Happy endings sometimes seem in short supply, especially in cases of animal abuse, so this one is very welcome. After months of treatment and recovery, a Pit Bull who made the news last year after someone strapped fireworks to his body and lit them, has found a new forever home.
Indy (short for Independence) was part of a particularly sadistic kind of Fourth of July celebration last year. He was discovered in an alley in Van Nuys, California, on July 5, 2013, with more than half his body covered with third-degree burns. To this day, no one knows where Indy came from, or who tied fireworks to his body and legs. It’s possible that we never will.
But we do know that this week, he went to a new home, adopted by one of the veterinary technicians who looked after him at the Westlake Village Animal Hospital. Jenny Mandel, who officially adopted Indy, wasn’t working at the hospital when he first came in, but for months she has made a habit of coming to see him every morning when she came in. In November, she decided to adopt him.
“You can’t not love a dog like that, so every day it was just more love, more love, and then finally he became a momma’s boy. I became a doggy’s girl,” she told NBC.
It has been a very long and painful journey for Indy to get to his new home. NBC reports that his treatment involved “at least four skin grafts and surgeries.”
The volunteers and staff who have cared for Indy during that time understand that journey better than anyone. Just after his recovery was announced in November, volunteer Allison Polumbus said, “It’s really hard to see an animal in this kind of pain. We saw him without the bandages. It’s horrific, it’s gory, and you can’t even imagine the pain he’s in.”
The scars from Indy’s trauma are going to last for a long time, but everyone says that he has remained loving and affectionate the whole time. At his new home, at least he’ll be assured of getting some of that love back.
I have to admit to a certain sentimental attachment to this story. I grew up in Westlake Village, where Indy has been recovering. It’s an affluent suburb about 40 miles north of Los Angeles. I went to two high schools in the area and hated almost every minute I lived there. I was glad when I finally escaped to go to college in the 1990s, because I knew from an early age that I wouldn’t get any happy endings there. I’m glad that I got out when I did, but I’m also glad that Indy, at least, found his happy ending in Westlake.
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