Big Fluffy Dog Rescue, a nonprofit from Nashville, Tennessee, posted an extremely intense and emotional account of their work with a single dog on their Facebook last night. While it’s perhaps not an unusual story — or at least not as unusual as most of us would like — it does say a lot about the challenges of providing humane support for dogs in a society that’s less and less willing to take care of its own.
The post is about Revlon, a dog that Big Fluffy had rescued, and who then escaped from her foster home. The people at Big Fluffy hit the streets and the social networks trying to find Revlon. They were met by a lot of helpful and compassionate people, with one exception: “To the one useless jackass who called and said he hoped she was squashed out flat on the highway, you can suck it and I sincerely wish you pain and suffering.”
Despite the willingness of most people to help, there was no sign of Revlon until yesterday morning, when the author reports that dozens of people called in, flooding her with the same piece of bad news: Revlon had been struck by a hit-and-run driver on Interstate 40.
She had part of steel radial tire fragment embedded in her foot and she has possibly the worst blunt force trauma injury to her left hip and femur I’ve ever seen. Her right hip is dislocated and will have to be pinned and she will be in a wheelchair for several weeks while she heals. We will fix her and she is slated for surgery as soon as the plates that can repair her damaged hips arrive.
Revlon is alive because a woman stopped immediately when she saw the dog get struck and go flying. Despite the intense trauma, the dog dragged herself across three lanes of traffic, with a little help from humans on the scene:
To the man who found an orange cone to help keep traffic away, I say thank you. To the policeman who helped, thank you as well. This dog is alive because of all of you. To Shannon who put this dog in your car and drove her to the vet, you are my hero and I thank you. While it grieves me that the person who hit this dog did not bother to stop or even slow down to look, it comforts me that people cared enough to help one poor dog get out of harm’s way.
As I say, the story itself is not that remarkable. After all, many dogs get struck by cars every day, and many don’t make it to safety or have a human nearby who can help them to a veterinarian. But the directness and emotion of the account is a good reminder of what dog rescue workers go through on a regular basis. Just like the author, they’re in the work because they care about and love these animals, and it can be a wrenching job whether you’re a volunteer or paid staff.
And in the case of Revlon, it’s an expensive one, too. The Big Fluffy staffer writes that the dog will need at least two or three surgeries, as well as a dog wheelchair to help her with mobility during recovery. That’s probably going to come to $5,000 to $10,000:
She will have to endure two and probably three surgeries to repair the damage. If you look closely, you can see the lines where she got nailed by a bumper and you will understand just how lucky this dog is. The left hip is broken in four places and will be plated to provide pain relief and stability. Then we’ll deal with the femur and knee. The right hip will be pinned. She won’t be able to stand on her own so we’ll be investing in a wheelchair while the breaks heal up.
For anyone who wants to help Big Fluffy Dog Rescue with Revlon’s expenses, or with their work in general, donations can be made online.