TRAP's Surgeries: Dogs Are Not Discards

NEW YORK, NY: On November 12, 2020,  a large, injured pit bull being deliberately tied up and abandoned on a Brooklyn Street was captured on videotape. After being contacted by Dottie, the owner of Bushwick Bark, the store he was tied up in front of, we took this dog in and shared his story with the world. In the first week we had him in our One Lucky Pup rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming program, we learned quite a bit about the dog we named ALBERT (affectionately BIG AL.) For dogs whose fate is left to the kindness of strangers with the hope that the wrong people don’t get to them first, background information is an uncommon valuable.

As it turned out, ALBERT already had a name - his owners called him TRAP. We know this because a year earlier, in November 2019 he was brought to our city shelter, NYC ACC, as a stray. Some people told us we were wrong to be so “hard” on his owners, that they probably didn’t know about our city shelter, or that they might have thought it was not a good place, but his owners were aware of the vital services our city shelters provide. Not only did they reclaim for there last year,  they had also previously brought him there to seek veterinary services.

When ALBERT, who we are now calling TRAP (his name is all he has left), was brought to NYC ACC last year he weighed 66 lbs. and was noted to have no mobility issues. When TRAP was discarded by his family a few days ago, who refused to return messages left that TRAP had been located, he weighed 92 lbs. and walked with the majority of his massive body on his forelegs. TRAP, estimated to actually be only 4-5 years old, not the senior he appeared to be when we first took him in, suffers from severe hip dysplasia – one of his hips does not even rest in the socket. In addition to this, his teeth are literally rotting out of his mouth with an infection so severe he needs an immediate dental surgery, or he risks sepsis.

TRAP’s family knew where they could bring him if they could no longer care for him, but they chose to discard him to the mercy of anyone who happened upon him. TRAP was callously abandoned, in pain, frightened to suddenly find himself amongst only strangers. 

Remarkably, despite the trauma of being recklessly discarded, a mouth full of painfully rotting teeth and the incredible pain of severe, advanced hip dysplasia, and painful carpal (wrist) hyperextension due to the majority of weight being concentrated on his forelegs, TRAP has not been aggressive at all. His bark can be loud and demanding, but he gets a pass for this – he is trying to tell us what hurts, what he doesn’t like, that he wants to be comforted, paid attention to and touched.

TRAP kennels beautifully, sadly perfectly, as though he is used to being in his own place and isolated. He is quiet when he is brought back to his comfortable orthopedic bed after his walks, enrichment and hang time with the canine care team at Instinct, where is waiting until we can find the right foster home for him. He has quickly become a staff favorite and decompressed quickly. We see glimmers of the dog he is trying to be, the playful young pit bull who wants to run and jump, but who is held back by a body aged far beyond his actual years. It is for these reasons, for his sweet temperament, for his desire to be engaged with, for his youth and for the brutally unfair way he was discarded that we have made the decision to go all the way with his plan of care.

After TRAP undergoes an extensive dental surgery with multiple extractions and a thorough cleaning, he will be scheduled to undergo a total hip replacement surgery. This procedure is expected to give him back his mobility to that he can run and jump without pain, so that he can start his life over again. The recovery will be extensive, but we believe it is very much worth, and do does TRAP.

We made the decision to keep his name because it is his only familiarity. Erasing his identity isn’t fair. He does not know what we are saying when we call out “Albert!”, but when we greet him with “Hey, TRAP!”, he turns immediately, wags his tail in recognition and heads our way, enveloped in a beautiful smile. Knowing his name means we can connect with him, an integral source of comfort in a very scary, new world for him. We will continue to update TRAP’s remarkable, resilient story as his surgeries begin. His costs will take a heavy toll on our #OneLuckyPup program and so we are grateful for any size donation, though likley not nearly as much as TRAP.

Note: We were able to track his story down is through an unregistered microchip that was routed only the NYC ACC, who went out of their way to assist us in our efforts to learn as much about him as possible so that we could start over with him. While there is still information we do not know, we believe it will come to light in the future as is case is investigated. For now, we are focused on how to best help TRAP.

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Mr. Bones & Co. is a volunteer based animal welfare non-profit. Our main function is canine rescue via One Lucky Pup, our rescue, rehabilitation and adoption program. We accept all breeds into our program with an emphasis on pit bull rescue. OLP specializes in dogs facing extraordinary challenges. We focus on the quality of our cases, not the quantity. By keeping our program small, typically no more than fifteen dogs at a time, we put an intensive amount of attention into each dog. Learn more at www.mrbonesandco.org

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Mr. Bones & Co Animal Welfare Nonprofit 
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New York, NY
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