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Will there be justice for Skelly?

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When a local utility worker made the report, no one at CHS-PAWS had any idea what kind of situation they were walking into. The details were simply that there was a Pit Bull in the back of someone’s yard that was in very poor condition.

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With a ban on owning Pit Bulls inside the city limits of Hayti and the reported condition of the dog, it was apparent that the owners of the dog had no regard for animals or the law. With this in mind Karol Wilcox, CHS-PAWS president, enlisted the help of Hayti Animal Control and a Hayti city police officer to accompany her to the property.

When they arrived they were shocked at what they found. There on the property was an emaciated and injured Pit Bull on a chain. Also on the property was another dog that appeared to be quite healthy. It made no sense to Wilcox why one dog was in such bad condition and the other was not.

None the less, the three inhabitants of the home were confronted and to avoid a ticket for possessing a Pit Bull within the city limits, they surrendered the abused and neglected dog to CHS-PAWS.

The male dog, now named Skelly, returned to the shelter with Wilcox who was just appalled at the dog’s condition. “He appeared to be about 7 months old, weighed 30 pounds, and was extremely emaciated and dehydrated. He had an apparent broken leg and sores all over his body, mainly on his leg and back end,” said Wilcox. “He’s so malnourished the top of his skull is caved in over his eyes where the muscles have been depleted. The other dog on the property seemed completely fine. I’ve never seen such extreme difference in condition of animals at one location.”

Wilcox admits that when they first took Skelly back to the shelter she wasn’t sure he would live through the weekend to see the veterinarian on Monday morning. “We brought him in on a Friday and for a dog in his shape two days can be an eternity.”

Worried about the dog, Wilcox went into the shelter over the weekend to check on him and she found herself just sitting quietly in the kennel. “He was naturally skittish from having been so neglected and abused but he warmed up to me and we had some nice, quiet time together. We just sat together, alone, quiet. He’s a really sweet dog”.

Monday came and Skelly had survived. He was taken in to see Dr. Gall and be evaluated and treated.

During examination, Erma Page, shelter administrator, was surprised to find out Skelly was not a seven month old pup as previously thought, but a fully mature two year old. Obviously, long term neglect had stunted his growth and malnutrition was making him appear smaller and younger than an average two year old Pit Bull.

In addition it was discovered that Skelly’s leg had been broken for some time, healed improperly, and was likely not repairable. The open wounds throughout his body were caused by several infections for which Skelly would require many antibiotics and proper nutrition to overcome. He had gained eight pounds in three days simply from being provided regular food and water.

Dr. Gall gave him a shot of antibiotics and sent him back to the shelter with a prescription, but Skelly wasn’t out of the woods yet. Severely malnourished animals often times have a hard time fighting infection and may experience problems with internal organs like the liver, kidneys and heart. His continued care by the good people at CHS-PAWS and Dr. Gall would be imperative.

Fast forward 16 days from the date of rescue: Skelly’s gained over 30 pounds. The infections in his body are clearing up and hair is growing back over the sore spots, although he will be forever scarred. And even though he may never have use of the once broken leg, it doesn’t appear to bother him much. He’s a happy, easy going dog who loves to play tug of war and seems to be quite partial to Wilcox. Even with the scarring he’s a beautiful animal, both inside and out, and appears to be mending quite well. “He’ll make someone a very loving companion when he finds a new home,” said Wilcox.

Skelly improves every day and the good folks at CHS-PAWS hope to find a suitable adopter for him in the coming weeks. If you are interested in meeting Skelly, drop by the Hayti, Mon.-Fri., during business hours.

“Throughout Skelly’s recovery the utility worker who made the report with us has stopped by to check on him. He makes me believe that there are still truly good people out there and for that we are so thankful,” said Wilcox.

Although the owners who consented to surrendering Skelly avoided a municipal ticket for having a Pit Bull inside city limits, it doesn’t excuse them for the condition in which Skelly was kept for so long. Animal abuse and neglect is against the law and prosecution is being pursued against all parties involved.

If you would like to donate to Skelly's care and veterinarian bills, or for the care of animals just like him, you can do so a couple of ways. Checks can be mailed to Pemiscot Animal Welfare Society, P.O. Box 525, Hayti, Mo. 63851, or you can use your debit or credit card to make a donation through Paypal on the CHS-PAWS website by clicking here. You can find the donation on the top, right had side of any page in the website. Cash or check donations can always be dropped off at the shelter at 204 S. 4th Street in Hayti, Mo. Stop in if you can. Visitors are always welcome.

If you would like to keep up with Skelly and other animals at CHS-PAWS you can check out their Facebook page by clicking here.

On a side note, Wilcox would like to say, "Thank You", to Hayti Animal Control and Hayti City Police Department for their continued support in this case and others like it. "Many times we just couldn't do what we do without their help," said Wilcox.

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