A dog that was attacked with a machete is the latest abuse case handled by the Saving Grace Animal Society of Alix, which is fundraising to build its own veterinary clinic.
Parker, a young dog of a pit bull-type breed, was found earlier this week with extensive cuts across his body and head. A volunteer rescuer with the society had heard about this injured dog in Saskatchewan and drove to bring him back to central Alberta for emergency care.
Amanda McClughan, the society’s development director, said Parker needed more than 100 stitches to his head, back and legs to close the cuts.
Photos of his injuries were posted to Saving Grace Animal Society’s Facebook page. Some were so graphic they were obscured by Facebook.
McClughan said the pictures were posted to give people an idea of why the Society’s fundraising efforts are so important.
Cases of sick and abused animals are becoming so common — coming in about once a week — so the non-profit group is trying to raise $500,000 to build a veterinary clinic next door to the Alix shelter.
So far, $70,000 has been raised. “We have a long ways to go,” admitted McClughan, who looks forward to the day when hurt animals no longer have to be driven 20 minutes to Red Deer for treatment.
Parker is doing well after getting stitched up on Wednesday. “He was really amazing at the vet’s…He’s so sweet,” said McClughan. “When I was putting him on a leash he was kissing me. When he saw his crate, he just jumped in it and laid down.”
Police are investigating the machete attack, which McClughan heard was triggered by a fight that broke out between Parker, a free roaming canine, and a dog owned by the suspect.
She noted dog fights can happen for many reasons, including competition for food. While there’s no safe or easy way to end one, she stressed using a machete is unacceptably cruel.
“We don’t know the circumstances behind what happened,” she said, but Parker has not exhibited any aggressive behavior to rescuers.
Over the last week, Saving Grace Animal Society has come across dozens of hurt dogs and cats, including animals with an abscess, severe mange, and porcupine quill wounds that became infected.
On a particularly busy day this month, 34 animals were taken into the shelter.
People sometimes surrender pets because they can’t afford medical expenses, or because they have lost their jobs and can no longer afford to keep them. McClughan believes most animal rehabilitation cases could be avoided if people spayed or neutered their pets, and did not allow them to roam freely in rural areas.
In 2020, the Saving Grace Animal Society took in about 2,000 animals and made about 1,500 adoptions.
Many people are interested in adopting Parker, but McClughan believes it will be a while before he’s ready to leave the shelter. Besides recuperating from his injuries, the dog will be put through a behaviour program to ensure he is ready for a new family.