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LEROY, above all the other animals in our care, embodies the spirit of CompAnimals Pet Rescue and the level of commitment we give to our animals for their entire lives. Here is his story:
About 8 years ago I got a call from a senior citizen who was trying to catch a stray pit bull in her neighborhood in Elkton. The dog would follow children around but eluded adults. She was worried the SPCA would pick him up and euthanize him. The Cecil Co SPCA had a "no pit bulls" policy at the time. So for 3 weeks I tried to catch him, make friends with him, bribe him and for 3 weeks the SPCA was bent on catching him as well. Luckily, with the help of a butcher (who lived in the same neighborhood and had been giving him fresh beef) I was able to capture him. He was super friendly and hopped right in my car. We had him vetted and aside from a hairless patch on the top of his head he recovered from his ordeal pretty quickly.
I fostered him myself. He had a distinct hate of cats and for that reason I wasn't able to keep him permanently. He did get along with other dogs and was a well mannered guest. It was probably a year or so before he found his "forever" home. Leroy seemed to have lucked out - he had a boy of his own and a big grassy yard. We didn't hear much from him after the initial settling in. There were other dogs to rescue and Leroy was starting his new life.
Fast forward about 4 years - tragedy struck and Leroy's family fell apart. His mom was sick, the house was in foreclosure, Leroy was living in an empty house. We got a call that the family could no longer care for him. Leroy came back.
Due to the family's lack of finances and the stress of it all, Leroy was in horrible shape. His skin condition which, looking back through vet records, had never been fully addressed. He was bald, scabby, bloody and thin. His head was sunken in. His hair loss was so great that you couldn't even distinguish what color he was. He wagged his tail.
Antibiotics and prednisone kicked back the skin a notch but again it never fully recovered. He developed demodex, a type of mange, due to the pred suppressing his immune system. We sent him to a foster home hoping to boost his spirits and give him more 1-on-1 care. Another vet was added to his repertoire. More antibiotics, supplements, shampoos but still his skin was slow to recover. Some prickly hair poked through but not as much as we had hoped for. He developed a sore on his ear and one on his toe which was so painful he didn't want to walk. A culture was done and revealed not one, but 3, drug resistant bacteria. One was resistant to ALL antibiotics. The drugs that we had been giving him were slowly killing him.
Fast forward to a year ago, stopped all Western medicine and enlisted the help of Always Helpful Veterinary Services & Dr Judith Shoemaker. To first visit was hours long as she worked up a plan and refining if supplements, powders and remedies. I noticed her lack of concern at the "flesh eating bacteria" - a condition so bad that one vet wanted to amputate part of his ear and toe and another felt it was hopeless and he should be euthanized. She was most concerned with his painful eyes. He has a condition called entropean where the eyelids roll in and the leashes rub against the eye.
Leroy responded quickly under the watchful eye of Dr Shoemaker. His coat came in glossy and now covers about 2/3 of his body. His skin still has flare ups but not more drug resistant bacteria. He was tested for food allergies and put in an appropriate diet. To someone meeting Leroy today, for the first time, he looks like a wreck - like he was just rescued. But to those of us who have seen him in the road to recovery, he looks beautiful.
Leroy has a pan pal who he's him out every week for his medicated bath and some R&R. This same wonderful pen pal is covering most of his medical expenses (thankfully Always Helpful has a monthly payment plan!). She has offered to continue with his support even after he is adopted.
Leroy is now pushing 10 years of age. We would love for him to find his special home but if not, he is welcome to live his life out with us. Somewhere along the line he decided he didn't want to get along with other dogs - his Dr thinks it is because he felt so crappy. He has never lost his love of people - especially children. Leroy adopted kids! He is currently getting a break from shelter life and is in a "vacation" foster home for a few weeks. Check out the video his foster mom made for him.
If you can be Leroy's guardian angel please fill out an application at www.companimals.org