May 2017

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Lotus: Possible abuse at the shelter

First the good news

Lotus is doing very well after we took her from the South LA City Shelter Wednesday, May 10th. The manager of the Shabby Dog Boutique and Kennel, Hannah, has been working with her, and has totally transformed her. More on this later, though here is a video from the weekend of Hannah playing with her:

Now, about that abuse

When I picked up Lotus on Wednesday she had just been spayed, and her hair was covering her eyes somewhat. She was very scared, and forcefully snapped at and attacked if you tried to touch her, especially her face. She was difficult even to get into the cage for transport. However, even then I noticed her right eye seemed a bit swollen, both around the eye and the eye itself.

When I got her to the Shabby dog, it managed to look a bit closer, though not that close, and I could not wipe her hair back, but I did consider it bad enough that it would need to be looked at by a vet, and I mentioned it in the video below, and to the staff of Shabby Dog:


Here are three stills taken from the videos that show the bruising around her right eye, click on the photos to enlarge them:

We didn’t think of trauma at the time

At the time when I dropped her off I thought the eye (and also rear leg) were probably something chronic and would need to be looked at by a vet later. We were also working on how to get her seen by a vet. The shelter had told us they had not examined her (though they did spay her!) because they said the only way to examine her would be under anesthesia. Our hope was to socialize and calm her over a some days, so that she could then go to the vet and be examined with out having to be under anesthesia. And Hannah has been able to get her much much calmer! So that part of our plan as worked so far.

Lotus on May 10th leaving the shelter, totally scared:

Lotus videoed at the shelter (from her Facebook post):

Over the weekend Hannah told us that she had been able to look at the eye closely, since Lotus was now behaving normally, at least with Hannah. To Hannah it looked similar to a black eye a person would have if they had been hit in the face. Hannah said it looked better than it had Friday and was looking better. Unfortunately Hannah did not get a picture at that time.

On Monday I went to visit Lotus, and her eye has healed, as far as we can see there is no more sign of trauma. Remember, we picked her up Wednesday, it is now Monday, six days later. Lotus has an appointment to see the vet, but since it is not urgent, and she still needs some time to really calm down, we haven’t been pushing it. The slight limp, and the eye both seem fine now.

So what does it mean?

So here is my thought. Lotus had an injury to her eye like a black eye, swelling around the eye, and some red vessels in the eye. She was admitted to the shelter April 21st. We took her May 10th. The eye was healed by May 15th (at least visually). To me this is consistent with being hit or kicked in the head, getting a bruise, and it healing up in about 5-10 days. Which means, if that happened, she was hit sometime after April 21st, probably a with a few days of when we took her from the shelter.

When you combine this with how the shelter staff told me she was excessively aggressive and would need to be anesthetized to be examined by a vet, and that she was letting Hannah touch her the next day, and playing with Hannah and others on the second day, I become suspicious that she was abused by someone in the shelter. If I had to guess, I might guess she bit someone and they hit or kicked her. Certainly the injury, it’s timeline of healing, and her dramatic behavior change would be consistent with that.

Can we say for sure what happened? Of course not. The bottom line though is this little girl has been through a lot, but she still has a good heart and Havanese/Maltese type personality to shine through. She will need an understanding home, but she will be a great dog. Please help spread the word about Lotus, and help us find her the forever home she deserves! You can contact us about adoption on our Facebook page or at info@freeanimaldoctor.org

THANKS!!!!

Meet Lotus! Also, what we do…

Lotus is a rescue from the South Los Angeles City Shelter. She was not adoptable due to behavior issues. She was surrendered by her owners, who stated she is a 2 year-old Havanese mix. According to the statement recording by the animal shelter the owners stated she would hide from them, and bite if they tried to touch her or pick her up. The shelter did not do a vet examination of her, due to her aggression, though they did spay her. Make of that what you will.Here is her post on Facebook looking for rescue.

Based on the owner’s statement, and without a proper vet examination, our concern was that she was injured… but it appears that is not the case. Based on our observation today she is just very very scared. She does not attack, but if touched or approached with no exit, she goes into fight mode. Our thought is most likely she has been abused. She is supposed to be 2 years-old and I could see some damage on her right eye (lots of hair covering it) that might be glaucoma, but might be from a trauma. We are going to have her examined by a vet, of course, and will know more. We cannot bathe or groom her yet because of her stitches from spaying (uggggg, why can’t we get a waiver and spay her ourselves after grooming and cleaning her!!!??? Hello! Shelter?).

What we do

At Free Animal Doctor we provide a verified crowdfunding platform to help people raise money for their pets when they cannot afford some or all of the bill. We only pay the donations to the vet, so donors can donate to people they do not know, confident that the animal will receive the treatment. We are not a rescue.

So why did we rescue Lotus? Well…… we do rescue a little. One of our board members, Sandy, owns The Shabby Dog Boutique and Kennel in the city of Sierra Madre, CA. She donates kennel space to us for rescuing a small number of dogs. We generally take dogs like Lotus, those that cannot get adopted by the public and are not being pulled by rescues. We watch and wait, and if it becomes clear no one is going to take the dog, we will step in. We can only do this on a very limited basis because of the available space at The Shabby Dog.

We depend on the help of many people to make these rescues possible, including the people that arrange for the dog to get out of the shelter, people who transport like Cat Ku and Alexandra Bonvicini who helps us coordinate the whole thing and who collects pledges. It would not be possible without all of these people working hard to save these dogs!

Adopt

Lotus is not aggressive, she is scared. She doesn’t attack, she defends. With the right home, love and patience, she will be a great dog… but she needs someone understanding and caring with patience. If you would be interested in making a real difference in Lotus’s life, and probably being the only loving human she has ever known, drop me a line at ryan@freeanimaldoctor.org or message us at our Facebook Page. Thank you!

What is Cherry Eye? An explanation at Eye Care for Animals in Pasadena

Princess has Cherry Eye in both of her eyes

Rescued from South LA Shelter, she was severely neglected and probably abused

Princess will be available for adoption once she recovers from Cherry Eye surgery, which she is scheduled for May 9th, 2017. What is Cherry Eye? In short part of the eyelid prolapses, sort of turns “inside out”, on the inside part of the eye near the nose, causing a red bubble of tissue to protrude out of the eye, perhaps looking like a little cherry. Dr. Kricket Konrade of Eye Care for Animals in Pasadena explains Cherry Eye and the surgical repair:

The cost of surgery and helping Princess

Cherry Eye can sometimes be healed without surgery. If surgery is necessary, you might be able to arrange it for about $500-750 per eye. In Princess’s case she has had the condition for a long time, and it is quite bad, so we decided to take her to an eye specialist (Eye Care for Animals in Pasadena) to see a board certified ophthalmologist. This is not necessary for Cherry Eye, and is more expensive, but we feel it best in this case. The standard cost for Princess at Eye Care for Animals would be over $3000 including her initial consultation. However, they do offer a substantial discount for animal welfare non-profits, like us, and our consultation fee was lowered from $167 to $125 and the surgery down to $2200. Basically a 30% discount, which is very generous and much appreciated!

You can help us keep helping dogs like Princess

She was un-adoptable at the shelter, and would have been put-to-sleep. Her medical condition was only part of the problem, as she was also listed as aggressive — she weighs 6 pounds! But a dog with medical problems, listed as aggressive just doesn’t get adopted. We are able to save dogs like Princess, get them healed, socialized and adopted to great homes with your help. If you can, please consider a donation here: https://www.paypal.me/FreeAnimalDoctor

Photo and video of Princess at the shelter: