The day he was tethered to a tree and left defenseless to face six other dogs who were intentionally set upon him, is ironically the day Scar’s life changed for the better. His story should have ended horrifically instead, a story about the transformative power of love is just beginning.
Physical and Emotional Wounds
When Scar was admitted to our Animal Hospital, aside from the physical wounds (both fresh and purulent), he was traumatised and emotionally shut down. He exhibited signs of resignation, passivity, and a lack of motivation to do anything at all. Even if his hospital cage was left wide open, he wouldn’t venture out of his own accord. Who can blame him? Imagine being tied to a tree by the hands you trusted and then having a pack of dogs set on you.
“Often in cases where an animal has been subjected to trauma (physical and emotional) they are both exhausted and shut down” says our onsite Animal Behaviourist Nicole Nel. “He didn’t feel safe enough to show any behaviours or any personality”.
With his body covered in puncture wounds (both old infected wounds, and fresh wounds) the treatment of Scar’s physical wounds had to be prioritised. With his wounds cleaned and a prescribed treatment protocol that included both antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, Scar remained in our hospital for more than 2 weeks. During that time, he was also diagnosed with bilateral Hygromas (fluid filled sacks) on both front limbs.
Dr Ettienne Pieterse says “I suspect the Hygromas are the result of untreated pressure sores to which Scar’s body reacted by creating these fluid-filled sacks. Unfortunately, surgical intervention isn’t possible as it is very close to the joint and septic arthritis, which will easily spread to the rest of the joints in his body could result”. Fortunately, the Hygromas won’t affect Scar’s quality of life, Dr Ettienne says “the condition requires only ongoing monitoring and a check-in with a vet if there is an increase in the size of the pockets”.
Healing His Heart
Every dog responds differently to trauma and while dogs are incredible at adapting, they do carry emotional scarring from life experiences, either from prolonged neglect and abuse, trauma or issues in early development, environmental factors or even a once-off traumatic event. Kind hands are a new experience for Scar but he’s finally learning to trust, he engages, and he’s enjoying walks on his leash – in spite of the fact that this is how the trauma he survived began. Consistent, patient, reward based interactions and a lot of love and respect have won him over.
“Scar is a mature boy” says Animal Behaviourist Nicole Nel. “In spite of what he’s been through, he is people orientated, makes eye contact, comes when called and jumps up to greet”.
This is a far cry from the Scar we first met and we can’t wait to give him the experience of a loving home. There is no doubt that this will be new to him too so we’re looking for an experienced family with children over the age of 10 who will understand what he has been through and will work with our behaviourist through any suppressed behaviours that may arise as he grows in confidence. If you think you could love Scar, and give him a forever home please click here
Read all about Scar’s Rescue here
Our heartfelt thanks go to every individual who played a role in his rescue and his rehabilitation. We were blown away by the public response to Scar’s story and it serves to remind us that love always wins! Your love, sent by way of donations and well wishes put Scar on a powerful transformative journey to a brighter tomorrow. We can’t thank you enough! It’s experiences like this that make our work worthwhile.