The man had beaten his dog close to death, but he still refused to hand her over to the shelter. Indeed, it seemed like the only release she would have from her pain was in death. Then rescuers had an idea – it would only work, however, if her owner believed that she was dead…
In October 2015 staff at an animal shelter in Egypt found themselves in a situation that truly tested their principles. A man brought his injured dog – a purebred pit bull, to be precise – for the shelter staff to treat. However, they were horrified by the animal’s condition.
The pit bull was just a pup, but her young age hadn’t done anything to deter her abuser. In fact, he’d already beaten her close to death and she was not even a year old. Consequently, the physical evidence of the puppy’s cruel treatment was obvious.
His brutal attack had been so ferocious that her jaw had been broken as a result. Indeed, it was so badly damaged that the mandible visibly hung limply to one side. This wasn’t the first time the pit bull’s owner had beaten her, either – it seemed to be an almost daily occurrence.
For reasons known only to him, on this occasion his temper was in overdrive. The result was almost fatal for his puppy. Yet despite how desperate the pit bull’s situation was, there was another complication. Unfortunately, this man had power over the animal shelter.
In a darkly ironic twist, the animal abuser owned the building in which the shelter was based. So, if they didn’t approach the situation carefully, their workplace would be in jeopardy. Indeed, if they lost their lease, then the shelter would be forced to close.
Initially, shelter staff tried the diplomatic approach. They spoke to the dog’s owner with the intention of convincing him to give the puppy up. However, he didn’t want to relinquish his living punching bag and refused their proposition. The situation seemed hopeless.
Next, the shelter came up with a new plan – and it was one that they wouldn’t have to accomplish alone. In fact, they happened to be the sister shelter to an animal rescue organization in the U.S. The group is a non-profit team called Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation (SNARR).
“Our mission is to give hope to the hopeless,” SNARR states on its official website. “We focus on animals least likely to receive another chance due to physical, emotional, or health issues. We hope to inspire other rescues and the public to do the same.”
Considering how he’d abused her, why the puppy’s owner refused to give her up is a mystery. Whatever his reasons, the shelter knew of only one way to rescue her without incurring their landlord’s wrath: and that was to tell him his dog was dead.
“If they had not, she would have likely suffered more beatings,” Lauren Connelly, foster co-ordinator for SNARR, subsequently told The Dodo. “[She would have] starved because she couldn’t eat with her jaw the way it was without specially mixed food.” Thankfully, her owner didn’t even question her death.
Indeed, the dog was saved without a hitch and flew over to the waiting Connelly in Pennsylvania. She subsequently named the dog Lucy and took her to a veterinarian the following morning. Poor Lucy’s beatings had left her in a terrible state, both physically and emotionally.
Not only was the terrified Lucy suffering from a broken jaw, but it had also become infected. “The smell of [Lucy’s] infection would turn your stomach,” Connelly later told the Huffington Post. “It was awful.”
“We had to make dog food soup, so she could lick it up with her tongue,” Connelly explained. “The vet said that the jaw was broken in two places. She was either kicked or hit with something strong, like a brick.” Indeed, the dog had to undergo reconstructive surgery to fix it.
After a course of antibiotics, Lucy’s mouth infection started to clear up. Nonetheless, due to the extensive damage to her jaw, she was referred to an orthopedic specialist. Connelly told The Dodo how the doctor then “essentially rebuilt the jaw from the ground up.”
The operation was successful, but Lucy was still unable to eat solid food while it healed. Indeed, the damage was so extensive that the poor dog had to wear a brace around her jaw as the bones mended. What’s more, while doctors fixed Lucy’s body, her rescuers were healing her mind.
Yet despite all the suffering she’d been through, Lucy proved that you can’t keep a good dog down. In fact, her personality blossomed under SNARR’s care. “Lucy is a very loving, very fun, and very happy go lucky puppy,” the group subsequently wrote on its Facebook page.
“[It] is amazing after all she has endured,” the update continued. “[Even after] being abused so badly, she is a pretty well-adjusted puppy, who loves anyone she meets.” She was still nervous of unfamiliar adult males as a consequence of her past, but she was just scared and never violent.
In addition, after months of recovery, Lucy eventually learned to enjoy using her mouth. She developed a healthy – and hearty – appetite and a love of licking friendly humans. In fact, she enjoyed showing her affection with doggy kisses so much that she was nicknamed “Licky Lou.”
For a while, Lucy was healing with a loving foster family, but in July 2016 SNARR had an announcement to make. Lucky Lou had been adopted! “She’s a proud new Arizona resident and will be dearly loved,” the group wrote on its Facebook page. “Happy life little one!”