Deaf, furless and completely covered in sores, Stinger the pup hadn’t had the best start in life. After all, more than 1,000 bees had stung the poor pit bull, and his owners had abandoned him. But, thankfully, the dog was about to meet his guardian angel.
In September 2016 Stinger the pit bull was just 10 months old. But, despite his relatively short life, the canine had already been through a lot. Indeed, it seemed that this adorable pup just couldn’t catch a break.
After all, the unlucky pup had somehow come into contact with a swarm of ground bees. Not just that, but the angry bees had stung the pit bull more than 1,000 times. In fact, during the attack, the bees covered every inch of his little body in painful punctures.
However, Stinger’s suffering didn’t end there. No, the sheer number of stings triggered an allergic reaction, so a vet prescribed him antibiotics. But the pills did more harm than good, as the poor pooch was allergic to them too.
Moreover, just when the dog needed all the help he could get, his owners couldn’t offer it. In fact, they abandoned him at a veterinary surgery in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That’s when Carri Shipala, founder of LuvnPupz animal rescue, learned about the dog’s dilemma. Shipala prides herself in taking on the toughest cases, and Stinger met her criteria.
Certainly, Stinger had his challenges. On top of his allergies, the unfortunate animal was severely underweight. He was also suffering from sarcoptic mange, a skin condition that had caused much of his fur to fall out.
Speaking of Stinger’s owners, Shipaila told Fox 17, “They brought him to the vet and that’s where they left him. Whether it was because of money or because of the condition he was in. Now I’ll be stuck with his medical bills, which is fine.”
Images from when Stinger arrived at the shelter showed the pit bull covered in painful, red lesions. The wounds spread from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that the shocking photographs soon went viral on social media.
Still, the dog’s sweet nature shone through in the pictures. After all, people inundated Stinger with messages of support and even adoption offers on Facebook. “This is heart wrenching. Oh my God in heaven, please help in the care of this beautiful creature. Thanks to everyone in the process,” read just one of the comments from September 2016.
The shelter placed Stinger in a medical foster home where he could recover from his various ailments. In the meantime, Shipaila got to work raising funds for his medical bills. And, thanks to the generosity of Luvnpup’s supporters, the deaf dog was soon on the road to recovery.
So, just a few weeks after his awful ordeal, Stinger began to act like a puppy once again. “He now wants to play,” Shipaila told the Huffington Post at the time. “We took him for a walk and he was trying to chew on the leash and his butt was waggling.”
But Stinger had to wait up to 12 weeks until his mange died down before he was eligible for adoption. Furthermore, the deaf dog would need specialized sign language training to help him communicate in his forever home. However, once he’d overcome these last obstacles, Shipaila was sure he’d make someone the perfect dog.
“He’s been a gentle, sweet boy, the entire time,” Shipaila told the Huffington Post in 2016. She added that even at his lowest ebb, Stinger just wanted to be loved. “Even in pain all he’s wanted to do is put his head in my lap and kiss me,” she said.
“Stinger is an amazing dog. He loves everyone he meets,” Shipaila added in an interview with Bored Panda in January 2017. “He’s the perfect image of how people should see the breed; sweet, funny and full of life.”
However, just as the shelter began searching for Stinger’s perfect home, vets made a shocking discovery. In fact, the deaf pit bull also had Pemphigus. If left untreated, this auto-immune disease can be deadly to dogs.
“We treated him for the reactions and scabies and we were clearly on the mend. Then something happened,” Shipaila explained in a Facebook post in 2016. “Whether it was drug induced or his body had just had enough, he began to get a little itchy again.”
After a series of tests, vets diagnosed the dog with Pemphigus. The disease can cause nasty ulcerations, cysts and legions on the skin. In order to control the condition, Stinger would need lifelong treatment and constant monitoring.
As a result of his prognosis, Shipaila decided against putting Stinger up for adoption. The vet concluded that his treatment was too costly to rely on someone else to look after him. So, with Stinger’s life at risk, she decided to keep the pit bull with a Luvnpupz foster family.
And although life didn’t work out the way Stinger had expected, he’s never been happier. In fact, he’s settled in well at his new home, and his foster mom April loves giving him belly rubs. “April loves him and gives him a forever home,” Shipaila confirmed on Facebook in January 2017. “If he’d have been adoptable, I’m sure she would’ve been the one.”
And while it seems that Stinger has had his share of bad luck, those at Luvnpupz see it differently. He may have endured more pain in one year than some dogs will know in their lifetime, but he’s happy. As Shipaila put it on Facebook in January 2017, “While somewhat sad and will be a lifelong condition, I don’t think his life is all that miserable.”