Dogs are known for being extremely loyal to their owners, yet far too often we hear about abused animals in the news and in spite of our best efforts, it still continues to happen. It’s hard to imagine someone being so cruel to such an innocent creature. When it comes to dogs, those expressive eyes can’t seem to hide any of the tough times they’ve gone through. They don’t call them “puppy dog eyes” for nothing. This sadness was very apparent to Florida law officers as they approached the injured dog. (Image Credits: fuzzfix, sharetap, scribol)
The Florida Everglades are way out in the middle of nowhere, just the place bad people with terrible intentions would go to get rid of any ‘problem’ animals. In this instance, ‘problem’ meant that these cowards probably got bored with beating this adorable puppy, so they dropped him off to die in the bayou. Luckily, one afternoon, a couple of kind samaritans stumbled upon him while boating and intervened just in time!
He was spotted barely able to move trying to find a comfortable place to rest near the boat ramps just off of U.S. Highway 27. Knowing the dog wouldn’t last long if left alone in the crocodile-filled marsh, the pair sought expert help. The couple tried for hours to get help and, eventually, the couple got in touch with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and its deputies came to the rescue. But when finally the officers found the pitbull, they didn’t know if they had found him in time.
The poor dog’s body was shutting down and he could barely move a muscle. Luckily for this dog, he wouldn’t need to live another day in the harsh Everglades. The first step in helping this poor creature was to slowly gain the animal’s trust.
The plan worked, and although still clearly out of sorts, the dog allowed the officers to get close enough to give him some food. That’s when they noticed that not only was the dog suffering from a severe case of mange, but he was also bleeding from the face.
90% of his skin was infected with mange and he was almost blind because of irritation.
This meant the dog would need surgery as soon as possible. In a heartwarming video of the rescue, one person on the scene can be heard talking to the weary dog as officers try to encourage him to walk to the car. “Your life is going to be so much better now. Come on. You can make it,” the person said.
After hours of encouragement and some heavy lifting to help the dog walk, the officers finally managed to load the young dog into their vehicle. The next morning, he was picked up by Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue in Delray Beach and given the name Powder. The shelter is a haven for homeless cats and dogs in Florida’s Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Established by interior designer Sandra Dezelan, who quit her job in order to focus on rescuing animals, it arranges for the treatment and care of strays before putting them up for adoption.
So, to give their new guest the best care possible, the team at the shelter sent Powder to an animal eye surgeon for evaluation. That’s when they discovered that the poor dog’s sight was so bad that he could only see shadows. He would therefore need surgery on both eyes once his mange and other infections were treated, and the team got him started on the meds he would need.
Whilst abandoned dogs tend to have a lot of problems, very few animals have gone through the issues this stray has had to deal with. There was no doubt Powder had a long road to recovery ahead of him. His more than 500 puss-filled nodules that covered his entire body was just one of the obstacles Powder would have to overcome.
Of course, the medical treatment that Powder needed was expensive, so the rescue center campaigned for donations. Indeed, Powder became an icon of hope on its Facebook page and after a few weeks, he was well enough to go in for his much-needed eye surgery.
Thanks to Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue loving care, Powder transformed into a completely different dog than the one found suffering in the Everglades. His skin cleared up, his fur grew back and thanks to his surgery, he was able to see clearly.
Under the care of the shelter, Powder also gained 15 pounds. He finally looked like a healthy American Bulldog. He further enjoyed socializing with other dogs at Dezzy’s and started growing in confidence.
But Powder’s road to recovery was far from over. Before he could find a loving home, the dog had to learn to trust more humans than just owner Sandra Dezelan. “He NEEDS human socialization and once ready he will be out for adoption,” Dezelan wrote on the animal rescue’s Facebook page. She therefore had a trainer start working with Powder to help further build up the dog’s confidence.
And it worked! Powder officially went up for adoption in July of 2016. In the announcement on Facebook, Dezelan described him as “the star” of the rescue center. She also detailed the dog’s incredible recovery from the brink of death. “Powder was physically a MESS,” she wrote. “But, with surgeries, today’s modern medicines, around the clock care and love, you can see the end result.”