A 7-month-old Chihuahua named Roy, who is recovering from a $2,000 surgery, is a reminder to potential pet owners that “free” dogs are never truly free, according to an animal rescue group based in Jacksonville.
When the seven-pound pup broke his leg falling off a second-story balcony, his owners took him to First Coast Veterinary Specialists, and when they found out how much treatment would cost, they told the vet to euthanize Roy.
Kelly McDade of Florida Urgent Rescue said it is “the sad part of rescue and pet ownership” that people who are potentially trying to do the best thing for their dogs can’t pay expensive procedures.
“Unfortunately, it is way too common,” she said.
The rescue group doesn’t know much about Roy’s background, or even how the people who surrendered him said they had rescued him the week before from someone who was not with a shelter or recognized rescue group.
While they told the vet to euthanize Roy, the dog seems healthy other than the broken leg, which has a compound fracture above the knee, McDade said. The vet hasn’t run lab tests yet for illnesses like heartworms, but McDade said Roy seems “otherwise okay.”
Still, the dog has a long road to recovery. Surgeons had to insert four pins all the way through his distal femur right above his knee on a back leg. The rescue community knew the only way to save Roy from being euthanized was to raise the money to pay for the expensive treatment. With urging from Florida Urgent Rescue (https://www.floridaurgentrescue.com/) and Friends of Jacksonville Animals (http://friendsofjaxanimals.com/), dog lovers came through for Roy’s immediate needs, but McDade said that won’t be enough.
“Even though the big surgery is out of the way, there are still many follow up appointments, medications, possible physical therapy, etc. that are still ahead of him,” she said.
McDade said it’s important for people to realize Important for people to know that they’re going to take ownership of a dog, they need to make sure they have the means to cover the cost of emergencies.
“Every day, thousands of dogs are abandoned or surrendered to shelters that are in need of expensive medical care. Rescues like FUR, who take on these medically needy cases, can only do so with the support of donors and fosters,” she said.
Foster parents are now taking care of Roy. It may be months before he is cleared for adoption, McDade said. The vet will need to make sure nothing goes wrong and he doesn’t need another procedure, McDade said.
But when he is ready, some lucky dog owner will get a “very, very, very sweet” boy who showed a “great spirit from day one.”