Update February 27, 2016
Just over a month ago, Effie was spotted by a pest control worker in an apartment building. The officers who took her weren’t sure she would make it much longer; the poor pup was around 50 pounds underweight.
Following her rescue, the heroic efforts of her caretakers, both in the hospital and at the humane society, have given her the strength to bounce back.
You can see her ribs a little less, her face is a bit fuller, and her tail wags that much faster, but Effie has even more reason to be overjoyed. Her former owner, a 19-year-old male, is being charged with animal cruelty after turning himself in the morning of February 5.
This “miracle dog” has a lot to look forward to, but all in good time. She is loving life in her foster home, and should be available for adoption in about 6 weeks. Not surprisingly, there are already 30–40 applications for her adoption. We love seeing each weigh-in on the humane society’s Facebook page and eagerly await the day Effie finally gets her forever home.
See the video below for the full story on the arrest:
“Hours to a day or two,” said Police Officer Christine Luffey. That’s how long Effie the Pit Bull would have survived if left at home. After rescuing the skeletal dog from its owner’s apartment, that likely would have been a generous estimate of her lifespan.
Effie was spotted by a pest-control serviceman in Pittsburgh, PA, who took her picture and sent it to Humane Officer Ed Mitchell. Together, Mitchell and Luffey traced the dog to a different apartment, at which point they took her into their care. The pup weighed 23 pounds—a far cry from the 50–60 she should be.
On January 22, Effie prepared for a very complicated surgery at the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center (PVSEC). Plastic and underwear were blocking her intestines, the result of having nothing else to eat. The very next day the Western PA Humane Society announced she had pulled through, and was even excited about eating a little food.
They urged people to keep Effie in their thoughts, as she was not out of the woods yet. But things were certainly looking up.
Effie has had considerable trouble regulating her body temperature. She was cold to the touch even days after her rescue. Owner and surgeon at PVSEC told Pittsburgh’s Action News:
She was hypothermic. Her temperature was down to 94 degrees. A dog’s normal temperature is above 101. She dropped about seven degrees. She was cold, her blood pressure was down a little bit.
Following the risky surgery, doctors managed to stabilize Effie’s blood pressure and keep her temperature up with many warm blankets. On the 25th, she was released from the hospital and into the hands of the Humane Society, but not without saying goodbye to the amazing people who took care of her. Anna Quinerly, in the video below, commented that she had “[fallen] head over heels in love with this sweet baby. I hope she comes to visit us as she gets stronger. Thank you to everyone who is supporting her recovery.”
Unfortunately, Effie returned to the hospital the next day as she could not keep her body temperature stable. She will remain there until this changes, but there is no doubt that she is in the very best hands. Unfortunately, this means her veterinary costs are going to be quite high, and donations would be very much appreciated by Effie and her friends.
At this time the Humane Society ensures everyone that Effie is still at the hospital, but is doing better. She’s received fluids and kisses and many cozy blankets. She’s even been outfitted with her very own PJs.
The road to recovery is far from over for this loving girl. Medical Director at the Western PA Humane Society Todd Blauvelt told CBS Pittsburgh when Effie first arrived:
Her body condition was—we rate them on a scale of 1 to 9—her’s was a 1. She could not be any thinner and still be with us.
But patient care and lots of love has done wonders for her thus far. Her case has even created a sense of urgency for the passing and enforcement of Angel’s Bill, which would increase the consequences for animal abusers. Officer Luffey is among many who know the law needs to change.
State laws for animal abuse currently dictate only a statutory offense—equal to a parking ticket. Angel’s Bill would increase this to a misdemeanor three. Pennsylvania Representative Don Costa explains:
You will face a higher fine, possible jail time, but the best thing is it tracks you because you have to have your picture and fingerprints taken when you’re charged with a misdemeanor.
Effie’s abuser is unnamed for the time being; the only information released is that he is a nineteen-year-old male. Luffey promises he will face the consequences: “This is far from over. We will file charges in this case.” Luffey is also set to be Effie’s foster mom once she is well enough to go home, and will ensure herself that this puppy gets the life she deserves.
We will update on the status of Effie and her abuser as information arises. Donations for Effie’s care are being collected by the Western PA Humane Society.