Sandy3, January 2003
Submitted by: Amanda Pough of
Sandy is a 16 month old yellow Lab who was hit by a car in late November, 2002. Her owner's original veterinarians knew that her injuries were too severe for them so sent Sandy and her family directly to our veterinary clinic. Sandy arrived with (among many injuries) multiple fractures of her rear legs, some of which were open (poking through the skin). Sandy was hospitalized and had fractures surgically repaired and stabilized. When she was discharged back to her owners, she was walking on all four legs. Unfortunately for some reason the stabilization's did not remain stable. After being reevaluated by our surgeons, her owners decided they could not afford to continue to care for Sandy. They did not want to euthanize her, so chose to relinquish her to us.
Sandy is an absolute sweetheart, and that, along with her young age and good prognosis, endeared her very quickly to our staff. Our surgeons were willing to donate their time to help Sandy but our hospital would be donating materials, medications, etc. Initial estimates placed the cost of Sandy's care over $4000.00. We have a small fund to help the "Ownerless and Injured Animals" we see, but the fund is not able support the type and length of care that Sandy required.
While looking on the web for possible contacts and "angels" we found the LABMED site. Our office manager has worked with purebred rescue in the past and we were well aware of the financial limitations such groups face. We were amazed and heartened to learn about LABMED. While Sandy's application was submitted and reviewed by LABMED, we proceeded to care for Sandy.
Just before Christmas of 2002, Sandy had more surgery. Her left rear leg had to be amputated and her right rear leg was re-addressed, being stabilized with external fixtures (hidden under her bandages in the photos) to provide stabilization and allow the leg to heal.
As part of Sandy's rehabilitation, she was allowed to start placing weight on her right rear leg in the beginning of January 2003. A wheelchair for use during her rehabilitation was donated by the manufacturer - Doggon' Wheels - a company based in Montana. We have worked with Doggon' Wheels in the past and were impressed both then and now by their generosity and help. As Sandy progresses, the wheelchair is adjusted to allow her greater weight bearing on her right rear leg, helping her rehabilitation.
Late January 2003, Sandy's right rear leg was radiographed (x-rayed) again. The leg is healing and our doctor's are pleased with her progress. Additional radiographs will be needed in the future to monitor her healing, but if all progresses as we hope, Sandy will graduate out of the wheelchair and be a fully mobile, 3 legged dog. We have started to screen possible adopters for Sandy to find her a 'forever' home, but are already worrying about how much we will miss her when she leaves the hospital!
Through our appeal to the public, Sandy's story has been seen across northern Vermont, with information about her being relayed through local newspapers, radio stations and even the email list of the local Chamber of Commerce. The love and support Sandy has received from people who have never met her is amazing and shows us how the simple act of caring for animals can be rewarded well beyond tangible means.