‘A THANKSGIVING MIRACLE’
Dog Cared For At Butternuts Farm;
Biopsy Will Determine What’s Next
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
HARTWICK SEMINARY – “A Thanksgiving Miracle” arrived at the Susquehanna Animal Shelter a few minutes ago.
That’s how Zoe, 9, the German shepherd who was found with a front leg chewed off in Exeter Center last week, was described by SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes as the two arrived back from the Cornell University Hospital for Animals shortly before 6 p.m.
“She’s so nice,” said Haynes. “It’s like incredible.”
At the hospital in Ithaca earlier today, veterinarians told Haynes that Zoe’s condition was “risky.” A CT scan had shown the fatty mass in the dog’s left shoulder was so close to key arteries an operation might kill her.
“We might lose her,” the doctor told Haynes.
Instead, the operation was a success, and there was Zoe a few minutes ago in the animal shelter’s front lobby, wagging her tail and licking Stacie’s hand.
The fatty mass weighed 11 pounds. It is undergoing a biopsy, Haynes aid. If it’s cancerous, chemo and radiation may be necessary to save the dog’s life; if it’s simply fat, then Zoe can immediately begin settling into her new life.
After the German shepherd’s media debut at a press conference that included this reporter and a two-man camera crew from News 10, Albany, Haynes planned to transport the recuperating dog to a Town of Butternuts farm, where the owner is known to the SQSPCA as knowledgeable in caring for animals in Zoe’s state.
Because of the publicity surrounding the case, the farmer asked not to be identified, Haynes said.
(Returning from Butternuts this evening, Stacie and her team planned make another stop: to rescue three dogs and nine cats from a home in Morris.)
During the operation, Zoe’s leg was removed at the shoulder, but Haynes said the dog will learn to navigate just fine on three legs.
Zoe was discovered last Friday after a UPS driver observed her chained outside a Town of Exeter home. A SQSPCA team rescued the dog, and the owner has been charged with neglect.
At first, it was suspected Zoe’s leg had been blown off, but during treatment at the Oneonta Veterinary Hospital, bone fragments were found in her stomach: she had chewed her own leg off, apparently trying to reduce the pain from the tumor.
This evening, she was equipped with an e-collar to prevent her from picking at the wound.
Zoe was intended to be a guard dog, Haynes said, but wouldn’t have been a very good one: Even after undergoing the ordeal, she’s been friendly, with “no standoffs or growling.”
At the Cornell hospital, she made friends with the staff, rolling over to get her stomach rubbed.
“Clearly, she wants love,” Haynes said.