UPDATE: Spirit has made a full recovery and been adopted! So many thanks to all of her supporters and those that donated to her care!
***WARNING! This article contains graphic photos that may be upsetting for some readers to see.***
There's a dog in critical condition right now that could really use all the strength we can send her way. Rescue Dogs Rock NYC
posted on their Instagram
Monday night about a female stray that had been picked up with her throat slit
Spirit, as she is appropriately named for how hard she's fighting to stay alive, was picked up by Fulton County Animal Services
near Atlanta after they received a call from a woman describing the dog as "cut around the neck and bleeding very badly
Stacey Silverstein and Jackie O'Sullivan, the co-founders of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC who work frequently with Fulton Animal Services as well as many more shelters along the east coast, got the message about Spirit Monday evening and it only took one look at the horrific photos for them to take her under their wing.
The shelter performed emergency surgery on Spirit when she came in, but sadly the severely infected wound opened back up after the first attempt. Silverstein and O'Sullivan had Spirit transferred to Fayetteville Animal Hospital
where it was confirmed that she would need at least two surgeries.
The cut was described as being around three inches deep and a miracle that it didn't sever her trachea. The women had several veterinarian specialists and other professionals look at pictures of the cut to try and find any reason aside from an act of human cruelty that could explain the gash, but all were in agreement that there was little if anything else that could produce such a deep, clean wound.
Trying to make sense of how anyone could do such a thing, rescuers considered the possibility that an embedded collar could be the culprit, but Spirit was picked up wearing a collar (no tags, unfortunately).
RDRNYC stated on their Facebook page that:
"There is nothing jagged or that goes 360 degrees around consistent with a collar. We cannot imagine the instrument used to slit her throat but we are confident she didn't trip and fall on a log cutter."
When we spoke with Jackie O'Sullivan, she added that there were no signs of wear on the dog such as missing hair that would indicate that this was something that happened over time. "As deep as the cut was, it's possible that it was something that happened in a fit of rage."
We shudder to think at the person capable of such an act.
Spirit's throat when she was first picked up, pre-surgery
The surgeries that Spirit is undergoing are extremely expensive, likely costing thousands of dollars, and the rescue organization relies heavily on donations to offset the cost of helping rescues like Spirit. She underwent the second surgery yesterday, cleaning the infection out and adding a second layer of stitches to close the gaping wound. Spirit has been receiving IV hydration and antibiotics to help clear the infection and restore her to health. Due to the chance of necrotic tissue
buildup, it's very possible that she may have to endure more surgeries in the future.
Spirit's neck after the second surgery
Once Spirit is stabilized, Rescue Dogs Rock NYC plans to bring her up north to foster her until she is well enough to be placed in a forever home of her own. The four-year-old Pit Bull mix has been described as having no aggression towards people at this time despite the immense pain she must be suffering, and those pleading eyes really show just how accepting she is of the help.
Rescue Dogs Rock NYC focus on cruelty and abuse cases, frequently taking on some of the hardest. Jackie told us:
"We focus our efforts on the toughest cases because many of the dogs are put down due to expenses and difficulty placing them in homes."
There are countless stories on their website
, and Instagram
pages - stories like the severely neglected Krystal and Willa
who were rescued from a long-abandoned house in North Carolina the same day that Spirit was rescued in Atlanta.
Thanks to the FBI making animal cruelty a felony
, and the latest news that they will now be tracking cases of animal cruelty via a database
similar to the ones used to track violent crimes and sexual assault against humans, we're hoping that Spirit's abuser will eventually be caught. Though there are no leads on the former owner or person who lacerated Spirit at this time, the case has been turned over to Fulton County authorities in the Cruelty Division. The tracking system is being put into effect this year
, with data collected being available for public review in 2017.
Spirit getting some fresh air outdoors at the animal hospital
Some are already rallying behind Spirit, like Hendrick & Co
, an online marketplace with merchandise geared towards animal lovers that donates a portion of profits to rescue organizations. They are donating $10 from the purchase of every shirt, hoodie or accessory to Spirit's medical fund, so now is the time to get started on that spring wardrobe!
For those who wish to donate directly and help Spirit as well as the many other abuse cases that come through RDRNYC, they can do so they can do so here. Please considering sparing as much as you can to help save Spirit's life and ensure that Rescue Dogs Rock NYC can continue to save these poor victims of cruelty.
Featured image via Rescue Dogs Rock NYC