I've not gotten around to posting about our latest foster here because I've been posting in other non-dog forums to help raise awareness to the dog fighting problems that everybody on this forum are more than aware of.
We'd been fostering Penny (http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=121392
) for Bullseye dog rescue (http://www.bullseyerescue.org/
) for a while - she's posted somewhere in this section, btw. She got adopted just before Christmas and we had intended to take some time off for the holidays, school and just reconnect with Cody (our resident dog). Well, the rescue called with a very special request.
Back in October there was a dog fight bust in Graham, WA. 22 dogs were seized and all but 5 had to be euthanized as I understand it. Hope is one of those 5. But her injuries and complete lack of vet care are the reason that the likes of Michael Vick don't deserve to play in the NFL in my opinion. She is a sweet girl but has no socialization nor any training. She's lived her entire 4 to 6+ years on a chain outdoors used as a breeder and probably a bait dog. She has, in addition to tons of scarring, lack of any kind of crate training, potty training, obedience or even socialization a leg that was broken or dislocated, numerous teeth that were broken and serious skin issues. None of which were ever properly attended to (big surprise...). Also, in the shelter, she was getting fat due to lots of treets + little walking. That's I guess a good problem to have
She walks in pain but is a complete trooper. She wants nothing more than to explore the world and crawl up in your lap. The rescue asked us to help for a number of reasons. First, given I work from home, I can help attend to her medical needs more readily as well as start crate training, etc. Second, and more importantly, her leg needed to be examined and figured out what to do with it. The concern was that it needed to be amputated so she could walk/live without pain. The problem was, they couldn't get that determination made without seeing a vet, they couldn't get her to a vet until she was out of the shelter and she couldn't get out of the shelter without a home (run-on sentence, I know...). The thought was that if her leg needed amputation and her other front leg was not strong enough, she would obviously be put to sleep to end her suffering. So to all this, my wife and I agreed to change our plans and took her in.
Just before Christmas she was finally examined by a vet and got the x-rays done. It was determined that her remaining front leg could bear her weight and the bad leg did in fact need to be amputated. The wrist joint was too far gone according to the vet to do anything with it. Her skin was just bad nutrition and has since cleared up with a regular quality kibble + salmon oil. She also needed to have 9 teeth extracted, not to mention the obvious spay.
So in the beginning of this year she had the extractions and spay done and on Monday (2/1/10) went in for her leg amputation. According to the vet yesterday, she's recovering well. She's been walking in her crate a little to get to her water, so they expect she'll come home in a day or so.
As for her socialization, things have been slowly improving. She has had, as mentioned, no training or socialization and we've been working on, well, all of it. We first did the 2 week 'shut down' procedure posted somewhere here on the forums, though for only about a week. We then let Cody wander into her room while she was in the crate. Over time, we got them to walk around the block together and about 2 weeks ago, after much work, she and Cody started playing off leash! She really is not aggressive at all, but still is learning doggy language and sometimes thinks play is turning into 'something more'. We're working on teaching her that level, and she's learning... slowly.
We're also teaching her basic obedience (sit, down, etc). All of this will eventually culminate to her being put up for adoption by bullseye; hopefully in a month or so. It's been a long slog and it's not over yet, but she's really coming out of her shell. Here's a bunch of pics:
First couple of days of her here - notice how stressed her face is:
Walking around the yard after a quick walk (she does NOT live on a chain anymore; I just dropped the leash to get the camera):
Close-up of her bad leg:
3 weeks later; the day after her spay/teeth extractions (in her crate) - notice the facial expressions on her!:
And the 2 last weeks playing outside with Cody!
You can find more information about the situation at Bullseye:http://www.bullseyerescue.org/fightdogs.htm
I'll try to remember to update this thread as things progress - both with status and pic, sorry it's taken so long, wanted to really help raise awareness and eveybody here really knows of the problem more than some of the other boards I'm on.