Today, we met "Bob" -- a sweet little mixed breed puppy who was the victim of a tragic crime. Bob is a pretty tan and white short haired pup who is about 10 weeks old and is expected to grow to about 30 pounds or so in size. Someone (a monster or a fool) had placed a plastic cable tie and a piece of copper wire tightly around the base of Bob's tail in a cruel and misguided attempt to dock* (shorten for cosmetic reasons) his tail. We expect him to fully recover from his injury in a couple weeks and we will place him in our Adoption Program once he is well on his way to recovery.
Bob was found wandering a Morgantown neighborhood on 3/14/05. The couple who found him took him into their home and cleaned him up as best they could and then called us the next day. They had bathed him but the terrible smell from the rotting flesh of his mutilated tail was overpowering. They dropped Bob off for Dr. Zucker to examine right away.
Our nurses cleaned Bob up and Dr. Zucker examined him. What we found was tragic. The entire length of Bob's tail below the cable tie was decomposing and oozing pus through the skin. It was very upsetting to see such an innocent puppy suffering so needlessly.
Since the couple who rescued Bob could not afford his needed care and since we knew a young and otherwise healthy puppy like Bob would have a great chance at a happy life through adoption, we offered to take ownership of Bob and give him appropriate care (donated by Dr. Zucker & Animal Medical Center through our Needy Pet Fund) and then place him in our Adoption Program after he recovered. His rescuers agreed and so Bob came to be one more AMC puppy with a fresh chance for a good life. . .
Dr. Zucker performed surgery immediately, removing the infected and rotting portion of his tail and prescribing antibiotics and pain relief medications to help him heal and to keep him comfortable. Bandaging his surgical site was tricky because of the short amount of surviving tail. Dr. Zucker had to wind bandaging material around both of his little hind legs to secure the bandage in a way that would stay clean and not interfere with his ability to go to the bathroom. Little Bob had quite the bandage job!
Our nurse, Brooke, gave little Bob his AMC puppy name so the staff can have something more personal to call him than just "the puppy". While we all can't help getting attached to him while we are caring for him, we do look forward to the day when his new family gives him a permanent name of his own. But, for now, we've got "Bob".
Of course, we reported the animal cruelty to the sheriff's office and we will do all we can to help them in their efforts to track down the person who did this terrible deed. Every staff member at the hospital today was touched by Bob's tragic little story and infuriated that someone could be so cruel to an innocent puppy. We are all gratified that perhaps this tragic event in Bob's life will lead him to a better home with a loving family.
* Docking is an unnecessary but unfortunately common surgery performed in the early days of some puppies lives to remove most of their tail for cosmetic reasons. Veterinary groups in the United States and around the world are moving away from performing these types of unnecessary surgeries. Animal Medical Center does not endorse or perform cosmetic surgeries such as tail docking.