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An Aptly Named Pup Named Trooper


Trooper (our name for him), an incredibly sweet young hound, was grievously injured when hit by a car in King William County on April 20, 2009. His back end was quite literally in shambles -- multiple breaks in both legs, a fractured pelvis, both hips dislocated, and a torn ligament in one ankle. He was clearly in terrible pain.

The animal control officer who found Trooper took him to the county shelter where they did all they were in a position to do for him -- which was very, very little -- while waiting for an owner to claim him who, in all likelihood, was not even looking for him.

Three days later, while struggling to cope with his horrible injuries, Trooper faced yet another life-threatening crisis -- severe anemia. Recognizing that Trooper would die if he didn't receive immediate medical attention that the shelter was unable to provide, shelter staff reached out for help. HART was the only organization of the many groups contacted to answer the call. Since internal bleeding seemed a distinct possibility, a HART volunteer left early the next morning on the four-hour round trip to bring Trooper to the HOPE Center, a veterinary emergency/specialty practice facility in Vienna.

Examination at the HOPE Center confirmed that Trooper was indeed in very bad shape. Before surgery for his shattered bones could even be considered, his anemia had to be addressed, his blood counts raised, and his debilitated condition significantly improved so he could survive the surgery/ies. While tests ruled out significant internal injuries, the cause of Trooper's anemia soon became apparent -- he was loaded with ticks. Shelter staff reported that they had administered Frontline and pulled more than 50 ticks from Trooper, many others fell off on the trip to northern Virginia, and still, the medical staff at HOPE found and removed well over 100 more. Trooper received the blood transfusion and IV fluids and nourishment he so desperately needed.

On April 27, one week after being hit, Trooper had the first of two surgeries, to reconstruct broken bones on the left side of his body. Two days later, after receiving another blood transfusion, his right side was repaired. His pelvis is expected to heal on its own.

Trooper's spirit has been nothing short of valiant. Despite his excruciating pain, his tail -- the only part of his rear quarters that worked -- never stopped thumping. He never snapped or even cried out as he was being moved and handled. Trooper has enchanted just about all, if not all of the medical staff who worked with him with his sweetness and his courage. He has responded well to his surgeries but faces lengthy rehabilitation. Clearly, his medical bills will be huge.

Giving Trooper the gift of life was an easy decision given HART's institutional bias toward helping the animals who need us most, yet gave us pause because we have taken in so many broken dogs and cats needing expensive medical help in recent months. Our resources are always a concern. Bottom line, knowing what Trooper had been through, was going through, we just couldn't leave him in that situation. We fervently hope we will never have to say no to a dog or cat in such desperate need for lack of funds. The King William shelter has asked some of their loyal supporters to help with Trooper's medical expenses. Won't you please join them by sponsoring Trooper? We'll keep you posted on Trooper's progress here.


Update 5/13/09: Trooper is featured in an video about the Hope Center!

Update 5/14/09: Trooper went for his first "Physical Therapy" today. Carol said he is doing really well for all that he has gone through. Trooper is starting to put weight on the leg with the plates and pins in it. We still need to wait for the ankle and ligament splint to come off for that leg. His hips have good range of motion and looks as though we will be able to strengthen him to whole. He has another Physical Therapy appointment the first week in June. In the meantime, he will be seeing the surgeons for a follow up on May 26th. As is always the case with Trooper, he never made a sound nor was he resistant to all the activity today. What a CHAMP this guy is!

Update 5/26/09: Trooper went for a follow up visit at the HOPE Center today. Dr. Taylor was amazed at his speed in recovery just one month after his first surgery. Trooper is now standing on his own and walking (well, swaggering) without a sling. His ankle which was broken, and has had artificial tendon placed in it, still needs a couple of weeks in the cast and if all goes well, the cast should be removed on June 9. He is doing well with therapy and loves his foster home. He is still as mild mannered as ever. No matter the therapy or Doctors visits, he is still all smiles and does not snap or bark at anyone. He goes back on June 2nd for a cast change, then, hopefully on June 9th the cast will come off. We will keep you posted along the way.

Update 5/29/09: Trooper will be at the Petco Burke event on May 30 to meet and greet! While still not available yet for adoption, we thought he might like to meet some of his sponsors and potential adopters. Stop by and say hello to this remarkable hound!

Update 6/9/09: Trooper went to the surgeon's office today and he was able to remove the final cast from Trooper's right leg. Trooper is still being the greatest of champions with his attitude. Trooper continues to have his physical therapy. Trooper has been to two adoption events to meet and great his friends and supporters. Must admit he loves all the attention, especially the children. He will be at the Petco Fairfax event on June 13, 2009, then will take a couple of weeks off to rehab. He is getting stronger every day and his attitude is always at the top even during our physical therapy sessions at his foster mom's.

We will begin taking applications for Trooper the first week in July. He will be at the July 4th adoption event. Trooper sends his love and gratitude for all donations received so far, and he says thanks for letting HART help other canine and feline friends to get a forever home with lots of love and affection!

Update 7/1/09: We are NOW accepting applications for Trooper's forever home!

Update 7/9/09: Trooper has now made his final follow-up visit with HOPE Center. He was cleared yesterday with final xrays. His femur has healed quicker than they imagined. His ankle is on pace for complete recovery. He was so proud of himself that they actually had to sedate him a little for the xrays. Trooper now has full muscle control in the hind quarters to where he can fully roll all the way over and that was what he was showing them! Trooper as always has been the super gentleman no matter what they do to him. He has one more physical therapy appointment and that should be the end of his long ordeal from the tangle with the car. Trooper is soooo ready for a new home with a family that can return all the love he gives. We are currently accepting applications for Trooper's forever home.

Trooper says "thanks a bunch for all the support and love, now please don't forget my other buddies that need the same love and support you gave me". HART gave Trooper another chance at a great life, let us always be able to say YES to others who need support!


Update 8/1/09: Trooper is now Adoption Pending! He went home today on a Foster-To-Adopt with a previous HART adopter and we're hoping it will become his forever home. Stay posted!

Update 8/4/09: Trooper went home on a Foster-To-Adopt this past Saturday. His new owner, a previous HART adopter, forwarded these pictures to share with those following his story. If all goes well, as it seems it is, Trooper will be officially adopted by the end of this month! Trooper has completed his physical therapy and doctor's appointments. He is well on his way to a full recovery with ever so slight a swagger/limp in his walk.

We truly want to thank everyone who helped Trooper on his way to this happy ending. This success is what HART is all about!



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