STARVED, SHOT & BURNED... AUGUSTUS DEFIES ALL ODDS
In July of 2016, Augustus was found walking down the street on the Southside of Chicago. A concerned citizen called the police dispatcher and asked for help. It was then that the police put a call out a desperate plea for assistance. It did not take long before TAF was contacted and our friend Frank dropped everything to go and pick up Augustus.
As Frank pulled Augustus out of his car at the ER Vet, it took everything not to burst into tears. In his arms was a defeated dog that looked to be holding on for dear life… the abuse that this dog had endured was unfathomable. Chunks of fur and skin were falling off as we walked though the front door at the ER. Augustus’ head was sunken in, he had large deep wounds that were dripping blood, chemical burns, a gunshot wound in his rear leg, a massive pressure sore and his bones pushed so hard against his skin that they looked as though they would break right through his flesh. With such severe muscle atrophy and starvation, Augustus looked like a skeleton. It was only a matter of time before his organs began to shut down.
In days and weeks to follow, Augustus was hospitalized and would nearly succumb to his injuries multiple times. In fact, on a daily basis, we assessed his quality of life and tormented with the responsibility of whether we should continue with his medical care.
Once stabilized, Augustus’ skin erupted with infected pustules and he was admitted back to the ER and cared for by Dermatology. Once diagnosed with several different infections, including MRSA, Augustus was treated with a cocktail of antibiotics. He was transferred back to our normal vet. A few days later he developed severe neck swelling and was rushed back to the ER. Augustus was diagnosed with salivary mucocele (trauma to his salivary glands) and had emergency surgery to rectify the issue so his breathing/swallowing would not worsen. The day after the surgery he developed a reaction to something, possibly the anesthetic, and remained at the ER for days.
Back in our care, Augustus was gaining weight and thriving. Suddenly his skin erupted with pustules again, and we renewed our Dermatology consults. He was treated for more bacterial infections along with secondary infections. Since then, Augustus continues to have occasional pustule flare-ups but we now know how to combat them when they occur.
To date, Augustus receives daily medications, probiotics, a special restricted diet and bi-weekly baths. In the last two weeks we have finally been able to trim his nails without them splitting and crumbing up to the nail bed. His ears are clear and he no longer has peripheral dermatitis and dry skin.
As one can imagine, healing the physical wounds of an abused dog does not make them whole again. In some cases, their emotional wounds can sometimes be their demise as the memories of their abuse run deep. For the last 5 months, TAF’s Medical & Rescue Director has worked non-stop with Augustus. Bridgid has literally done everything to physically and emotionally help Augustus enjoy life again. He wouldn’t have stood a chance without her and because of this he trusts her more than anyone else in the world. To put it nicely, Augustus tolerates people but only wants Bridgid… as far as he is concerned she is the sun and the moon. About a month ago, we had a really qualified potential adopter meet Augustus. Within the first 30 minutes, his behavior made it quite clear that Augustus had no intention of leaving without Bridgid. He actually looked annoyed that we even put him in that position and behaved poorly because of it. The reality was if we let him leave, we would be setting him up for failure. With that being said, for Augustus’ sake, he will be staying with the only mom that he has ever known… Bridgid. Their bond is undeniable and who are we to deny him the happiness that had been stolen from him… the heart wants what the heart wants. Augustus may not be able to change his past but he has most assuredly chosen his future… a future with happiness, love and a mom to call his own.
TAF would like to thank so many people that played a part in Augustus’ recovery. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people that have rallied and supported Augustus in one way or another. It started with the police department working with the community to bring Augustus to safety; his medical teams and those that donated towards his care, shared his post and prayed for him; the staff at Unleashed Pups for going above and beyond to help medicate, bathe, walk, play and sit with Augustus as he healed and his future mom that tirelessly watched over and cared for him. If one dog can bring this many people together, there is still hope for this world.