Courtesy of The Madera County Animal Shelter
Stevie, the German Shepherd mix puppy found with a deeply embedded collar poses after grooming in front of the Madera County Animal Shelter this week. The young dog has made a remarkable recovery in foster care and now weighs 75 pounds. Authorities are still looking for information on who might have owned the neglected or abused pup and left him along Avenue 15 to die.
A young dog starved nearly to death and left to die along a roadside in March struggled, but has made a remarkable recovery according to Madera County Animal Services director Kirsten Gross.
The 8-month-old German Shepherd mix weighed just 30 pounds when was he found along Avenue 15 near Road 31. It was almost blind and barely able to walk from starvation, spine and hip bones protruding, with a tight nylon collar cutting through several layers of skin and muscle and encircling his neck. The dog was seen and found just in time by a passing motorist. He was rushed into surgery to remove the collar and close the gaping wounds around his neck.
“Stevie surprised us all and survived. No infections, no tetanus ... the wound was so deep and so near his esophagus, he had trouble eating and swallowing. It took a lot of sutures to close the wound,” Gross said. “He now weighs 75 pounds. His weight has more than doubled, in just two and half months of good care, puppy chow and supplements in a foster home. His vision has also improved considerably.”
Gross said the dog’s back legs had improved but were still weaker than normal, likely due to the lack of nourishment as a puppy.
“He’s suffered a great deal of torment and pain ... with that embedded collar. We are now hoping to find him a special, understanding forever home that will adopt and care for him. He is smart, very sweet but doesn’t like loud noises, and is a little shy around crowds. All he wants (now) is to be loved on,” Gross said.
Stevie’s discovery and awful situation was widely covered in print and broadcast on local television stations, Gross said, touching and breaking the hearts of a lot of people.
“A lot of people donated and wanted to help Stevie. And he’s made a great recovery — slick and shiny, and feeling special now. Especially after his first ever grooming, donated by Alicia at Purr D Paws. She donates and does all our neglected or abused (animal) grooming. The Friends of The Madera Animal Shelter volunteers paid for his surgery and medications. It’s so great the Madera community cares about it’s animals and their treatment.” she said.
Anyone with information on where the young dog could have come from in mid March is asked to contact Madera County Animal Control at 675-7891. A $1,000 reward is being offered by the volunteer group The Friends of Madera Animal Shelter for any information on this situation, or any information leading to an arrest and a conviction in a crime of felony animal cruelty, neglect or abuse.
Donations to help injured, abused or sick animals can be dropped off at the animal shelter or mailed to The Friends of Madera Shelter at PO Box 923, Madera, CA. 93638.