EASTON — Little Abigail was in bad shape. She had heartworm disease and two torn ACLs. She was a stray in obvious heat distress when someone reported her to Talbot Humane on a hot and humid day in July.
After Talbot County Animal Control picked her up, the staff at Talbot Humane issued an appeal online and among friends of the shelter to help provide the funds to heal “Abigail,” the staff’s name for her.
When Abigail showed up at Talbot Humane, the staff immediately began the job of cooling and stabilizing her. She had no microchip, and no lost pet report had been issued.
“This girl is unbelievably sweet,” said Talbot Human Executive Director Patty Crankshaw-Quimby. “She is still kind and playful, even though this injury must be painful. The fact that these are treatable injuries and illnesses we believed we had to give her the best chance possible.”
Quimby added that Abigail was put on a pain med schedule and limited activity for the ACLs and has been on an antibiotic regimen since early August.
“We were really working with all of our contacts to get her out of the shelter and into a rescue where she could receive her treatment and have a more natural recovery than in the shelter environment, as well as the cost issue,” Quimby said.
“There were a few organizations who showed some interest, then decided they couldn’t take her,” Quimby said. “When our final connection backed out, we finally just decided to see if we could raise the funds for her care.”
According to Quimby, in many shelters, the diagnosis would have made her a candidate for euthanasia.
Shelter staff are now working on scheduling and protocols with the veterinarian. The Rottweiler mix’s active heartworm disease and injuries are going to keep her in Talbot Humane’s care, as well as specialized recovery, for a bit of time.
“It all depends on the process for treatment and surgery including the heartworm treatment,” Quimby said. “We are working with the veterinarian at this time to see what the best course of action should be, but most likely four to six months total recovery for all three issues.”
It was clear Abigail had a problem with her back leg when she was rescued. The staff made an appointment to have her examined by their veterinary partner, Dr. Michael Coughlan at All Pets. He discovered Abigail had two torn ACLs and heartworm disease.
A specialist will perform surgery to repair Abigail’s torn ACLs. She will be available once she has been released for regular life from her surgeries and heartworm treatment.
“No we do not adopt animals with untreated medical needs. Upon completion of treatment or surgery pets are available,” said Quimby. “Families can foster animals while they go through treatment.”
Talbot Humane reached out to the community for help with the cost after exhausting appeals to other rescue organizations.
A friend of the organization offered a matching gift of $2,000 to help save Abigail, and other donations brought in the full amount. It only took 48 hours to raise $6,000.
“Our community is amazingly supportive,” Quimby said. “We are very blessed to have so many friends who support our mission and trust we are doing our very best for the animals of our area.”
Editor Connie Connolly contributed to this story.