Shreveport, LA (KMSS) — Looking at little Gretchen the puppy now, the only evidence that she was abused is her missing leg. But just a few weeks ago, she was near death after being abused.
Gretchen was rescued from a Fort Worth shelter, where she was schedule to be put down, by Rebecca Young, who runs Becky's Bridge out of Bossier City. The non-profit rescues animals that have been "red-tagged" or are schedule to be put down. Gretchen was scheduled to be put down because her shelter thought she had a broken leg, and they don't have the budget to fix things like that. Young stepped in, and brought Gretchen to her vet in Shreveport, University Veterinary Hospital.
Once there, Young found out that Gretchen was much worse than she originally thought, but it was nothing that some time at the vet couldn't fix. Along with the broken leg, Gretchen had 9 broken ribs, a punctured trachea, which resulted subcutaneous emphysema, a collapsed lung, and puncture wounds in her chest and back.
If all this wasn't bad enough, the vet also determine that these injuries had to be from a baseball bat or another type of blunt instrument like that because of bruises Gretchen had on her lungs.
Sadly, Gretchen isn't the only animal abused. Here, in Caddo Parish, animal control works to educate pet guardians on what constitutes animal abuse. Thankfully, they don't often see animals abused to the extent of Gretchen, but they do see cases of abuse.
The most common form of abuse here is not providing adequate shelter. Many pet guardians think that if an animal can climb under the house that is shelter, but Caddo Animal Control wants to remind people that animals need proper shelter from the elements. They also see pet guardians not providing adequate food and water, which is another type of abuse.
If law enforcement sees abuse of this type, they will try to educate the family, but if they don't comply, fines will be assessed and jail time can even be sentenced.
Some pets that suffer from abuse can never recover from it, both mentally and physically, but Young has high hopes for Gretchen. In less than a month, she is already cuddling with people, and having fun. In short, learning to be a puppy.
Getting Gretchen back to her puppy self has meant major vet bills for Becky's Bridge. To help out this non-profit, life saving group, visit their website or contact University Veterinary Hospital at 318.797.5522