A veterinary team is working to save the life of a black Labrador found tied to a tree – likely abandoned – and sick with a serious gastrointestinal virus.
The puppy was found on the side of a road in Tottenham Sunday by a man who was taking his own dog to the vet for a routine check-up. Noticing the puppy was ill, the man loaded the pup into his car and took him to the vet for help.
Now named Hurley by his rescuers, the puppy has been receiving treatment for parvovirus, a contagious and serious gastrointestinal virus that can be fatal for puppies that will get dehydrated from the virus. The virus can be easily transferred between dogs and through dog feces. It is not transferrable to humans, and there is a vaccine for dogs to protect them from parvovirus.
When the New Tecumseh canine unit exhausted its budget for treatment for a stray dog, Outrun Rescue – a rehabilitation centre based out of Lisle, Ont. – was called to help. They accepted Hurley's case and have been working with the veterinarian for the puppy's treatment.
Hurley is about 4-1/2 months old, and still has his baby teeth.
As of Tuesday, the invoice for Hurley's hospital stay was about $1,200, but he's still in the hospital, receiving IV fluids and food through a gastro tube. The rescue estimates it will be $2,000 in hospital bills before the puppy is able to go to the Outrun centre for rehabilitation. It's also possible Hurley won't be able to recover from the effects of parvovirus in his system.
"This is the fifth case like this we've had this year," said Emily Day, a dog trainer and behaviour consultant for Outrun Animal Rehabilitation Center. "It's not good out there right now."
On Hurley's behalf, Outrun is appealing to the public for donations to help cover the cost of the puppy's hospital stay and rehabilitation.
"We will keep him for whatever rehabilitation he'll need, as he's been immobile for several days," said Day. "We may need to look at a little muscle rebuilding ... I would expect he'll be with us for a couple of months. Depending on what our veterinarian recommends, we would have him neutered or send him to [a new family] with a voucher."
Every little bit helps, said Day. Outrun promotes $5 Friday once a month, asking people to give just $5 to the rehabilitation centre to help cover the cost of medical bills and daily expenses for the animals in their care.
"If everybody donated a little bit, it wouldn't be so difficult to deal with these very bad cases," said Day.
Outrun Rescue Animal Rehabilitation Center has been operating for three years. Day is one of three dog trainers and behaviour experts who work with the dogs who come to the rescue. They work with municipal pounds as far as Hamilton and Caledon to take in dogs that need training to help them get adopted.