When Pets Alive Westchester’s Animal Caretaker, Anna, arrived to work at the no kill shelter early morning on February 15th she was surprised to find an old beat up back pack sitting in front of the entrance. As she got closer to the bag she was stunned to see a small puppy lying near the bag freezing and incredibly scared. Anna did what any one of the Pets Alive family would do; she scooped up the petrified furry guy and brought him inside for some warmth, food, water and love.
The Pets Alive team quickly realized that this pup was not just an abandoned animal but had suffered a severe injury to his hind leg in what appeared to be neglect or abuse. Because the group is not an animal control agency they will typically report found animals immediately, however, in this case they decided it was best to address the injury without delay. While waiting for medical attention the staff took turns holding the tan and white pup letting him know that he was safe now and they would be sure to take care of him. The team decided to name him Cowboy, knowing he would need to be tough and resilient to recover from his injuries.
After being examined by the rescue group’s full time veterinary assistant it was determined that Cowboy had a fractured back leg that would need further attention. The Pets Alive staff put on a temporary splint and brought the little guy to the veterinary hospital for x-rays. It was soon confirmed that he had closed transverse fractures of the tibia and fibula, both of the two lower leg bones. The vet believed that injury was induced by trauma but was unable to determine if it was accidental or intentional.
Pets Alive, one of the oldest and largest no kill animal rescue groups in the country, receives no government funding and relies solely on the public for financial support. Every day the rescue is forced to make hard monetary decisions to determine how to best utilize their resources. Cowboy’s medical expenses were no exception. The vet explained there were two options. The first would be to splint the fractured leg for 8-10 weeks and hope that it would heal properly. While this treatment would be much less costly, the risks of skin infections were great and there were no guarantee that the leg would heal properly. The second option was an orthopedic surgery that would make certain Cowboy would be off to a healthy and speedy recovery but also carried a hefty price tag - $2,500 for just the surgery! There would be additional costs as well for regular x-rays and follow up visits.
“Cowboy’s eyes showed hope and determination. He looked at me and I knew we had to do the surgery. At just 10-12 weeks old he deserved immediate relief from the horrific trauma he experienced” said Jen Taylor, Executive Director of Pets Alive Westchester.
Less than one week later Cowboy is healing well and showing signs of improvement every day! Soon he will be ready for adoption and the Pets Alive team is certain he will find a loving family quickly.
The no kill animal rescue is now turning to the public to ensure that they can afford major medical expenses in the future. “We see cases like Cowboy’s all too often and struggle each time to make the best decision for all of our animals. In many of these cases we are the only hope these guys have. Without our supporters we would never be able to give these animals the second chance at life they deserve,” says Taylor.
To make a donation to Pets Alive Westchester’s Major Medical Fund please visit www.petsalivewest.org or mail your donation to Pets Alive Westchester, P.O. Box 131, 100 Warehouse Lane South, Elmsford, NY, 10523.