written by Connie Versagi

In rescue we try to deal with what we are given, be strong, do our best.  The story of Nick has tested everyone who has heard it.  It is difficult to fathom.  I tell it with a heavy heart.

A call was placed to Animal Control in a small town in the ATRA area that there was an abuse situation that needed investigating.  The Animal Control Officer who received the call took her job very seriously and proceeded by the book.  She was told by co-workers of a woman who owned an Airedale puppy that the pup was being abused.  He needed help quickly.

The officer came to learn that a woman who for many reasons had no ability to care for a puppy had in fact purchased an Airedale puppy from a breeder.  She lived in a luxury apartment complex that had a residency restriction that pets over 15 pounds were not permitted.  She was going to be living there for only a few more months at that point, so she got the Airedale puppy. 

She thought she could mitigate her first problem, the size requirement in the development, by just keeping him small until she moved.  To accomplish that the puppy was being starved so he would stay at 15 pounds. 

Co-workers called Animal Control when the woman brought the pup to work with her and its eyes were filled with blood, it was horribly thin.  Something was very wrong. 

When Animal Control arrived at the woman’s residence she was chatting on the phone.  The pup saw the officer and he tried to come to her by jumping off a couch.  He fell and was obviously unable to even walk.  The officer said the look on his face was please save me.  She scooped him up and told the woman her dog was being confiscated. 

Later it was learned that the woman had decided that this pup’s teeth were annoyingly sharp, so she jammed his head between a couch and love seat to hold him still and proceeded to file down his teeth.  His head had been slammed between the furniture so hard, that the blood vessels in his eyes had broken and bled.   In the tussle that ensued during the filing of his teeth, the puppy’s front leg was broken also. 

Animal Control decided that contacting ATRA was the best thing, not being sure how damaged this young guy would be in the long term, after broken bones had healed.  In swooped the Iowa rescue folks.  The call placed to an ATRA coordinator to see if he should be taken in was of course met with a resounding get a hold of that guy so we can help him.  He was soon given the name St. Nick since he was born on Christmas day. 

Now the good news.  Nick’s broken leg is healing nicely.  He is down to a soft brace and playing restrictions have been removed.  His teeth will be fine since they were his puppy teeth that were damaged.  No permanent damage was done to his vision.  He has doubled in weight with proper nutrition.  Best of all, Nick is truly an Airedale through and through – he plays and gives kisses, loves everyone he meets, including cats.  This one was a solid gold save by ATRA.  He will soon be neutered and looking forward to a forever home full of the love he deserves.

Without your donations ATRA would not be able to help the dogs who need us most.  All you need to do is look at these photos of Nick to know that your donations make a world of difference.  Be part of the team that rescues Nick, make a donation.


Nick has found a wonderful home that loves him for the puppy he is. 

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