I love hearing stories about folks helping the underdog. I guess since I was an underdog myself and had very little chance of survival if it hadn’t been for the extreme efforts my parents took to save my life, I’m a little tenderhearted about others who need a hero.
Any healthy pet in a city shelter is an underdog to begin with, just because the numbers are not on his side. Until we convince everyone to spay and neuter their pets to help address the overpopulation explosion, the numbers won’t improve.
If you add having a serious injury to a pet incarcerated in a pound, the chances of that pet having a good outcome are significantly decreased. The city shelters just don’t have the resources to care for most injured or handicapped pets, and it’s not their mission.
But every once in a while, there’s a handicapped pet in a pound whose story has a happy ending.
It’s not routine to think of a fur baby being in the pound as a lucky thing for him. But in the case of a little guy with a serious leg injury, being in the DeKalb Animal Services shelter was a blessing in disguise.
Tigger, the adorable, tan 10-month-old boy with a face that will melt your heart, found himself in the pound Sept. 5. Because of the devastating leg injury, the outlook was not good for him.
Although we’re not sure what caused the injury, his front left leg was completely useless. He was dragging the leg and could not put any weight on his foot. He was leaning on his wrist, which resulted in damage and open, gaping wounds. It would probably be only a matter of time before infection set in.
Then something wonderful happened. Erlene LeBorgne, founder of Maine Lab Rescue that rescues about 650 Georgia pets annually, learned of a different puppy at DeKalb and was planning to help that one when she also discovered Tigger.
Miss Erlene was so touched by Tigger’s sweet, gentle, happy spirit. In spite of his circumstances, Tigger was an affectionate boy that just wanted to be loved.
Then her plan was to rescue both puppies. As it turns out, someone else rescued the first puppy, so that situation has a happy ending already.
So Miss Erlene jumped into motion to save Tigger. She knew the situation with his leg was critical. His health was at risk, and there was no time to waste.
In a flash, arrangements were made to get Tigger out of the pound and to Macon, where Miss Erlene has a reliable network of rescuers. Arrangements were made for emergency treatment.
When the initial veterinary assessment was done, it was clear the leg would need to be removed. It also was apparent the shelter vet at DeKalb Animal Services did a wonderful job of preventing infection in Tigger’s leg.
Surgery was scheduled, and plans were made. The rescue community knew we would need to join in support of this baby as he underwent this procedure.
Although the damage was more extensive than originally thought, sweet Tigger tolerated the surgery well and is adjusting to having just three legs. As is his normal demeanor, he is happy, playful and seems thankful for his new gait and for the absence of his bum leg.
Tigger will stay in the loving care of a Macon foster home during his recovery. Miss Erlene had a previously scheduled trip to Macon in October and, depending on Tigger’s recuperation and progress, will take him back to Maine with her. Once Tigger’s in Maine, Miss Erlene will find him the perfect family like she does for hundreds of other Georgia dogs each year.
I love a heartwarming rescue story like Tigger’s when wonderful pets are given another chance. If you’d like to help with his significant medical bills, you may contribute your non-tax deductible donation to www.youcaring.com/tigger or mail to Maine Lab Rescue, 19 Commons Ave., Windham, ME 04062.
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