Monday, May 2, 2011

Patrick the Pit Bull

Pit bull abandoned in NJ gains worldwide following

A 1-year-old pit bull nicknamed Patrick sits Tuesday, April 5, 2011, near piles of gifts donated to him as he recovers at Garden State Veterinary Spec  
AP – A 1-year-old pit bull nicknamed Patrick sits Tuesday, April 5, 2011, near piles of gifts donated to him … 
NEWARK, N.J. – When an emaciated pit bull found at the bottom of a trash chute in New Jersey was rushed to a veterinary emergency room last month, doctors there thought he would be dead within the hour.

Instead, the scrappy pup, nicknamed Patrick, has defied the odds and is getting stronger by the day.

"He is a tremendous fighter," said Dr. Thomas Scavelli, the director and founder of the Garden State Veterinary Specialists, the pet hospital in Tinton Falls where Patrick is being treated. "There are very few animals, or any life form, that could have gone through and survived what he has, and really never looked back."

Hospital staffers, who named the dog for his reddish fur and because he was found the day before St. Patrick's Day, have been chronicling his progress on their website and a Facebook page that has garnered fans from around the world. He's received hundreds of emails, donations, gifts and letters from those inspired by his tale of survival.

When Patrick was brought to the hospital after being rescued by officials at the Associated Humane Societies, he was so starved, emaciated and dehydrated he was curled into a ball, unable to walk or stand. His ribcage protruded, he weighed about 20 pounds — roughly 30 pounds less than average — and was covered in sores with parts of skin hanging off him, according to Patricia Smillie-Scavelli, Thomas Scavelli's wife and the administrator of the hospital.

"Everyone thought that, you bring in an animal like that, that looks like it's really just a corpse, you put it to sleep," Smillie-Scavelli said. "But of course, he looked up at you with those eyes, and you say: How can you give up on this dog? How can you, when he's not giving up on life? So, we gave him that second chance, and he has just run with it, and thrived."

Today, after weeks of emergency measures that included a transfusion of three pints of dog blood, a special diet, medicine and physical therapy, Patrick continues gaining weight — currently weighing just over 29 pounds — is finally eating solid food, and enjoys taking outdoor walks in the sun and playing with the many toys that well-wishers have sent him.

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