Rescuers appeal to public to help severely disfigured dog

Rescuers appeal to public to help severely disfigured dog

A dog found in central Taiwan with half of its face severely disfigured is struggling to make it through another year. Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) was notified in early December of a stray dog in Yuanli Township, Miaoli County, whose left side of its face was horribly disfigured. Residents suspect that the dog had been hit by a car and dragged on its left side, with the resulting friction causing the severe injuries. "Half of its face was virtually gone, and the left side of its head was also exposed, oozing blood and pus," said one resident of the area. "It was an awful sight to see." The resident said he took the dog to seek treatment, but because of the high costs involved, decided to ask ARTT for help. The dog was rushed to an animal hospital in central Taichung City's Beitun District, where it remains in critical condition. Upon diagnosis, ARTT's veterinary team s...

Cross-Ocean Adoption
Rescuers appeal to public to help severely disfigured dog
Rescuers appeal to public to help severely disfigured dog This holiday season, do a little good by donating to a worthy cause and help a severely disfigured dog see through another year.

Miaoli, Taiwan, December 15, 2013


A dog found in central Taiwan with half of its face severely disfigured is struggling to make it through another year.

Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) was notified in early December of a stray dog in Yuanli Township, Miaoli County, whose left side of its face was horribly disfigured. Residents suspect that the dog had been hit by a car and dragged on its left side, with the resulting friction causing the severe injuries. "Half of its face was virtually gone, and the left side of its head was also exposed, oozing blood and pus," said one resident of the area. "It was an awful sight to see."

The resident said he took the dog to seek treatment, but because of the high costs involved, decided to ask ARTT for help. The dog was rushed to an animal hospital in central Taichung City's Beitun District, where it remains in critical condition.

Upon diagnosis, ARTT's veterinary team said that when the little black dog arrived at the hospital, the entire left side of its face was exposed with deep lacerations to the muscle tissue and the wound was severely infected. A veterinarian added that even though they suspected that an external force could have been the source of the injury, the exact cause of the accident was not known. Blood tests further revealed that the dog was infected with heartworm disease.

Over the weekend, several ARTT volunteers visited the dog in Taichung. "We wanted to come and offer our support and encouragement to the poor little fellow," said one volunteer. The dog was very weary of strangers and shivered in fear at the sight of any visitors.

"In the 10 years that I've been an ARTT volunteer, I've never seen a case involving such horrible injuries," said a senior ARTT volunteer. "It is really heartbreaking to see the poor dog like this. We hope that it finds courage to survive and live through this."

ARTT said the veterinary team will provide the best medical care and make every effort to save the dog. "We will not give up, but it will take at least three months at a cost of nearly NT$100,000 (US$3,300) for the dog to recover," said the veterinarian.

Anyone who is interested in donating towards the dog's medical expenses is asked to do so by contacting ARTT. To make a donation for this and other dogs in dire need of help, click here.

Case Files

Breed: Mixed
Gender: Female
Weight: 12.9 kg
Age: About 2 years old
Conditions: Severe wound infection in a large area of the left side of the face, heartworm disease
Treatment: About three months at a cost of nearly NT$100,000

Source: Animal Emergency Rescue Team Taiwan

'Miracle dog' awaits fate following serious accident
'Miracle dog' awaits fate following serious accident Paralyzed from the waist down, half-blind and bruise and battered, a dog in southern Taiwan struggles to hang on.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan, November 29, 2013


Paralyzed from the waist down, half-blind and bruise and battered, a dog in southern Taiwan struggles to hang on long enough to continue on to its next challenge: the operating room.

Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) was recently alerted of a dog in Yenchao District, southern Kaohsiung City, that had apparently been involved in an accident. "The dog is lying on a roadside and is seriously injured and unable to move," read the note from the animal lover who notified ARTT of the case.

A team of ARTT volunteers spent nearly half an hour searching for the dog before finally finding it lying roadside behind a wall. "The poor dog was in a terrible state," recalled one volunteer. "One of its hind legs was missing a huge chunk of flesh – it was quite shocking!"

Surprisingly, the dog was very calm, probably because of the pain it was in, suspected one volunteer. "It did not resist even a little." Volunteers wasted no time to secure the injured dog onto the rescue vehicle and rush it to a nearby animal hospital for treatment.

After careful inspection, ARTT's veterinary team found both of the dog's hind legs fractured, its right eye severely infected and oozing blood and pus, as well as several cuts and bruises in its upper body. Further tests revealed that it also suffered from anemia and its condition was highly unstable, making it unfit to undergo immediate surgery.

"After administering an emergency blood transfusion, we also noticed that it was unable to urinate and suspect it had unable to do so for already some days, so we inserted a urinary catheter to help it finally relieve itself," noted one veterinarian. The dog is currently resting and ARTT's veterinary team will monitor its progress closely to assess whether it will be ready for surgery in the next few days.

Miracle dog

"It is truly a miracle that the dog is still alive after sustaining what appears to have been a huge impact from the accident," said the veterinarian. "Because the dog was very strong, when the accident occurred, its muscles were able to lessen the impact of the hit. But also because of this, it developed rhabdomyolysis, or the rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle fibers, a condition that can lead to serious kidney failure and even death.”

"We are doing all we can to save the dog and hope it responds well to the treatment," said the veterinarian.

Since the dog was admitted into the hospital, ARTT volunteers have paid it visits round the clock to look after its every need. "It was heartbreaking to see it lying motionless on the bed day in and day out," said one volunteer. "It was in so much pain that it was unable to eat and had no appetite at all."

Positive first signs

But after a few days of rest, the dog slowly regained its appetite, reported the veterinarian. "Our hope is that it will get healthy enough so that we can operate on its several wounds as soon as possible," he said. "For now, whether the dog will survive remains to be seen."

ARTT asks that we all pray together for the dog's speedy recovery so that it can one day roam freely again.

Medical Encyclopedia:

Rhabdomyolysis is the rapid destruction of skeletal muscle, resulting in breakdown products of damaged muscle cells to be released into the bloodstream. Factors causing rhabdomyolysis are many; muscle trauma, excessive exercise, high-voltage electric shock, systemic cramps, burns or crush injury and even certain adverse drug reactions are all likely to cause rhabdomyolysis.

Muscle necrosis can occur if a large amount of potassium ions are released into the blood quickly. Some breakdown products, such as the muscle protein myoglobin, causes severe adverse effects, including:

1. Direct damage to renal tubular epithelial cells
2. Vasoconstriction caused by the kidney itself
3. Tubular obstruction and the formation of crystals in the renal tubules

The resulting acute renal failure may be fatal.

'Bloody-collar' dog recovering in southern Taiwan
'Bloody-collar' dog recovering in southern Taiwan A dog with a severely constricting collar that caused a ring of blood and pus around its neck is recovering in southern Taiwan

Chiayi, Taiwan, October 29, 2013


Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) received a notification recently about a dog in southern Zhuqi Township, Chiayi County, that was found wandering the streets wearing a severely constricting collar around its neck.

The bloody wound released a foul stench as it was seriously infected. Word of the dog prompted ARTT team leader Joseph Nee and a group of volunteers to rush to the scene.

Fortunately, the dog had a pleasant and loving personality, though nevertheless kept a high level of alertness towards strangers, recalled Nee, who waited to stabilize the dog before swiftly cutting loose its collar.

'Shocking sight'

"The wounds gave off an awful smell and oozed pus and blood profusely," said Nee. "It was a shocking sight to see!"

'Just in time'

After rushing the dog to a nearby animal hospital, ARTT's veterinary team carefully inspected and sutured the open wounds. One veterinarian noted that had more time passed before treating the dog, the wounds would have most likely incurred damage to its esophagus, leading to difficulty in ingesting food as well as severe dehydration.

"But fortunately since it was rescued just in time by ARTT volunteers, there is hope that the dog will recover fully and be able to settle in with a new loving family in no time," added the veterinarian.

Nee said he suspected that the dog had been abandoned as a puppy, but as it grew bigger, no one changed its collar, and therefore the dog inevitably outgrew the collar, causing its serious injuries.

Dog thrown off bridge survives thanks to student
Dog thrown off bridge survives thanks to student A dog trapped in a drain after being hurled down a bridge is recovering thanks to the persistence of a student in southern Taiwan.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan, September 17, 2013


A stray dog that was thrown from a bridge into a river in southern Kaohsiung City is a live thanks to a student who would not give up hope.

Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) was notified in recent days by a student, surnamed Zhong, of a small yellow dog that was trapped in a drain by a river in Fengshan District.

According to Zhong, the dog was cruelly thrown off Guotai Bridge from a height of some 10 meters into Fengshan River. "The poor dog was so frightened it fled to a drain by the river and had been stuck there for about a week, growing weaker by the minute," she said.

Having already notified the fire department, which only resulted in an unsuccessful rescue, Zhong said she then decided to turn to ARTT for help. "I just couldn't just let the poor dog die like that! I had to keep trying to get help!

ARTT team leader Joseph Nee immediately put together a rescue team and rushed to the scene, wasting no time to start the three-story descent to get to the dog's location.

Starved for more than a week

"It was very difficult to get to the poor trapped dog because the mouth of the drain was blocked by a pile of dead trees," recalled Nee. "After discussing the best way to reach the dog, we decided to get a hold of axes and saws to clear through the trees."

After more than two hours of hard work, the team was finally able to reach the starving, frightened dog and rush it to a nearby veterinary clinic for emergency medical attention.

ARTT's veterinary team said the rescued dog is a male of about two years old. "When it reached the clinic it was severely dehydrated and malnourished; we estimate that it hadn't eaten anything in more than a week," said one veterinarian. Moreover, blood tests revealed it also suffered from heartworm disease and its condition was serious, requiring at least a month and a half to fully recover its health.

New precedent in animal abuse

Several ARTT volunteers have since visited the dog at the clinic. "It was so thin you could practically see its bones!" said one volunteer. "It looked so helpless, we all felt very bad for the little guy and could not believe the cruelty of those people who heartlessly threw him off the bridge!"

ARTT senior volunteer Antony Ni said that following an outbreak of rabies, there have been more and more cases of abandoned animals, but throwing a dog off a bridge is the first he's heard of. "Those responsible for such a cold-blooded act should not go unpunished," he said, and called on animal protection authorities in Kaohsiung to look into the matter and penalize those who commit acts of animal abuse.

Stray dog's story incites more than 20,000 responses in one day
Stray dog's story incites more than 20,000 responses in one day More than 20,000 people rallied in one day on Facebook to wish for the speedy recover of a homeless dog suffering from severe skin infection.

Miaoli and Taichung, Taiwan, August 28, 2013


More than 20,000 people rallied in one day on Facebook to encourage a homeless dog in central Taiwan to recover from a severe skin condition.

Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) received a notification in mid-August of "Adam," a dog in Miaoli County, Wanli Township, whose hairless body was covered in blood and open sores and could not stop trembling from the pain.

A well-meaning resident of the area took Adam to a nearby animal hospital, but because of the high cost of treating him, he was unable to get Adam treated right away. "But I just couldn't stand idly by and leave Adam out to die, so I contacted ARTT for help," said the resident.

Since learning about the case, ARTT promptly took on the responsibility to care for Adam.

Body covered in sores

"Adam, a male of about two years old and weighing about 17.5 kilograms, arrived at the hospital with more than 90 percent of his body covered in bloody open sores,” said on ARTT veterinarian.

Tests revealed that Adam suffered from demodicosis and a host of fungal and bacterial infections. "Adam's condition was very dire," said a veterinarian. "We rarely see dogs in such miserable condition," lamented one volunteer.

More than 20,000 supporters

Adam's story, which was posted on ARTT's Facebook page, incited more than 20,000 "likes" in one day from fans and supporters wishing him well. Messages left on the wall read: "Don't be afraid! You will now be saved," "You will get better for sure," and "Get well soon!"

ARTT volunteers from central Taiwan have in recent days congregated in the Taichung City hospital to see Adam. "It was so difficult to see Adam in that condition and staring back at us with big sad eyes," said one volunteer. Those who visited offered encouragement and well wishes for a speedy recovery.

ARTT to cover all expenses

ARTT veterinarians estimated that it would take more than three months for Adam to fully recover. ARTT has vowed to cover all medical expenses, which amount to more than NT$50,000. If you’d like to make a donation, please click here.

Adam's Case Files

Breed: Mixed
Gender: Male
Weight: 17.5 kg
Age: About 2 years old
Conditions: Demodicosis, pyoderma gangrenosum, fungal and bacterial infections
Duration of Treatment: About three months, medical costs amount to more than NT$50,000

Source: Animal Rescue Team Taiwan

UPDATE: Paralyzed dog that ate own leg able to run again
UPDATE: Paralyzed dog that ate own leg able to run again A recently rescued paralyzed dog that ate its own leg out of hunger gets a top-of-the-line wheelchair.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan, July 30, 2013


A paralyzed small dog that had became so hungry while living on the streets it started eating its own hind leg has miraculously recovered, and although it is permanently paralyzed from the waist down, instead of lamenting its cruel fate, animal rescuers in southern Taiwan decided to celebrate its miraculous recovery with a brand new, custom-made doggie wheelchair.

Animal Rescue Team Taiwan (ARTT) senior volunteers recalled that they received a notification in late May from residents in Kaohsiung's Niaosong District reporting that they found a paralyzed small black dog in an empty plot off Hengshan Lane. Because it was unable to look for its own food, it became so hungry that it resorted to gnawing on its right hind leg. "It was a jarring sight, by the time we got to the poor little dog, it already had a chunk of its hind leg missing!" said one volunteer.

Medical bills upwards of NT$100,000

Veterinarians moved quickly to save the poor dog, a three-year-old female, which also had a life-threatening fever of more than 40 degrees, but fortunately after more than two months of antibiotic and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the dog miraculously recovered. "Medical bills amounted to more than NT$100,000, but how can you put a price on life? It's priceless and we definitely think it was well worth it to save her life," said Joseph Nee, ARTT team leader.

Because the poor dog suffered from a fracture to the second and fifth lumbar vertebrae and nerve damage that caused permanent lower-body paralysis, she could only crawl on the floor to move. "We couldn't look on as she dragged herself on the floor and we could not stand the thought that this would be how she would have to move about for the rest of her life, so we decided to get her a wheelchair," said one volunteer.

Dog wheelchair fitting a success

ARTT volunteers in recent days visited the veterinary clinic specifically to fit the paralyzed black dog with a custom-made, top-of-the-line wheelchair. "In the beginning, she seemed a little hesitant and confused about the wheelchair, but soon enough found that she was able to move freely once again," recalled one volunteer. "Once she realized what she could now do on the wheelchair, she became so excited that she started running faster and faster!"

"We were moved to tears to be able to see our little black dog feel the thrill of the wind on her face once again after being relegated to crawling on the floor for so long!" said another volunteer.

But unlike human wheelchairs which generally come in fixed sizes, dog wheelchairs must be carefully designed to fit the dog's body length, body width and height of the legs so that every dog wheelchair must be custom-made. This, of course, costs money, and dog wheelchairs are pricey at nearly NT$10,000.

ARTT notes that the dog's medical bills, lodging, plus custom-made dog wheelchair and other subsequent rehabilitation costs amounted to more than NT$100,000. Those interested in contributing to the medical costs can visit our donation area.

Case facts at a glance:
Breed: Mixed
Weight: 12.3 kg
Gender: Female
Age: About 3 years old
Injury: Fractures to its second and fifth lumbar vertebrae, lower body paralyzed, chewed its own right hind thigh, fever of 40 degrees
Treatment: Antibiotics drip injection, combined with hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Source: Animal Rescue Team Taiwan veterinary team