Yesterday afternoon was filled with joy and happy, thankful tears as Mandela walked, albeit a little wobbly, out of Veterinary Speciality Services! A week ago today, Mandela was transferred to VSS after being stabilized by the Stray Rescue vet team (his rescue story is below). After fighting for his life in intensive care and the successful amputation of one of his back legs, Mandela has made a big, three-legged step on his road to recovery.
He still has a ways to go, and is now recovering from tetanus, which is the reason for his wrinkled forehead and sad looking eyes in the pictures below. He must have soft food because he still cannot open his mouth all the way, but the doctors are hopeful that he will recover in about 6 weeks.
Mandela is a sweetheart, and everyone at VSS loved him. He is working on getting his balance, but he's a fast learner. An infinite number of thank you's to all of those who have donated to help with Mandela's medical care, as well as those who showed their support, concern, and sent prayers and positive vibes his way. You have made a miracle possible once again!!!
The Tearful Rescue of Mandela WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS
Below is his original rescue story.
There are cases when we say to ourselves, "If this were a human, he or she would not have survived." What many of these dogs endure on the streets is baffling, and this fact is rarely more apparent than during days like today - when Mandela was rescued. Warning, there are graphic pictures in this story.
We received a call about a stray in a field who was in obviously terrible shape. When the rescue team arrived on the scene, they immediately knew how dire the situation truly was. On a frigid day like today, an emaciated, severely injured dog was fighting to stand up. His name is Mandela.
As our founder, Randy Grim, approached, Mandela looked like a zombie. He was in shock. He was extremely malnourished and dehydrated. Randy quickly found the primary concern - a portion of one of Mandela's back legs was completely cold, black and lifeless. To Randy's shock, on the inside of Mandela's leg, the bone was completely exposed. He had been "living" this way for a while.
The rescue team rushed him back to the Stray Rescue trauma center, where the veterinary team got to work stabilizing him. His temperature was low and his body was desperately trying to fight off infection. In all likelihood, his dead leg would have fallen off if not for the bone being there. And yet Mandela, with his resilient spirit, never surrendered.
Obviously, Mandela has lived the kind of life that is hard to imagine. Even his lip on the right side of his face was split at one point in his life, having healed into a bifurcated one. He has had a very, very rough life. We will never know what happened to Mandela that brought him to this point in his life, but one thing is for certain: cases like this shine a blinding spotlight on the importance of being a responsible pet guardian. Being attentive to your role of guardian to your companion, advocating for spaying and neutering, not abandoning your dog or cat to the streets - all essential responsibilities that help to avoid tragedies like this.
This rescue was tough on everyone, and we know it will be tough for you to see as well. It's always difficult to show the reality of what we see all too often, but we hope it will continue to bring about change. We will give frequent updates on Mandela, and we are thankful and hopeful to know that the caring, dedicated Stray Rescue family will be sending prayers and healing vibes.
In the rush to get him to the shelter, and with the severity of his other injuries, it was hard to notice that Mandela only had one ear as well.... reminiscent of the beloved Stracks, who was rescued nearly two years ago to the date. If you are able, please give direct help by donating to The Stracks Fund, which will provide emergency medical care to Mandela.