“I don’t know how to start a post like this. I guess it’s because I never saw anything like it before, and personally, I hope to never again.”
These words were posted to Facebook by staff at Tri-County Animal Rescue in response to an incident described as one of the most horrendous tragedies Boca Raton, Florida, has ever seen.
Sometime during the night, an unknown person threw a tiny, severely neglected dog over the rescue’s fence. She landed by a dumpster and lay there, helpless, until the following day.
When staff stumbled upon her in the wee morning hours, they were unsure, at first, precisely what they were looking at. The poor pup was in deplorable condition. Her fur was matted so closely that it was impossible to distinguish hair from skin. Her nails were overgrown to the point of curling around her feet and she had several open, infected wounds.
“Her hair was cemented to her skin, her nails so long they were wrapped around her paws and wounds so old they were filled with maggots,” said staff at the Tri-County Humane. “The smell is something I will never forget.”
Staff immediately began to assess her condition. Fearful and abandoned, they first sedated the sweet girl, now named Parker, and went to work:
“It took 5 staff members over two hours to shave her carefully, swapping out buzzers as they got hot,” said staff of the Tri-County Humane, “our veterinarian suturing her open sores, culturing absolutely everything. We found mammory tumors and her eyes in a permanent open position because of the matting. One eye is not even fully formed.”
The veterinary staff felt that Parker had perhaps been kept in possession of a backyard breeder based on her gynecological health. They suspect she was dumped because she could no longer produce puppies.
“The matting was so severe that we didn’t know where her legs began. Her tail was attached to her legs. We couldn’t even assess whether she had feet,” explained the shelter’s hospital director, Dianna Otero, “Imagine every hair on your body being pulled out at the same time. It was constant torture for her. And this is not something that happens in five minutes or even over a year – she lived like this.”
At the time of her rescue, she had several suspicious mammary tumors. The veterinary staff also had to remove her left eye due to infection. Parker was given a blood transfusion, IV fluid therapy, and pain medications. She was, at the time, painful to the touch and unable to be held by her new caregivers.
Parker has slowly but surely begun making minor improvements, growing stronger day by day. She is being showered with toys, blankets, food, and treats by her loving rescuers. One person even brought her a juicy slice of watermelon!
Surrounded by a community of dedicated animal lovers, Tri-County Rescue hopes that Parker will, one day, make a full recovery. Until then, they will continue to shower her with kindness and encouragement.