Today’s news:

Walter is one sick puppy — and he needs your help now

The Brooklyn Paper

Walter, the severely injured pitbull pup of Park Slope, is on life support — and he needs your help!

Walter was discovered on Easter Sunday at 15th Street and Third Avenue by Alex Darsey, who lives nearby. After inquiring about where this pitiful puppy had come from, a neighbor told Darsey that he had just seen a car pull up, ditch the dog, and peel off.

Walter’s heartless previous owners had left him in a sorry state. The two- or three-month-old sick puppy had an extreme case of mange and was severely malnourished and dehydrated.

But according to Walter’s collective owners — a group of five friends who all work at Southpaw on Fifth Avenue between Sterling and St. Johns places — that was the least of the pup’s worries.

“It appears that his previous owners used some sort of chemical — like bleach or ammonia — in a cruel and misguided effort to treat the mange,” his owners wrote in an online post.

“He was like an open sore when we found him,” added Keenan Juska, who is one of the dog’s caretakers and a DJ who runs the awesome “Chances With Wolves” radio show. “He doesn’t have any fur on his legs. He looks like a burn victim.”

Juska and his compatriots doped the dog up with antibiotics and anti-parasite meds, as well as baths to soothe his raw and inflamed flesh.

“After a few days of baths, good meals and lots of love and attention from his new family, Walter seemed to be doing really well,” Walter’s caregivers wrote.

But his improving health was short-lived.

On April 11, Walter began ignoring food, and his temperature and electrolytes went into sharp decline. According to Juska, his body temperature was in fact so low that it didn’t even register on the veterinarian’s thermometer. He was then put in a doggy-incubator of sorts, and given a canine IV.

“His mange is so bad that he no longer has his fur to act as an immune defense,” his owners wrote. “His body is like a sponge for bacteria and infection, and he is so weak that he cannot fight it on his own.”

“Normally, a puppy with a healthy immune system can fight off [the mange],” Juska added. “But he didn’t get food and wasn’t able to fight it — his stomach got upset and that’s what got him sick again.”

Still, Walter fights on. But as he slowly recovers in doggy intensive care, his owners now have to cope with the fact that his emergency treatment costs loads of cash.

“We’re all working poor,” Juska said. “This is a totally unforeseen expense.”

Juska added that the bill from just two days of in-patient treatment at the veterinary emergency clinic on Warren Street between Smith and Court streets came to around $2,000. The veterinarians there are doing everything in their power to keep Walter in good health — but until universal pet health care gets passed, the bills will keep piling up.

Fortunately, the donations have begun coming in, and Juska said that if they keep coming in they’ll be able to keep Walter in the clinic for as long as necessary. And when — and if — Walter makes it out, he’ll be welcomed with open arms into their home.

So Walter’s new owners are soliciting donations to get the pup through this heart-wrenching ordeal.

“We were looking at each other [in the clinic] saying ‘How are we going to handle this?’” Juska said. “But once you embrace the fact that you got this great community in Brooklyn in general — it’s helped out a lot.”

But Walter still has a long road to recovery — and remains in a fragile state.

“We wouldn’t want to make a decision about this little guy’s future based on an inability to continue to pay for medical care,” his desperate owners wrote. “We are all doing our best to come up with whatever we can, but our pockets are only so deep.”

Donations for Walter, the severely traumatized puppy of Park Slope, can be made through helpsavewalter.blogspot.com.

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Reader Feedback

Richie rich from parkslope says:
Going to donate...
April 15, 2010, 11:05 am
ms nomer from greenpoint says:
Me too.
April 15, 2010, 3:25 pm
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
Def will help too, I really hope that he makes it
April 15, 2010, 5:54 pm
Bruce from midwood says:
Donation sent
April 15, 2010, 7:16 pm
ms nomer from greenpoint says:
Sent a donation today, and added his Facebook page to mine - help spread the word please?!
April 16, 2010, 8:28 am
Vincent from Carroll Gardens says:
Oh, yeah, PSlopers! Just what the world needs - more pitbulls. Maybe you can use him to fight Ratner on Atlantic Yards.
April 16, 2010, 9:48 am
Kelly from park slope says:
vincent. only someone totally devoid of emotion would look at a photo of a sentient animal...a BABY no less... with raw swollen skin devoid of fur, and read that poor dog's story about having been sick and tortured and have reacted that way. what an absolute a*hole.
April 16, 2010, 10:56 am
Richie rich from parkslope says:
@ Vincent, why do you hate slopers? whats up? take a chill pill and relax son.
April 16, 2010, 12:07 pm
Janet from WT says:
I just donated also. Animal cruelty is sickening.
April 16, 2010, 12:58 pm
SPB from Park Slope says:
Yup. It is sickening. Nothing more to say. I sent a donation.
April 20, 2010, 1:26 pm
BK from Upper East Side says:
What is the facebook page? This story breaks my heart. Saw it on the news tonight
April 21, 2010, 12:17 am
Cynthia from Richmond Hill says:
There's any chance you could open a bank account, I think it will be faster and easier to collect donations for Walter and some phone number also. The Best and thanks for everything you do for that baby
Cynthia
April 21, 2010, 2:04 pm
sam B says:
i love dogs the person who did this is a man animal he should be ashamed of him self this should hont them for the rest of their life!!! the person who did this should be at lest donating to help!!!!
April 21, 2010, 6:17 pm
Dena from Manhattan says:
@ Vincent: Go to your doctor so he can remove the pole that is so firmly lodged up your a**. Bring some educational books so you can learn a thing or two about "pit bulls" (which is a blanket term applied to over two dozen breeds). Can you even spot the real American Pit Bull Terrier out of this lineup? http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html

Many APBTs serve as search and rescue, therapy, service, and narcotics dogs.http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/pospress.html

They also score higher on temperament tests than the Golden Retriever, Poodle, Collie, Beagle, and many other "family pets" that aren't negatively affected by the incredible ignorance you display. http://atts.org/stats1.html

And, for the record, the most aggressive dog I ever met was a Golden Retriever. My dog needed 28 stitches in his skull to fix the damage done by it.
April 23, 2010, 12:55 pm
Eugenia Renskoff from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn says:
I am very glad that somebody found Walter and saved him. It makes me happy to know there are people who, like me, care deeply about dogs. Eugenia Renskoff
April 23, 2010, 3:43 pm
Erica from santa barbara says:
Thank God for such wonderful people who saved Walter!!!
I saw him on the local news today!! Full of life and looking so beautiful....such a lovey.....and it's all because of YOU!

warm hugs from the west coast
Aug. 4, 2010, 9:01 pm
ron from millersville, pa says:
i saw walter's story on the today show. and i was touched,and at the same time glad to see he is doing great. i'm just sorry i didn't see his story sooner so i could have helped.
Aug. 5, 2010, 5:56 am

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