written by Connie Versagi, March 2008
In early March the Humane Society said they had gotten in an Airedale. He is awfully sweet, but not in very good shape. They were right, but ATRA was undaunted. Welcome to the fold, Justice, we are glad to know you, we are glad to care for you.
Justice had been picked up as a stray, who had obviously been on his own for a while from the looks of his gaunt frame. Once he was picked up, by law he had to stay at the shelter for seven days. No amount of pleading on our part could change that requirement. No matter how bad we wanted to get him to the best care, we needed to wait, and at least be happy he was off the streets and getting food and shelter. So, we waited the excruciating seven days to claim him. Volunteers were there before the shelter even opened on the day he was to be released. Now we had him in our care.
Besides being painfully thin, and obviously just plain sore all over, Justice had what could only be described as a bed sore, a pressure wound on his back left hip, and he was heartworm positive. Most of his trauma seems to be on the left side of his frail body.
Justice went immediately to a vet for an overall check. They shelter had estimated him at 10 years old because of his ground down teeth. The vet said no, the remaining teeth tell him Justice is about 4. He had probably been tied up somewhere, had worn off his front teeth to below the gums working on trying to escape. Then came the x-rays that revealed the real mystery about Justice.
In looking at the x-rays, all the vet could tell us is that either Justice was hit by a car, or he fell from a very long distance. All of his abdominal internal organs are pushed back and bunched together, making it impossible to distinguish one from the other on x-ray.
Soon an explanation came for a pronounced limp he has too. He had broken his pelvis sometime in the past and it had miraculously lined up on its own without treatment and was already healing. His feet are splayed and there were fly strikes on the outside and terrible sores inside his ears. It was obvious, even before whatever accident had happened to him to cause his major trauma, he had not been cared for as he should have been. Life had not been easy for Justice and we certainly understood the worn down teeth in an attempt to escape. Maybe after his major trauma that broke his pelvis and moved his internal organs he was immobile for a period, just too sore and ragged to roam the streets much. That would explain the pressure sore on his back hip. Maybe moving was just too painful for a while. Besides everything else, Justice is also blind in his left eye. Whatever happened to him was a tremendous force on his left. We will never know and Justice just wants to look forward, not back.
If you are wondering about his personality after this kind of life, he is sweet natured and very willing to trust humans. Most of all, he is a fighter. He wants very much to get better and to have a family. After gaining a little weight, since his liver is strong, heartworm treatment will begin, while his pressure sore is treated with daily cleaning and the slow process of healing from the inside out. Tending to his teeth and neutering are on the long-term to-do list, once the most immediate problems have been cared for.
ATRA will find justice for this boy. He deserves nothing less than help to mend his body and most of all his heart. Donations to ATRA will help with the cost of treatment for this wonderful boy who truly deserves a new start in life.
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1123 Vesper Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103