The tale of Dino, the beagle puppy who survived an encounter with a Milton snowplow, touched off a flurry of cash donations and calls from potential adopters, according to a spokesman for MSPCA-Angell Memorial Animal Medical Center.
“Extremely generous donors have contributed over $1,400 to the MSPCA-Boston's Spike's Fund, which will help replenish almost half of the funds used to provide care for Dino,” said spokesman Brian Adams. “We have also received dozens of well wishes for his recovery and inquiries regarding his possible adoption.”
Among those responding to Dino’s plight was Advanced Regenerative Therapies in Colorado, a stem cell research laboratory focusing on dogs and horses. A company spokesman offered to donate both money and stem cell treatment “should the need arise.”
“Why does a company so far removed want to help?” asked spokesman T.K. Pope. “One of our founders is from the Boston area, an MIT grad, and owns two beagles (or the beagles own him.”
A local woman sent an email offering money, toys, blankets or food. “This has got to be an expensive surgery! I feel I need to help - rather than just make a donation,” she wrote.
Dino is still recovering at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and will need at least six to eight weeks of foster care and rehabilitation before he’s ready for adoption,” Adams said.
“Once Dino is healed, we will alert the public so that all those who wish to provide a loving home for Dino can submit an application for us to select the most appropriate home for his continued care,” he said.
Adams said that the medical center also has hundreds of other animals that are looking for homes, including “Snooki, a small pit bull mix puppy who required weeks of physical therapy to straighten her extremely crooked legs so that she could walk without pain.”
The MSPCA-Boston's adoptable animals can be viewed by visiting the organization's website, he said.
Five-month-old Dino was hit by the plow on January 27 when he escaped from his home in Milton and ran into the street, Adams said.
The puppy’s owners rushed him to the Boston animal clinic, where veterinarians determined he would need extensive surgery to repair the damage to his hindquarters, Adams said. The owners decided to give up the puppy due to the large amount of care he would need as he heals, Adams said.
He said the decision was difficult, but pet owners should know that MSPCA-Angell is there as a resource, with a long list of people who provide foster care for animals like Dino.
“The level of care is beyond the means of many pet owners. It will require a lot of time and a lot of energy,” he said. “Many times we will find a person with extensive medical experience for cases like Dino.”
Surgeons waited until Dino was stable to operate on him, amputating his tail and closing lacerations on his hind legs. Dino returned to surgery on Monday when doctors used pins to align his fractured tibia and removed the fractured femoral head and neck from his left, rear femur to alleviate pain in his hip.
“He’s still sore; he has lots of sutures and pins and we need to change his dressings,” Adams said. But he said Dino is walking outside and acting like a typical beagle puppy.
“He has that puppy mentality that keeps him going and will get him over this hump. He’s full of energy, incredibly vocal and seems very determined to heal,” he said.
Dino’s care will cost several thousand dollars, which will come from MSPCA-Angell’s “Spike Fund.” Information about donating to the fund is available at www.mspca.org/dino.
Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.