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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org