This puppy was initially on the brink of death until..
In May 2015, a woman named Stephanie Smith-Justus received a call from her neighbor, who informed her that he had spotted a puppy that needed help. Smith-Justus, who worked for a local shelter and also runs the no-kill Buchanan County Humane Society in Virginia, responded to the call immediately and set out to find the puppy with her husband. Upon reaching the forest where the puppy was last seen, the couple tried to find the puppy but to no avail. Smith-Justus was about to give up the search when her husband finally spotted the puppy, who was found lying in a patch of weeds. When the couple inspected the puppy, they were alarmed to see that the puppy had severe mange and he was estimated to be only around four months old.
According to Smith-Justus, the puppy looked like he had been scalded badly, looking very much like a second-degree burn would. The couple quickly brought the puppy to Virginia Tech for medical help. Upon seeing the puppy’s serious condition, they immediately admitted him into the ICU. After examining the puppy, the couple were told that the puppy did not have long to live due to his condition. According to the vet, the puppy had been shot repeatedly with a pellet gun and his intestines were already collapsed due to a long period without food.
Sadly, that was not all. The vet also told the couple that the puppy’s leg tendons have lost their elasticity and thus, he would not be able to stand or walk normally. The couple decided to name the puppy “Watkins”, which was the name of the street that he was found on.
Despite Watkins’ slim chance of survival, Smith-Justus told the vet to save him. Watkins underwent his first surgery and survived through it. But after a few weeks, Watkins suddenly stopped eating and this caused a dip in his body weight. It turned out that he had chewed off the feeding tube that the staff had implanted, so he was left with no food sources.
Watkins recovery was slow but progressive, and had spend a total of 119 days at the vet before he was allowed to be discharged. On July 11 2015, Watkins was discharged and went home with Smith-Justus and continued to visit the vet to treat his ear infection and chronic mange. Soon after, Watkins regained the ability to walk, much to Smith-Justus’ surprise.
Watkins’ condition continued to improve, so did his confidence. He no longer fears cars and enjoys running around in the yard. Watkins also adores his favorite toy, a stuffed lobster which he cuddles with during bedtime. According to Smith-Justus, Watkins has a pleasant personality and has since improved greatly since his rescue.
Watkins had finally overcame all odds and made a miraculous recovery, much to everyone’s surprise!
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