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Marked for Death: Pit Mix Amputee Gets Second Chance

X-rays from Miami showed that all the carpals of her foot were broken and ligaments torn. Infection had begun to destroy the tissue around her bite wounds and the splint was not going to be effective.

Animal Services in Miami-Dade picked up Nalia, an injured pit bull mix who was struggling to walk and limping around on three legs.

Pit bulls are banned in Miami-Dade; regardless, Nalia was initially treated for a fractured and bitten front leg, but was also scheduled to be euthanized, according to Harlan Weikle, executive director at For Paws Hospice, an Ozona-based non-profit.

This little girl did not know that she had angels getting ready to save her life and start her on a new journey. For Paws Hospice acted immediately and called the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation (MCABSL). That organization contacted 1 Lucky Dog Rescue, who was able to pull her out of the shelter and get her additional treatment.

Nalia's first splint was replaced with a better one for her type of injury and she received pain medicine. On July 30, Nalia began preparing for her journey to Tampa Bay, Weikle said.

She finally reached Dr. Chris Freeman of Sunset Point Animal Hospital in Clearwater. He continued her pain medicine and added antibiotics, but the X-rays from Miami showed that all the carpals of her foot were broken and ligaments torn. Infection had begun to destroy the tissue around her bite wounds and the splint was not going to be effective for the bones to heal properly, Weikle said.

On Aug 2, her leg was amputated. But Dr. Freeman worked to save as much of her leg as possible — stopping at just above her elbow.

For Paws Hospice asked Sunset Point if they could board Nalia while they looked for a foster.  

Dr. Conrad at Sunset Point Animal Hospital later found that a severe infection had occurred and it would be in her best interest to amputate the the rest of her leg. This poor girl had to go through surgery twice.

On Aug 12, Nalia’s name changed to Nala, and found Kylee Stout, a vet technician and foster volunteer with Dunedin Doggie Rescue.

Nala's total veterinarian cost (and other expenses) to date is $2,521.76, and once she is completely healed, For Paws Hospice said they will supply her with a front wheelchair to limit excessive wear and tear. Estimated cost for the wheelchair is $500 to $800, according to the hospice.

Stout was told that Nala was nervous and shy, but after being home for five minutes she was rolling over wanting belly rubs and love. Her true personality began to emerge through her recovery.

In the past week, Stout has seen a wonderful change in Nala. She is bringing her foster family toys, wanting them to play with her and actually prances around the house with abundant energy.

“You would never know she has three legs," Stout says.

She is relearning how to walk on stairs and slippery surfaces, and will hopefully be spayed in October ready for her forever home. Even though she does not do so well with cats, she does great with other dogs.

Kylee says, “As someone who works with hundreds of pets a week, I can say she is a true joy and brightens your day. You can’t help but love her.”

Want to Help? 

For Paws Hospice is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so all donations are tax deductible.

Want to adopt? See animals for adoption at Pinellas County Animal Services or, right here in town, Get Rescued in Gulfport.

Lynda September 11, 2012 at 03:24 PM
You always tell the best stories with happy endings, Shelly. Thanks for a day brightener on a day we all needed one.
Shelly Maslak September 11, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Thank you for the amazing compliment Lynda.

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