Road to Recovery for an Abandoned Dog

   By Monica V.

About 19 million pets live in underserved communities in the United States, many of whom have never seen a veterinarian. With consequent overpopulation and disease steadily rising, Partnership With Native Americans’® (PWNA) Reservation Animal Rescue® (RAR) program helps our tribal partners like Round Valley Animal Rescue in Springerville, Arizona, foster, rehabilitate and adopt-out abandoned dogs and cats.

Our program partner Amanda has been the Round Valley manager for 10 years and has had more than 100 foster dogs come in and out of her home. Despite the challenges of accessing pet food and finding foster families, Amanda proudly shared that her shelter has helped at least 4,000 animals in their time, and she only hopes to improve those numbers. “Our mission has always been the animals.”

One of many recent rescue cases at Round Valley is a 6-year-old chow mix named Griffin. He was found on the side of the highway by Marlin, Amanda’s employee. Marlin spotted Griffin on the side of Interstate 60 during his commute to work. After he noticed some movement and realized it was an injured dog, he gathered a few other employees to start the rescue.

Unable to approach Griffin as he snarled and bit at the workers, Marlin eventually got him in their truck using their last resort catch pole while another named him on the spot. “We always assess the emergency and see if we can care for them here at the shelter.” Marlin noticed Griffin’s broken leg and road rash all over his body and face, concluding that he likely fell out of a moving truck on the highway.

After taking him to a clinic, vets cared for his road rash and bolted his broken femur back together – a two-day procedure that cost over $7,000. Following a two-week quarantine back at the shelter to mitigate the spread of any diseases, Griffin began his road to recovery. Marlin was with him every step of the way, sharing, “We started nursing him back to health here, and he stuck with us ever since.”

Since the bolts were removed, Griffin still can’t put his full weight on that leg but has started working hard to rebuild muscle mass. “The minute he got those bolts and rods out, he was ready,” Amanda laughed. Marlin has been working with Griffin seven days a week to play, take him for walks and let him run through the fields. Griffin is vaccinated and will be neutered after a few more weeks of recovery.

When asked about expenses like Griffin’s surgery, Amanda mentioned that her staff and community all pitched in what they could and that Round Valley “will do anything for these animals… The dedication of our staff is crazy, and these animals are very lucky to have them.” Planning to put Griffin up for adoption in 3-4 months, Amanda said their long adoption process is necessary to ensure the family is a right fit for the animal and vice versa. Marlin shared his favorite part of the job in saying, “Bringing smiles to family’s faces really does it for me; seeing dogs like Griffin grow and knowing they’re going to a good home.”

Amanda thanked RAR donors and added, “Donors are the number one thing for these animals. Donations really add up, eventually to a number like $7,000.” Your donation matters, so consider a contribution to RAR today to continue rescuing helpless animals like Griffin and supporting shelters like Round Valley.