*** Update, July 21, 2016 ***
A few days ago, Libre was well enough to go outside with Janine, and was treated to what is likely his very first kisses.
He sure seemed to love them.
The tiny fighter’s got lots more kisses coming his way, we are so happy to tell you.
Janine tells us that Libre is expected to leave the hospital within about a week — and he’s headed toward his very own home.
“Can’t let him go,” she tells us. “I promised him the first day I saw him that if he pulled through he had a forever home waiting for him. Can’t break that promise.”
We’ve reached out to the Lancaster SPCA for an update on Libre’s mother. Fingers and paws crossed, we will be able to get some information about how she’s doing, as well.
*** Original story ***
Rescuers saved Libre on July 4 — Independence Day. That’s how he got his name. It means freedom.
“I thought it was appropriate,” says Janine Guido, founder of Speranza Animal Rescue.
That’s another powerful word: Speranza. In Italian, it means hope.
At the time of his rescue, it wasn’t a sure thing that Libre would even make it through the day. Independence Day might have been his last.
An unnamed breeder gave him up to animal control in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The puppy was so weak he couldn’t stand. His skin was infested with maggots, and so infected that Libre gave off a rotting smell.
“He was emaciated, dehydrated, and limp,” says Janine. “I have never in my life seen a dog this close to death. He was literally clinging to life the first time I laid eyes on him.”
Libre was transferred into the care of the Dillsburg Veterinary Center. He got antibiotics and laser treatments, and the maggots were removed from his skin.
Libre ate a little wet food — an indication of the strength, underneath the sickness.
“He actually gobbled it down quickly and then lifted his little head up on his own!!! Although he is still in very critical condition, he is a fighter and is being lifted up with all your prayers,” the vet clinic posted to Facebook — along with some photos of the tiny, sick, determined little boy.
Libre’s condition has improved bit by bit, day by day. His caretakers post his incremental progress, and setbacks, to Facebook.
On July 9, Libre ate a whole can of food but didn’t drink water, and vet staff had a hard time keeping his temperature stable.
Later in the day, his caretakers cheerfully announced that he’d eaten two more cans of food, proving to everything that he “is a fighter.”
The last few days have also had some ups and downs – and not just for Libre.
Libre’s breeder has also surrendered the pup’s mother. She is with the Lancaster SPCA — a shelter which also provides humane law enforcement functions in the county. Reports say that Libre’s mother is also very sick.
The Lancaster SPCA announced that it would not be pursuing animal cruelty charges against the breeder responsible for Libre and his mother. Susan Martin, the shelter’s director, told Lancaster Online this decision was made because it’s not possible to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual willingly and knowingly grossly neglected care for the animal intending to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm.”
“Saying the dog wasn’t in such bad condition — I don’t know how it could have been in worse condition,” Janine told that publication, in response.
When BarkPost called the shelter on Monday, we were told they could not provide any information about the mother’s condition, but that a press release would be coming out shortly.
“We are hoping and praying his mother is doing well,” Janine tells us. “I have not seen any pictures or updates.”
“This disgusts me and has outraged everyone that is supporting and following Libre’s story,” says Janine — who has vowed to keep attention on Libre’s story, to keep fighting for him, to keep fighting for justice. She wants answers as to who let this happen. Who let Libre — and his mother, presumably– get this sick?
She’s vowed to keep fighting for Libre’s life, too.
Libre is not out of the woods yet. He may still lose his eyes to infection. He still needs round-the-clock care.
But — here’s the good news — he’s started standing up, all on his own. He is eating. He even put on half a pound.
If he makes it, Libre will go into a foster home. Then he’ll go up for adoption.
Janine wants him to have love, and affection, and a soft bed. To run in the grass, and play ball.
“He has suffered the majority of his short life. He deserves to be showered with kisses, cuddles, and hugs,” Janine says.
She wants to give Libre the freedom of being a loved, treasured pet. But first he has to recover, from being a commodity.
There’s good reason to hope, that he will.
“With each improvement he shows us why he is an inspiration to all of us,” says Janine. “This little 4-month-old pup is not giving up. He is a true fighter and has such a will to live.”
Here is where you can donate to Libre’s medical bills. Speranza Animal Rescue also has an Amazon Wish List.
Interested in more content like this? Sniff this related article: Here Are 100 “Breeders” Exposed To Be The Worst Puppy Mills In The United States.
Featured image via Dillsburg Veterinary Center.
H/T Lancaster Online
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