Cowboy’s Hope

Blog by Jenessa Taylor, Executive Director Pets Alive Westchester

In rescue you learn early on to never plan out your day because inevitably you will never get to even the first item on your list. Every day you are faced with a decision, a situation, an animal in need that requires your time and attention, and let’s face it – they are so Cowboy4much more worthy of that time and attention than your to-do list anyway. Today was certainly one of those days.

The caretakers arrive first thing in the morning and consistently take inventory of their surroundings as they arrive. It is their routine to make sure that things are as they were left the night before- and this morning something odd caught Anna’s (PAW Lead Cat Caregiver) eye. As she walked up to the front doors she noticed a half open back pack laying directly in front of the building and as she got closer she saw why. A small puppy was lying near the bag, cold and scared. No note, no explanation, no idea how long he had been waiting there alone. Just this tiny little puppy who readily accepted a loving embrace from Anna. She immediately scooped him up and brought him in from the cold, Cowboy2offered him fresh water and some food. She did a quick overall assessment and saw no obvious injuries, however when she attempted to set him down the staff quickly noted that he seemed unwilling or unable to put any weight on his back leg.

We quickly determined that this was not just a simple abandonment case but with a possible injury resulting from some type of neglect or abuse as well. When an animal is found on our property it is important that we file a report with the animal control officer so that they are aware of the situation, however in light of his medical needs we felt that he would have the best opportunity to heal if he stays in our care.

Cowboy6Each of the staff took turns holding him, quickly gave him a name – Cowboy – and whispered softly in his ear that he was safe, he was loved and that soon he will feel better. There was just something in his eyes that made us all melt. It was obvious he was in pain, but there was something else, something deeper, something I could only describe as hope. As if he now knew that here he would have a chance. Once Vania, the full time veterinary assistant, was able to manipulate his leg she felt certain that he had a fracture of some type in his left hind leg. She was able to give him a temporary splint and called the vet hospital right away to schedule an X-Ray. There it was confirmed- Cowboy has a midshaft complete fracture of both his tibia and fibula, the two lower leg bones. In the vet’s opinion the injuries were most likely caused by some type of trauma, either accidental or intentional it’s impossible to tell.

Cowboy xray1We were given two options- we could choose to simply splint the fractures for a period of 8-10 weeks and hope that the breaks will heal properly. Cowboy would need to be on crate rest for the entire healing process, there is an inherent risk of skin infection if his splint were to get even just the slightest bit moist (which let’s face it with a puppy of his age-10-12 weeks- the odds are he will soil multiple times a day even with bathroom breaks) and there is no guarantee that after the 2-3 month period of splinting that the leg will heal properly. And if it did not heal properly Cowboy would be faced with a possible deformation of his hind leg, continued inability to put the proper weight distribution on his back end, and prolonged pain. At that time it would be necessary to surgically re fracture his leg and repair it.

Cowboy7The second option is to go directly to orthopedic surgery, cut out the 8-10 weeks of splint and rest, and repair the fractures immediately. The surgery must be performed by an orthopedic surgeon and will entail the placement of a bone plate to stabilize the bones at the point of fracture. Since the breaks are mid shaft there is little to no concern of possible future development issues, since bones grow from the ends and not the middle and the plate will stabilize the bone to grow in the proper way, which is not guaranteed with the splint and wait method.

After weighing our options very carefully we have decided that the best option for Cowboy is surgery, however this option comes at a cost- the surgery alone was quoted at approximately $2500 and that does not include any subsequent x-rays (which will be necessary to periodically check on the healing process of the fractures) and additional care he Cowboy5may require. We are certain that the surgery will repair his injury and allow him to be placed in a forever home quickly. It is our mission to provide that chance for the animals that find their way through our doors. To fix their wounds, give them a safe, warm place to lay their heads, to embrace each one as if they were our own- no matter the circumstances that brought them to us.

Because of you we have been able to help so many animals in need. Because of you we will continue to take on cases like Cowboy’s. We really need your help to fulfill the hope we see in Cowboy’s eyes- the hope for a better life, a better home. Please consider a donation to the Critical Care Medical Fund today.

Filed in Animal Rescue by John Sibley on Feb 14, 2013.  There are 14 Comments

14 Responses to “Cowboy’s Hope”

  1. Diane Bruner Says:

    It is not letting me donate

  2. Steve Says:

    Me neither. Paypal sucks big time, it’s useless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Jenessa Says:

    So sorry for the paypal issue everyone- there was a slight bug with the button but it should be all fixed now!! TY so much for your support and your consideration in helping Sweet Little Cowboy- as soon as he is out of surgery we will post to update!!

  4. Diane R. Says:

    I just made a paypal donation directly from the email you sent me.

    Gentle hugs for Cowboy!

  5. Sheila Says:

    PayPal worked for me…Prayers for Cowboy…poor baby .

  6. Jeannine Says:

    Any update on Cowboy or the funds for his surgery?

  7. Michelina Says:

    Yes, please give an update of how much has been donated and how much is still needed. Thanks.

  8. Christa in Germany Says:

    I made my donation after your E-mail, Pay-Pal worked

  9. Marilyn Bates Moore Says:

    Am mailing a check today for $20.00 for Cowboy’s recovery. Read about his plight on the Linda Eder facebook. Bless her for posting this info for us and Bless You for all you do to help our less fortunate 4 legged friends.

    Marilyn Bates Moore, 710 Loire Lane,Houston, Texas

  10. Marilyn Bates Moore Says:

    Update … not mailing check today …. will do direct via debit card. Just noticed I can do that with out going thru PayPal.

  11. Marilyn Bates Moore Says:

    Well … couldn’t donate without using Paypal. Don’t like them. Am mailing check today as originally posted.

  12. P.R.Lambros Says:

    I can’t off you money but, I can offer you (2) oversized photographic prints to auction off and keep the proceeds to help in Cowboys care. He is adorable and find this is the only way I could help in his journey. If this is something you think would help him-please feel free to contact me…

  13. Jenessa Says:

    P.R.- Thank you so much for your offer to donate the photographic prints for auction. Would love to discuss this with you further. Please contact me directly at Thank you all for your support and your love. We have recently discovered another trauma injury on Cowboy, he has been diagnosed as blind!! We are actively seeking a home for this sweet boy. We know he will bring love and joy to any home

  14. Tammy Walsh Says:

    Poor Cowboy I wish I could adopt him, but I have 2 cats and 2 dogs one out of the two is blind, I feel so bad for him. I will pray for him and hope he gets into a forever home but I know how difficult it is to adopt a specail needs puppy out. Please update on his condition and when he finds his forever home.
    God bless you guys

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