Freckles the Dog Slowly Recovering from Abuse, Starvation
Remember Patrick, the starved and abused pit bull dog that was pushed down a garbage chute in Newark, New Jersey? Public opinion about Patrick became a global cause. I regret to report another pit bull/mix dog, called Freckles, has been found discarded — alive — in a dumpster in Baltimore, Maryland.
Worse than Patrick – who had been starved and abandoned – Freckles was tied to a motor vehicle and dragged for a long time before being tossed in the dumpster. This occurred after long term starvation. At about one year old, Freckles, who should weigh 60 pounds, was found weighing only 30.
This unfortunate pit bull was rushed to Essex Middle River Veterinary Center (EMRVC), where he was stabilized for a few days before being taken in by Noah’s Arks Rescue (NAR), a South Carolina rescue specializing in difficult medical abuse cases. Charleston Veterinary Referral Center in Charleston, SC is where Freckles currently is receiving treatment.
Jennifer Smith, President of NAR, reports Freckles is improving minute by minute. A dog abused to the extent that Freckles has been needs intensive care for an ongoing length of time. Smith expects Freckles care to exceed $35,000 by the time he is well enough to be placed in a foster home, pending adoption.
She reports typical cases at NAR reach $5,000 and up. Donations to NAR can be made on their website. Smith is proud to report all donations are 100% spent on medical care, rehab, training and transportation. NAR, a 501c3 charity has no employees; it is run with all volunteers. Read some of their rescue stories.
The photos of Freckles’ abuse are so graphic they cannot be shown on Care2. If you dare, take a look at them on NAR’s site.
Smith told me doctors determined Freckles was tied by the neck and dragged behind a vehicle for a long ride to sustain the injuries he has. All four legs have lost skin and tendons and were exposed to the bone. The medical fight has been massive debridement of necrotic tissue in the infected wounds. The goal is to prevent amputation, if possible.
NAR has purchased a V.A.C. (vacuum assisted closure) negative pressure wound care machine for Freckles. This modality has been quite successful on humans for many years and has proven a small miracle for Freckles. Now, instead of having to sedate the dog for each dressing change, the negative pressure unit allows fluid to be withdrawn from the wounds while not allowing introduction of air into the injured sites. This decreases risk of further infection and allows the wounds to heal quickly and less painfully.
Veterinarians also discovered through x-rays that Freckles had ingested foreign items such as coins and other metal objects. They were able to remove them.
As any physical therapist will tell you, “no pain, no gain” is the mantra of physical rehabilitation. Freckles is given rehab six times per day. Freckles’ condition is compromised by his nutritional status. More calories are needed to heal properly, but due to re-feeding syndrome caused by his starvation, Freckles’ calories need to be cut back to allow him to keep the down the food he does ingest.
The balance ball in the photo below is the beginning of teaching Freckles to stand up on his own before getting him to take his own steps. It’s no April Fools Day joke that Freckles took his first steps on April 1st.
Freckles is still in critical danger of losing one of his front legs. A determination of which one he will lose will not be made for a couple of weeks yet.
Baltimore is no stranger to animal abuse. The case of a dog named Phoenix who in 2009 was set on fire sparked (no pun intended) the mayor establishing an Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission. This commission became permanent by the new mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. NAR has added $5,000 to the reward money set up for finding Freckles’ perpetrator.
Stay tuned for updates on Freckles condition at Care2.
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All photos used with permission of Jennifer Smith, Noah's Arks Rescue.