S.C. CARES focuses on exotic, farm and non-releasable wildlife rescue but occasionally canines end up with us from critical situations.
It was a cold, rainy day in March 2013 when we received a call that two dogs were found in a field near S.C. CARES and one of the dogs couldn’t even get up. These poor dogs were both emaciated terribly and one of the hounds was missing toes on his front feet and had exposed flesh and bone on one foot. My first thought was that maybe he had gotten his feet hung on something? Maybe even a trap? Sadly upon a closer exam we discovered one foot had the toes cut off in a straight line, probably by shears or a knife of sorts. The other foot wasn’t quite as clean a cut as the first, I’m guessing by the second foot the dog was thrashing, biting etc. We were horrified to think of how this could’ve happened… After our vet examined him, she too, felt that his toes were purposely cut.
We discovered once we put them in a temporary holding area that even with missing, sore toes the one dog was able to climb out. Thankfully he didn’t run off but that incident did give us insight as to why someone, as cruel as it was, decided to cut his toes off. They probably thought this would keep him from climbing out or at the very least they might have thought this was some form of discipline for him.
We came to call this duo Batman and Robin since that seemed appropriate for the pair that we’re willing to stick together even if it meant they would starve together. Batman is the dog whose toes were cut.
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There wasn’t anything medically that could be done to help him but keep his feet clean so that his feet would heal as best as possible without risk for infection. Batman and Robin got their checkups and shots and we kept them on a steady diet. Pretty soon they were both at good weights and seemed to be more independent so we proceeded to adopt Robin out to one of our volunteers who still shares his companionship to date. Batman ended up in the house with us and blended in nicely with the other six canines that lived with us.
This poor boy has a terminal limp and recently after having X-rays we discovered that his back leg had been fractured at some point in his life in addition to everything else he had been through. He’s our gimpy boy who loves to love us. When he’s on the couch with us, he has to be either laying on you or at least touching you. How can a creature that has been so tortured by humans ever trust a human again?
Even several years later, when I picture in my thoughts how this tragedy occurred for him, it makes me feel nauseous and brings me to tears. Two things need to happen in our society — 1) hounds and all animals should be recognized as sentient creatures-not property. 2)Enforceable laws need to be enacted so that evil humans are not able to abuse these poor creatures without repercussions. I feel I need to be a voice for the animals so here goes: If you can’t take on an animal as a companion and treat that being like family then just don’t have them because to them you are their family!