STRATHROY, Ontario — Darlene Crawford is a foster and volunteer with Paws United Dog Rescue (PUDR) which is based out of foster homes in London, Ontario. In mid-August, Crawford found herself fostering a sweet yellow Labrador Retriever, who they fondly named Link.
Link arrived in rescue through the International Fund for Animal Welfare‘s (IFAW) Northern Dogs Project who work with the First Nations to assist with their dog issues by providing education, assistance with dog bylaws, annual vet clinics and, when necessary, rehoming.
Because many First Nations have little access to veterinary services, dogs who are sick or injured often make their way south with the help of IFAW to be treated and rehomed.
Link was one of these dogs, found with a large tow chain embedded in her neck. The rescue realized she needed immediate veterinary care. Terrified, depressed and in pain, volunteers kept her comfortable and she was immediately admitted to the hospital after her long journey south.
The veterinarian guessed that the chain had been around her neck for a few months at least, as the skin was starting to grow around the chain. Veterinarians and technicians quickly went to work cutting away the fur and overgrown skin to reveal serious damage.
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Although Link has a long road to recovery ahead, in just over a week she has made amazing leaps and bounds. Crawford, Link’s foster mom, says that she came to them very nervous and cautious of people, but says every day she becomes more confident and happy.
“It’s very rewarding to see her improve everyday. She wants to trust and like people, but she is too afraid. Now, she’s starting to act like the big puppy that she is, trying to grab at fish in the pond and doing zoomies around the yard. She is doing amazing!”
Not only have her wounds begun to heal, but her spirit too and she is slowly learning to trust people and love life again.
Stories like Link’s keep PUDR and IFAW coming back to help dogs and the Northern communities with their dogs. Although dogs live a very different life there, they are still loved by caring families. But there are always special dogs like Link that need that extra help, so please consider donating to PUDR or IFAW so they can continue their journeys to educate and offer veterinary care and aid for those dogs that are just asking for a second chance.
See gallery below for photos of Link’s road to recovery.
***WARNING: SOME OF THE IMAGES ARE GRAPHIC.
Photo credits go to Paws United Dog Rescue and International Fund for Animal Welfare.