A young Pit bull named Freckles is fighting to stay alive after enduring unimaginable abuse. The 1-year-old dog was found in a dumpster by animal control in northeast Baltimore, Maryland.
Note: the latest updates on Freckles appear at the bottom of this page.
**Warning Graphic content and images below may be disturbing to some readers**
Freckles appears to have been dragged behind a vehicle for a long distance and then left for dead. He was dragged long enough for his flesh to be peeled to the bone and one of his legs so badly damaged it will have to be amputated. If that was not trauma enough, Freckles was also severely malnourished, weighing half his normal body weight, and had been fed metal objects and coins.
He was rushed to Essex Middle River Veterinary Center for emergency care, his infected wounds treated and surgery done to remove the foreign objects from his stomach. Miraculously, he has survived.
Doctors at the clinic in Essex did what they could for Freckles and issued a plea for help from anyone that could assist with the critical care he will need to survive. Noah's Ark Rescue in South Carolina contacted BARCS rescue in Baltimore and said they would take Freckles under their care.
Jennifer Smith, president of the rescue, said that they will be working to get Freckles back on his feet. He is currently resting in ICU critical care and will remain there for the next few weeks to monitor his condition.
"The pictures are so horrific and cruel that words alone are not enough. Outrage is not enough. Crying is not enough," Jennifer wrote. Despite the horrors Freckles endured, the little dog has a spark of life in him. And as long as he is fighting, Jennifer said, her rescue will do what they can for him.
She wrote, "I will fight along side him and do whatever it takes to make him comfortable and to thrive. I never give up or give in. An abused animal always lets us know when it is time to let them go."
As of Tuesday, Freckles was able to lift his head and take a treat. Jennifer wrote, "I am happy to say that our dear boy has been able to hold his head up some today. Before we had to help him and today he seems to be a little more lively. He is eating like a champ and has remained stable all day with constant care and monitoring."
If you would like to help contribute to Freckles care visit Noah's Ark Rescue website here to make a donation.
Update: March 28, 2013
Freckles has had a few good days according to Noah's Ark Rescue and he's slowly becoming more animated and well enough to begin physical therapy. The rescue writes on their Facebook page:
We started doing physical therapy yesterday to see what we could do so his muscles do not atrophy more than they already have. I don’t believe our sweet boy was given an opportunity to walk very much in his life. He has very little muscle mass at all. His condition had gone beyond being emaciated. It is more like he has been this way most of his life.
The physical therapy has been wonderful for Freckles. It has given him a small sense of freedom. He is placed over a ball where we move him so he contracts his muscles. He tires easily but does like doing it and it is the only way we can restore any muscles to his body.
Freckles also had surgery done on his front legs to remove necrotic tissue. Doctors are doing what they can to attempt to save one front leg, but both limbs are still in danger due to the terrible damage they have. Noah's Ark wries, "We are going to wait two weeks to determine which leg cannot be brought back and which leg has the best possible chance. Based on what we are seeing, we will know during that time which one will have to go to save his Life."
His feeding has been progressing albeit slowly due to Re-Feeding Syndrome. This is a condition where the body has difficulty taking in and digesting food properly due to starvation. But Freckles has been making baby steps and Noah's Ark said that the "best news of all (besides him wagging his tail) is that he has started talking to us. We are all so surprised and excited that he feels well enough to want to interact and talk."
Here's a video of Freckles barking:
To view the video on Facebook click here.
Update: April 4, 2013
Freckles has had a few great days of progress. According to Noah's Ark Rescue, "He is alert and doing well with his rehab." The great news is he is officially no longer septic. He also has been able to stand on his own! "Standing takes up so much energy that he can only do it for a very short period of time. The fact he can do it at all is a miracle," says Noah's Ark.
Freckles is still in ICU in Critical Care and will be for many more months to come. Although he is standing and taking tentative steps, he still has open wounds that are troublesome and a concern and is still skin and bones. His body needs lots of food to heal, but as he has re-feeding syndrome (due to starvation), it is a complicated process. But the amazing the news is that they believe Freckles will survive and they feel they will be able to save both his legs!
Noah's Ark anticipate it will be at least 4 months before he gets back to a healthy weight and 6 months before he has enough muscle to walk for any amount of time. But Noah's Ark promises to be with him all along the way: "We love this incredible little boy that has chosen not to give up and keep fighting."
Update April 18, 2013
Noah's Ark posted an update on Freckles today. Freckles has been fighting a Staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Freckles has not just had one dangerous bacterial infection, but several over the course of the past month.
The infection appears to have gone all the way into the bone of one of his legs. If the infection has moved into the joint, doctors will have no choice but to remove his leg to save his life. This is particularly sad news because Freckles has recently had a highly successful skin graft surgery. Doctors are currently running culture tests to determine the extent of the infection.
On the positive side, Freckles is still in fighting and showing positive signs of recovery. Also, Noah's Ark said they have gotten permission to use a hyperbaric chamber, which will help him fight off the infection. They said that Freckles will have these treatments for the next week in hopes to save his leg. A vet tech will be driving Freckles each day to and from the chamber (nearly a 10 hour round trip).
Noah's Ark said they appreciate all the positive thoughts caring everyone has shown for Freckles and are remaining positive, saying Freckles has made lots of progress from when he first came to them.
A reminder that if you would like to help towards Freckles medical care visit Noah's Ark Rescue website here to make a donation.
Update May 19, 2013
Noah's Ark Rescue posted an update on Freckles today. After a rough few weeks battling off a persistent infection and suffering several other health complications (including a seizure) Freckles is doing really well.
He had an MRI that showed his brain was in perfect condition and not affected by the seizure. He also had a surgery to implant antibiotic "beads" into the one infected wound, which enabled surgeons to close it up permanently.
Noah's Ark wrote, "We have had a lot of tortured and abused animals over the last 6 years but nothing compares to what was required to save Freckles." They added, "He has never given up on us and has kept fighting the entire time we have been treating him."
His health stabilized, Freckles has been able to enjoy some well-earned freedom. He has been going home with his foster family at night and returning to the hospital during the day. Freckles loves to run and play with the dogs in his foster family. He has a few issues with his ankles in his front legs (due to his injuries) but he is enjoying being able to get around after so many months of immobility.
Later this week, Freckles will be going to live with Noah Ark's trainer for a few months in order to work on his behavior and emotional health. He is still very fearful that someone is going to hurt him and has food aggression. But given the traumas and abuse he's had to endure in his short life, these issues are not unexpected. He is already a lot better with socialization and Noah's Ark said "he loves animals and is delighted when he can get outside and play."
Update: June 8, 2013
Freckles is "doing wonderful" according to Noah's Ark Rescue. He has been with his trainer for two weeks now and is slowly learning to trust her. They suspect he has been an outside dog and lived with other animals, as he loves playing and being with other animals.
Noah's Ark is currently processing adoption applications and still accepting applications, although it will still be some time before Freckles is ready to go to a home. The rescue has also decided that Freckles cannot be placed with young children.
As for the investigation into finding Freckles' abuser/owner, there is a $5000 reward being offered by Noah's Ark Rescue for anyone who leads authorities to the arrest of Freckles' abuser. Freckles' owner is thought to be in the Baltimore City area in Maryland.
If anyone knows Freckles (by a different name) please contact: Baltimore City Animal Control at 410-396-4698 or email: Sharon.email@example.com.
Update: July 12, 2013
Freckles is a dog transformed! After many months of recovery from his horrific injuries, Noah's Ark Rescue says he is nearly ready to be adopted. Noah's Ark Rescue updated their Facebook page a few days ago with a wonderful update on how he's doing.
FRECKLES is doing wonderful. He is finally getting over his MRSA infection that came back on his leg. We thought we were going to have to cut the area out but the antibiotics finally stated to do their job and the area is now going away. Our sweet boy now weighs 70 lbs. and still has a ways to go. We are beginning to think he is a Dalmatian / Great Dane Mix based on the size of his head and his paws. Our Little Land Shark is finally making lots of headway in the trust department. Given time, he is learning to trust people that we introduce him to. He is still in training and will be until he has been placed in a loving home. His carpal area we think is getting stronger. It is going to take a long time for this to correct itself because of how weak and emaciated he was when we got him. He will need to be placed in a home where there is a strong confident handler that he trusts to love and protect him. He loves to play with all animals but cannot be placed with small animals because he plays far too rough and likes to chase them. It is not a fair chase since his legs are unbelievably long. He gallops right past and over them. The worst is over for our dear Freckles. It is now just a matter of getting rid of his final infection, staying on top of his training and weening him off all of his meds that have supported his immune system while he heals. Thanks for all the love and support you have shown sweet Freckles. He will soon move into the next stage of his Journey which will be a new home.
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