An Emergency Rescue
A volunteer from Live Is Fur Ever (LIFE), a rescue organization in Southwest Florida, drove several hours to bring a critical rescue to a Bonita Springs veterinary clinic. Gabriel, ayoung Pit Bull terrier cross, had been turned over to the organization by his owner, with the cryptic comment, “I don’t know what happened to him. I think he may have been hit by a car. If you can fix him and make him a little meaner, I’ll take him back.”
Gabriel had several broken bones and huge burns covering 40-60%, of his body. They looked to be chemical burns, not something you’d see from being hit by a car. Gabriel appeared to be the victim of severe brutality, not a car accident.
As veterinarians examined him, they realized that his life was hanging in the balance. They determined, however, to do everything they could to save him. In spite of his injuries and his obvious pain, he was so very sweet that they knew he was worth saving.
To treat his severe burns, Dr. Thomas Jackson of Advanced Veterinary Clinic, soaked Gabriel in a solution every day to help cleanse and hydrate his wounds. With each treatment, it was possible to slough off a little more of the blackened skin. That was just the beginning.
Others jumped in to help him as well. Locals brought their dogs to donate blood on Gabriel’s behalf. In addition, Anthrex, a medical device company, donated an anti-microbial wound treatment product to help his recovery.
Recovery and Hope In A New Foster Home
It was a long hard road for Gabriel. Not only did he have severe burns to recover from, but broken ribs and dislocated hips as well. It took months and several operations and skin grafts,, but finally Gabriel was able to be placed in a foster home.
Dr. Jackson was very creative in treating Gabriel’s burns, even stretching his skin and using technicolor buttons to hold the grafts together.
He was tentative in his new surroundings but his new foster mom, Samantha Kellum of Fort Myers, said he quickly fit in. He loved to be outside either trotting around, a bit hesitantly because of his dislocated hips, but got along very, very well with the other three foster dogs that were there.
Kellum considers him a miracle dog. When he arrived at her place, he had a huge surgical wound on his side, the skin held together with brightly colored buttons. Yet, through all this he remained a loving and laid back dog. How many of us could go through such pain and and the initial brutality and remain happy?
And he was happy while he was there! His best friends were two other Love is Fur Ever rescues Eva and Edison. He also had plenty of walks and dog treats and loved lying in the grass.