Late last December, on a cold and snowy night, two Good Samaritans found a 10-month-old American bulldog abandoned in a dog crate in Northeast DC. He was little more than a pile of skin and bones, lying in a giant puddle of urine and feces, and as close to frozen as a living dog could possibly be. The dog's rescuers immediately called DC Animal Care and Control, and an officer was dispatched to the location.
When he arrived at our New York Avenue Adoption Center, the dog, who we named Sparky (in the hope, perhaps, that the spark of life in him was strong enough to help him survive) tipped the scales at an astonishingly low weight of just 54 pounds. His internal body temperature was too low to even register on a rectal thermometer. He required intense medical care in the form of heat support, IV fluids to rehabilitate him from shock, and various blood tests to measure his blood sugar, level of anemia, and level of dehydration. Uncertain of his chances, our overnight staff nevertheless watched over him and tended to him all night during his sleepover in our makeshift ICU.
These efforts paid off, and the next morning Sparky finally had a "readable" body temperature and stood on his own for the first time since his arrival! He received around-the-clock care for two straight days, followed by seven more on an intensive re-feeding diet and TLC regimen.
On January 6, a volunteer with the American Bulldog Rescue picked Sparky up to transport him to his new foster home in Pittsburgh, where he would continue his recovery. We were thrilled to learn that Sparky now weights 85 pounds!
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