Plucky pooch saved from death

2015-04-27 09:53
Max the dog. (Shirley Berko, Supplied)

Max the dog. (Shirley Berko, Supplied)

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Durban - Starved and emaciated with a fractured jaw and covered in mange, a battered and discarded street dog laid down to die.

But he was spared by a Good Samaritan who rescued the dog as his life ebbed away, and now “Max”, as he is affectionately known, has been given a new lease on life.

The plucky pup’s story started in February when he was found lying at the roadside between Phoenix and KwaMashu near Durban.

His new owner, Shirley Berko, recounted how the new addition to their family was saved from a lonely death.

“Neeri Naidoo of Phoenix Animal Care and Treatment (Pact) was out walking some of the rescue dogs when she found him in a field.”

“It looked like he had lay down to die and she actually thought he was dead at first. He was rushed to the vet, who advised euthanasia as they didn't believe he was worth saving, his condition was too terrible,” Berko said.

“He was completely emaciated with just bones encased in skin and his spine was protruding so much. He had been starved because he had a broken jaw and fractured cheek, as well as being covered in scabs from severe mange,” she added.


The night Max was found, his minders didn't even know how to pick him up and transport him without hurting him. (Shirley Berko, Supplied)

Rescue, treatment, homing

Pact, KZN Husky Rescue, SA Husky Rescue and two vet practices (Ridge Vet, Kloof Vet) and the NPO Feeding the Furballs sprang to action and teamed up to help his recovery.

Charnell Ruth of KZN Husky Rescue played a big role in coordinating his rescue, treatment and homing.

“I went to visit him about four days after he was found. And even though he was too weak to move much or get up, and in significant discomfort and pain, and despite everything he had endured, his tail wagged. I found it astonishing,” Berko said.

Three and a half weeks later, after recovering from mange, putting on weight and finally being strong enough to have his jaw operated on by Dr Aitken at Kloof Village Vet, Max was discharged.

A new dog

Last week he had the wires in his jaw removed and is effectively a new dog.

“The wires were the final remnants of whatever horror he had endured, and now he can look forward to a very happy future," a happy Berko said.

“Yesterday, for the first time since we've known him, he yawned the proper dog yawn - stretched out, mouth wide, bum in the air and paws sprawled in front of him, and then he flopped over on the carpet and passed out happily, paws aloft.

“I am inspired by this little hound's perseverance, resilience and unwavering good faith in people despite how much he suffered. I have much to learn from him and hope to be worthy of owning such a big soul in such small packaging with such big ears.” 

Max has now fully recovered and has been given a new lease on life. (Shirley Berko, Supplied)


Read more on:    durban  |  animals

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