Braveheart made his way to the University of Wisconsin- Madison (UW) Veterinary Care in March after an animal control officer found him in a Kentucky dumpster. The a mixed-breed dog was severely malnourished, infested with parasites and open sores covered much of his mange-infested skin.
Despite initial veterinary care financed by a rescue group that brought him to UW, the dog became sluggish and lost interest in food, which he couldn't keep down anyway. Marti Houge of One Starfish Rehoming Connections brought the dog to the UW- Madison, where he spent nearly a week in the Veterinary Care’s critical care unit.
“He had a lot of concurrent diseases, many of which were probably the result of poor housing conditions and poor veterinary care before he came to us,” says Daniel Foy, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, UW Veterinary Care.
Now, Braveheart is a popular dog. He has a Facebook page on which he acquired more than 11,000 friends, and television and newspaper media covered his story spurring more than 500 people to send cards, gifts and donations to help his plight.
“I am amazed each time I see him,” Houge says. “He could walk into the vet school today and no one would recognize him. He looks like a totally different dog. When we first met him, he looked really small, because he held himself so tight and was cowering.”
Braveheart's medical recovery will be on display on UW-Madison Day at the Wisconsin State Fair Aug. 10.
Houge and one of his adoptive parents, Lisa Mills, presented Dr. Foy a plaque of Braveheart photos as a gift for his commitment to helping the dog.
“His recovery really has been quite remarkable,” Foy says. “Although we hoped he would get back to looking like a normal dog, we never thought it would happen this quickly.”
Houge says she hopes the attention Braveheart gleans will help similar dogs that slip through the cracks.
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