It’s an attack that left animal clinic staff and the local humane society horrified — a young emaciated dog seemingly attacked with a hatchet and left on an Allentown street.
But the Lehigh County Humane Society is ensuring that Sally’s traumatic past doesn’t inhibit her future.
City police were called after a resident found Sally at about 6:20 a.m. on a porch in the 300 block of North Jefferson Street with multiple cuts, including a large slash on her forehead with a skull fracture underneath that appears to be caused by a blade.
The pup was taken to the Lehigh County Humane Society, police Capt. Gail Struss said, and the humane society immediately brought the dog to the Allentown Animal Clinic.
Sally was emaciated, covered in scratches and had traumatic wounds, said Bethany Mihalik, the clinic’s practice manager. Based on the length of the largest cut, staff believe it could have been a hatchet or small axe, Mihalik said.
Sally’s body showed that the attack wasn’t the first time she was abused.
“It was apparent that she had been starved for a very long time,” Mihalik said. “She’s a sweetheart. She’s as sweet as can be. All she wanted to do was curl up and cuddle with someone.”
The staff was concerned Sally may have suffered cognitive damage from the attack, and also worried whether her battered body could handle being put under anesthesia.
In addition to gashes on her head, hip and by her eye, Sally had scratches all over her body. The scratches were definitely caused by another animal, Mihalik said, although staff cannot definitively say if Sally was used as a bait dog for dog fighting.
The clinic’s staff ran a quick battery of tests, found that her organs were not in distress, and decided to take the risk, Mihalik said. It took 30 stitches just to close the large head wound; there is nothing to treat the skull fracture besides time, Mihalik said.
Sally is expected to make a full recovery.
“She did great,” Mihalik said, adding the dog was on pain medication because “you can imagine the headache she had.”
A GoFundMe campaign was begun to cover Sally’s medical costs. It reached its goal in a little more than five hours, and continues to grow.
“The outpouring of support has been emotional,” Mihalik said. “She is so sweet. How anyone could do this to her is beyond my comprehension. I just don’t understand it … I’ve never seen a deliberate traumatic injury with a blade (to a dog).”
Sally was discharged Wednesday, and is now recuperating at the humane society’s shelter in Allentown while the society looks for a foster family. The humane society has also begun a cruelty investigation, Struss said.
Shelter manager Teisha Ellison said anyone interested in fostering Sally must live within 30 miles of the shelter at 640 Dixon St.
“We want to be able to check on her,” Jones said.
Hopeful foster families must fill out an application in person at the shelter, and the humane society requires a home check and any references for other animals at the home.
“She really is a happy dog. She does not let anything effect her personality,” Jones said.
Sarah Cassi may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi.