Archive for the ‘animal abuse’ Tag
As I was trolling on Facebook, I discovered one of my coworkers rescues had died. Sadly, we knew this pup was on borrowed time- he was a 15 year old poodle with major heart disease and who knows what else was going on with him.
The story of this little guy is one of severe neglect, one that sometimes makes it hard to do what we do in the veterinary field. When I first met him quite a few months ago, we could tell the owner didn’t really like him, and was in fact afraid of him. He definitely had an attiude problem, but considering at the time he had staph leisons all over his body and a raging ear infection, could you blame him?
The owner at that time told the doctor and I that she was going away for the weekend, and when we asked who was watching him she said no one, she leaves out wee wee pads, water and food to tide him over. The doctor and I essentially guilted her into boarding him that weekend, and luckily she continued to do so, at least this way we were able to monitor him. He had a prtty bad heart murmur (I don’t remember what grade it was then off the top of my head, when he passed it was I believe a 4 out of 6) and even though we repeatedly told her that she needed to do a cardiac workup, she declined. She also declined any type of bloodwork on him every time we suggested it.
Let’s fast track to the last few weeks. She called wanting him to have his skin looked at and set up a boarding reservation, but she couldn’t get him to the hospital and elected to have one of my coworkers come and pick him up. When my coworker came back, she told us that the room he was kept in was caked wall to wall in feces, and smelled of urine. And sadly he was aloud to go back at the end of his boarding reservation.
I spoke with one of the doctors about this because obviously, no one wanted him to go back to that. The doctor told me that for one, we are not authorized to keep an animal, we would have to call animal control to go to the home and inspect it to see if we have a viable reason for not wanting the dog to go back, and two, we didn’t have any proof, only my coworkers word that the room was covered in feces. If she had taken pictures with her phone, that could have changed everything. But then the other thing that was brought up was this- if we called animal control, the dog got taken away and brought to the shelter, what chance would he have? He’s 15 with heart disease, odds are he would have been euthanized on the spot. I don’t know enough about animal cruelty laws and whatnot to know if pets need to be kept for a certain amount of time, but to me it seems like an extremely touchy topic.
Last week, one of the doctors was finally able to convince the owner to sign over her rights to the dog to one of my coworkers. When my coworker (we’ll call,her M) left the room after all the paper work was signed, she said the owner said, “I just can’t deal with that any more.”She actually called this poor dog a that! She had no remorse, it was almost as if it was a relief to her.
The next day, M brought him in after he had collapsed. I tried with 2 different blood pressure machines and was unable to get a reading, and after taking an X-ray his heart was huge! M said he had been fine- was eating great, getting along well with all her other dogs, one dog in particular loved him.
I don’t know the specifics of how he was doing after that, but I do know that he did well, but we all knew considering his condition that he most likely didn’t have too much time left. All M could do was give him food, shelter, and love until his time came.
The only thing we can be thankful for is that he died knowing what love is. He took his last breath in the arms of a woman who gave him more love in 5 days then his previous owner probably ever gave in his whole life. I’m going to end this post with a quote from M that I stole from her Facebook. I feel it perfectly sums up all of the words that I have swimming through my head but can’t string together into coherent sentences-
“As sad as I am that he passed away, my heart knows that I tried to give him a good rest of his life. I take comfort in knowing he died with love and in comfort and wasn’t alone. Those that know me know when I worked overnights and there were critical patients, I would not let them pass alone. To think of a furbaby dying alone rips my heart into pieces. I just couldn’t imagine a loved furbaby dying in a cage with no one to comfort them. Even the little parvo rescue puppies, I held them until they breathed their last breath. My heart wouldn’t let them go alone. If I did not take him, he would have died in his little room amongst days worth of urine and feces. But he left this world with love in his heart and a loving hand upon him. ♥ As sad as I am, I would do it again without hesitation.”