Warning: Some images in this article may be disturbing to readers.
On March 23rd, Realtor Casey Lawrence became lost while showing a rural property in Rock Hill, SC. If not for this simple twist of fate, her path would never have crossed that of a gravely wounded dog, and this story would have turned out quite differently.
Lawrence just happens to sit on the Board of Directors for Every Life Matters Animal Rescue. When she saw the chocolate-colored Pit Bull covered in wounds, cold to the touch, and surrounded by discarded animal carcasses, she sprang to action.
Baxter Veterinary Clinic stepped up to care for the injured dog, preventing him from going into shock and saving his life. No one knows how long the pup now known as Rambo lay in the dirt, discarded and alone before Lawrence stumbled upon him. Based on his injuries, rescuers suspect that he was used as a bait dog in a fighting ring, then dumped when he was no longer of use. What veterinary staff do know is that Rambo would not have survived much longer.
Once his condition was stabilized, Rambo was placed in a shallow tabletop basin where a technician lovingly cleansed his wounds with warm water. You can see from the photo posted to the Baxter Veterinary Clinic’s Facebook page that he was relaxed and soothed by the treatment – likely the first kind, gentle contact he’s ever had with a human.
By the following day, the timid, submissive pup was already wagging his tail for staff members and displaying a healthy appetite. Veterinarian James Doyle described Rambo’s personality as a perfect example of a bait dog.
They’re not aggressive dogs and that’s why they’re used as bait dogs, because they’re not any good at fighting.
The severity of the injuries to both of Rambo’s hind limbs likely led his captors to leave him for dead at what investigators believe to be the dog fighting ring’s personal dump site.
After his exemplary care at Baxter Veterinary Clinic, Rambo was transferred to the Charlotte Animal Referral & Emergency center for surgery and further treatment. Every Life Matters Animal Rescue and generous community members pitched in to help finance Rambo’s ongoing veterinary costs.
Rambo underwent the first of several necessary operations earlier this week. His right rear limb had to be amputated below the ankle. The doctors at CARE believe the most severe of his injuries are a result of tightly bound ropes around his ankles. Despite his suffering, the staff marveled at his strength of spirit. An update on his condition from the CARE Facebook page reads, in part:
He’s a trooper and will wag his tail and give kisses despite the abuse he has endured.
South Carolina police are currently searching for Rambo’s abusers. Meanwhile, this remarkable pup keeps his head held high – when he’s not snuggling with his favorite moose plushy, that is! Rambo’s road to recovery will be long and painful, but his prognosis is good. He seems to understand that his days of abuse and fear are over. Every head pat or belly rub is a gift this brave boy gladly repays in kisses.
A YouCaring page has been created to help with the cost of Rambo’s care. Over 200 people have donated to his treatment so far, and $8,200 has been raised. Financial contributions are greatly appreciated, as well as any information that may lead to the capture of Rambo’s tormentors. If you feel you can help the investigation, contact the Rock Hill, SC police at (803) 329-7200.
H/T to The Dodo
Featured Image via Baxter Veterinary Clinic/Facebook