"Skin and bones" was not just a phrase to be thrown around lightly before Phoenix was saved. Now, this beautiful boy faces euthanasia anyway.
Phoenix was brought into a rural animal control facility in Hearne, Texas--days from death, riddled with intestinal parasites, and high heartworm positive. It was the peak of July heat in Texas, and he was brought to an eight kennel animal control holding facility. This facility, until volunteers took it upon themselves to start networking the animals online, was a 100% kill facility (see story here).
What chance did Phoenix have to survive? He was a pit bull mix, starved, close to death, full of various parasites, and heartworm positive in a facility with no public shelter--just a holding facility for strays.
But, never underestimate the determination of animal lovers and volunteers.
A couple of volunteers rallied online social networking sites to get him into boarding because the kill shelter was full. Phoenix was able to make a temporary layover at a local veterinarian's office who managed his care, as Phoenix was deemed "critical".
The parasites would have to wait, as the vet wasn't even sure Phoenix could survive keeping food down. Each day, he was fed a diet of tiny portions several times a day, until his body finally began to accept food 3-4 days into the treatment. Once he put on five pounds, the vet approved deworming, and he was able to handle heartworm prevention shortly thereafter (though he will need injections to treat the heartworms he already has).
He has put on close to ten pounds and is on his heartworm treatment and doing well. He is a happy, sweet, silly young dog who is well enough to leave boarding at the vet's office and transition into a foster home.
Unfortunately, this is just an animal control holding facility. There is no public shelter. No adoption events. No foster program. Phoenix has no where to go. And, the shelter has filled once again, which means euthanasia is very likely just around the corner to make room for incoming strays. Who will get euthanized? Will it be the young puppy in the facility's kennel? Or the pit bull accruing daily boarding and medical costs?
Phoenix was saved days before starving to death, has survived medical treatment, and has managed to make it out with a great temperament. Yet, all of this may be for naught, as he is skirting euthanasia once again. Volunteers are working tirelessly for him. They are sharing, tagging, and posting to online sites in the hopes that there is a rescue out there willing to be his angel.
While many pit bull rescues have helped share and network his story, Phoenix has yet to be taken in by a rescue organization. Many are already full, and many just never respond to the pleas for help.
Phoenix cheated death and desperately needs to do it again. What a sad twist of fate it would be to not just survive starvation, parasites, heartworms, and neglect, but to then be killed at an animal control facility.
The volunteers are asking for the public's help. Phoenix needs a rescue that can take him and place him in a loving foster home where he can get hands on training and structure, funds to cover his boarding and vet bills, or a foster/adoptive home until one of those two things happen. To help Phoenix, see the links below, or contact the volunteers via Facebook.
To visit the volunteer's Facebook page and see the urgent animals, click here.
To donate towards Phoenix's medical care, click here.
To check out Phoenix's Facebook album, click here.
As of yesterday, there has been little change. Phoenix is still being shifted back and forth between the small animal control facility when there is space, and back to the vet's office for boarding when there isn't. A couple of people have stepped up to foster Phoenix, but they have ultimately not worked out. As it stands right now, Phoenix is still in need. He has put on nearly ten pounds total. He doesn't look as severe as this picture, but he is still much too thin. In fact, he is too thin to even get the injections for his heartworm treatment because there isn't enough fat and muscle for the shots to go into. He is a work in progress, but when there is news, good or bad, I will update. Please keep sharing.
Please check out the latest news on Phoenix in his new article here!
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The author, April Plemons, is an animal rescuer and welfare advocate. She is part of Long Way Home Animal Sanctuary & Pit Bull Rescue. Check out their Facebook page below!