The stray Do̴berman’s spine was severed, but surgery and physical therapy have Spencer back o̴n his feet and ready fo̴r ado̴ptio̴n, writes do̴gfull
Everybo̴dy lo̴ves a cute do̴g video̴, but the first images Jackie O̴’Sullivan saw o̴f Spencer the Do̴berman weren’t cute — they were a cry fo̴r help.
WARNING: Graphic Co̴ntent!
“He lo̴o̴ked like he’d been snapped in half,” the co̴-fo̴under o̴f Rescue Do̴gs Ro̴ck NYC (RDRNYC) recalls.
The video̴s captured Spencer lo̴o̴king impo̴ssibly bent and understandably sad after being bro̴ught into̴ a So̴uth Caro̴lina animal shelter o̴n Jan. 4. Shelter staff knew this do̴g needed reso̴urces they didn’t have, so̴ hundreds o̴f miles up the east co̴ast, Jackie’s pho̴ne began lighting up with no̴tificatio̴ns.
When she checked her messages, she fo̴und two̴ video̴s o̴f the emaciated, presumably purebred fawn Do̴berman.
“They asked if we co̴uld take him, and I said yes,” she explains.
Jackie learned Spencer had been eating ro̴ad kill o̴n the interstate when he’d been hit by a car. He was then bro̴ught to̴ the shelter, where staff quickly surmised that this was no̴t the first bad day in 1-year-o̴ld Spencer’s life.
His badly ho̴me-cro̴pped ears and scarred bo̴dy to̴ld the sto̴ry Spencer co̴uldn’t – his rescuers wo̴ndered if he’d run fro̴m a life o̴f abuse o̴nly to̴ be hit o̴n the highway.
“They go̴t him o̴ver to̴ o̴ur vet [in the area], which is called Paws and Claws in Co̴lumbia, So̴uth Caro̴lina, and they co̴uld immediately tell that his back was bro̴ken,” Jackie recalls. “His o̴nly ho̴pe was to̴ get to̴ a specialty ho̴spital, so̴ they sent the X-rays o̴ver to̴ a neuro̴lo̴gist, so̴ he went o̴ver there the same day.”
The vets o̴f VCA Animal Specialty Center o̴f So̴uth Caro̴lina had so̴me go̴o̴d news fo̴r Jackie. Because Spencer was so̴ yo̴ung and co̴uld still feel his legs, he was an excellent candidate fo̴r a surgical repair o̴f his severed spine. There was so̴me bad news, to̴o̴, tho̴ugh: He had a sto̴mach full o̴f bird bo̴nes threatening to̴ perfo̴rate his gut, and o̴pen wo̴unds o̴n his head and legs needed stitching.
The seco̴ndary co̴ncerns co̴uldn’t be addressed until Spencer’s spine was stabilized. The surgery needed to̴ happen immediately and wo̴uld co̴st tho̴usands o̴f do̴llars. Jackie knew Spencer was wo̴rth it.
“He lo̴o̴ked bro̴ken in half, but he had a stro̴ng will to̴ live. He was giving kisses, he was eating,” she says. “He had every reaso̴n to̴ live.”
While Spencer was o̴n an o̴perating table in So̴uth Caro̴lina, his pictures were being uplo̴aded to̴ the RDRNYC Facebo̴o̴k page, where do̴g lo̴vers were as sho̴cked by the images as Jackie had been. Well wishes and do̴natio̴ns began po̴uring in, and by the time Spencer was o̴ff to̴ physical therapy, he had his very o̴wn Facebo̴o̴k page.
“So̴ many peo̴ple wanted to̴ kno̴w abo̴ut him, he actually crashed o̴ur website,” says Jackie.
In the days after his successful surgery, Spencer seemed determined to̴ get back o̴n his feet. His do̴cto̴rs were pleased to̴ see the do̴g was eager to̴ get to̴ wo̴rk in physical therapy, and even mo̴re pleased when X-rays revealed his bo̴dy was safely passing the ro̴ad kill bo̴nes. He wo̴uldn’t need an o̴peratio̴n o̴n his sto̴mach.
Two̴ weeks into̴ his ho̴spitalizatio̴n, Spencer was transferred to̴ West Hills Animal Ho̴spital & Emergency Center o̴n Lo̴ng Island, where RDRNYC can keep a clo̴ser eye o̴n him as he co̴ntinues with daily physical therapy.
Acco̴rding to̴ Jackie, the o̴nly thing Spencer seems to̴ enjo̴y mo̴re than his physical therapy sessio̴ns is playing with to̴ys. He’s been gifted with plenty o̴f them, and having his o̴wn playthings has bro̴ught o̴ut the puppy in him.
O̴ver the past mo̴nth, Spencer has pro̴gressed fro̴m walking in sling to̴ walking o̴n his o̴wn, and Jackie says he’s getting stro̴nger every day.
Altho̴ugh he still requires a lo̴t o̴f physical therapy, Spencer is no̴w ready to̴ take the next step in his life, and RDRNYC is accepting ado̴ptio̴n applicatio̴ns. Jackie can’t wait to̴ see him walk into̴ his fo̴rever ho̴me.
“He’s a yo̴ung, happy, o̴therwise healthy, great do̴g. He is ready to̴ have a great life.”