Would you put aside your own discomfort and anxiety to save a helpless animal? Animal rescuers sacrifice much on a daily basis to save lives, but rarely is there such an extreme scenario as a snow jam shutting down an entire city.
Atlanta native Lori Huster found a badly injured stray Goldendoodle left for dead on the side of the freeway on Sunday, January 26. Huster bundled him up gently, seeing that he was in pain, and took him to The Village Vets in Decatur, GA, where it was discovered he had no microchip to identify a possible owner. She named him Mutt Muffin, and as it turned out, Mutt Muffin had a broken back and five broken bones. It seemed someone had hit him and left him to die on the side of the road.
Wanting to save his life, but needing the care of specialists for him to heal properly, Huster reached out to Angels Among Us Pet Rescue. The hardworking rescue and its wonderful Facebook fans raised the 10,000 dollars needed for Mutt Muffin’s surgery within a day.
On Tuesday, January 28, Huster and her friend set out to transfer Mutt Muffin to Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Sandy Springs, GA, so they could begin surgery to repair Mutt Muffin’s broken body. They certainly didn’t anticipate what would happen next.
“We picked him up at about 1:00 p.m.,” Huster told 11 Alive News Atlanta. “The snow just had started to fall. Neither of us thought that it was going to be a major ordeal. And the next thing we know we were sitting on I-285 in gridlock traffic, in the left lane.... We were in the car that day for eight to nine hours, the pain meds had worn off…”
The two friends ran out of gas, but a Good Samaritan lent them a gas can. They trekked to the nearest gas station, but were told by local police that the road that led to Georgia Veterinary Specialists was completely iced over. Despite the disconcerting news, Huster and her friend returned to their car and continued to push toward the hospital – risking their lives for Mutt Muffin.
"We were able to get within a half a mile of GVS,” Lori said, "called the clinic, and the most amazing man, [a Client Services Representative] named Jory Stewart, walked a half a mile in the snow, up the steep hill, and he met us, and he got Mutt Muffin and carried him back, and we walked back with him to the clinic."
Because of the efforts of all involved, Mutt Muffin was able to undergo surgery and is expected to make a full recovery after a few months of rehab, for which Angels Among Us is raising the money.
Lori Huster, his angel who never gave up, will foster him through Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, and may very well adopt him. Angels Among Us has tried locating an owner with no success. Rescue volunteer Jennifer Naujokas stated to 11 Alive News Atlanta, “We've spent this week, we've put up flyers, we've put him on missing pet websites, he was on Facebook.... We have done everything that we can to try to find the owner.” She continued with wise words, “Spay and neuter your pets, microchip your pets, put a collar on your pet, love your pet, take care of your pet, know where they are at all times.”
What could have been a tragedy will now have a happy ending. Despite all the odds, including a broken back and several broken bones, and a winter storm that froze the entire city of Atlanta, Mutt Muffin was rescued.
“Saving the life of one animal may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one animal.” –Author unknown