kazee, a young volunteer with Pure Hearts, who has been volunteering with animal rescue for her entire life, shares Journey’s story with this Examiner. Yes, it’s ‘only one dog,’ as the saying goes, but he’s touched the hearts of a village.
Pure Hearts volunteers and staff were in the middle of their day, caring for their dogs, when they received an urgent message. A construction worker on a job site was begging for help for a sweet stray dog that could no longer move. When word went out for help, the dog had been sitting in the same spot for three days. The man is not associated with any rescue, and has limited experience with these type of situations. He was trying to help the dog, bringing him food and water. The dog, who has since been named ‘Journey’, was still eating, but now was no longer drinking, and was in horrible pain. Rescue workers at Pure Hearts jumped into action.
Ms. Kazee says, “the minute we got off the phone with him, we rushed to send volunteers out there to assess him.” Volunteers Kim and Stacey drove to the site. Once they got there, the report they called in to Pure Hearts regarding Journey was horrible, but sadly, as rescue workers, not one they had never seen before.
“This boy has no ears at all, they have been chopped off and his teeth have been completely filed down! Looks as if he was a BAIT DOG dumped and then hit by car!! His back leg is messed up really bad! We are there now trying get him up (he’s in extreme pain!) and bringing him straight to ER.”
Journey had obviously suffered tremendous abuse at the hands of monsters, monsters who take pleasure in abusing animals for fun and profit. Dogfighting is not a sport, and the animals involved are never willing participants. It happens in almost every city, the unwilling victims stolen from backyards, taken from ‘free pet’ ads placed on Craigslist, given away in parking lots or simply may have been lost on the street. They may even be animals born into the world of these criminals, animals who never have a chance to escape their torturous existence.
Anyone who believes dogfighting doesn’t exist in their community can visit the animal shelters in the area, and look at the scars and injuries that veterinarians, experts in their field, see and treat on a daily basis. It is an eye-opening experience, one you will probably never be able to erase from your memory. You can read the stories of lost animals, whose owners find their bodies brutalized, tortured, dead, sometimes left hanging on ‘display’ in neighborhoods. It may not be happening on your block, but to deny its existence means you don’t grasp the reality of the situation, and maybe you should seriously reconsider whether you should be a member of the rescue community. Rescue will drain your funds, your time, your energy and takes a toll on your heart. But when it works, when all the pieces come together, it can feed your soul.
The photos attached show the severity of Journey’s situation, In addition to his missing ears and ground down teeth, Ms. Kazee stated, “Journey had bite wounds all over his body, a horrible wound almost all the way around his neck…We loaded this boy up, which wasn’t an easy task because of the amount of pain he was in and rushed him to the ER.”
Upon arrival at the ER, Pure Hearts learned that the reason why he couldn’t walk or move was because he had a severely dislocated hip. Since he had laid on the ground for at least three days with no medical attention, the swelling was enormous and the muscle tissue was hardened. He spent one night at the ER and then went to Affiliated Veterinary Specialists (AVS) where he had FHO surgery on his hip. This is a femoral head ostectomy. The FHO surgery basically removes the head and neck of the femur to alleviate pain.
AVS also stitched up the horrible wound around his neck and cleaned and sutured the bite wounds around his body. He spent three nights at AVS, and according to Pure Hearts’ Facebook page, was released yesterday, on October 13.
What began as a tragic story, has taken a very positive turn. Though Journey will need help getting around for some time, and will need a sling for assistance, a volunteer was able to take him in to give him time to recover. Even greater news: Pure Hearts reports that “his surgical tech is actually considering adopting him.” They have their paws crossed that it works out.
Pure Hearts are working on getting new photos from his foster, and will continue to keep fans who like their page, or share their fundraiser, updated on Journey’s ‘journey’. They would also like to thank everyone who has already donated towards this sweet guy’s care. If you haven’t donated yet, it’s certainly not too late as his vet bill is costly. They are happy to provide receipts for any donations. You can also read updates here on Pure Hearts Rescue’s website, where you can find stories about other animals in their care, along with their paypal link; donations should go firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a great quote on Pure Hearts webpage, which sums it all up,
“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
If you would like to be part of this journey, or have the heart to foster or volunteer, please contact Pure Hearts Rescue. Updates will be posted in the comment section, as they are received.