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.