It’s a story about a dog severely injured, left to fend for herself, and a case of unconditional puppy love that is touching the hearts of many.
The dog was found in an Orlando, Florida, neighborhood earlier this month. She had lost her nose and sinus cavity, “leaving a shortened snout with pronounced canines that give her an other-worldly, saber-toothed look,” reports The Tampa Tribune. The 2-year-old Pit Bull mix was malnourished and had to crawl to and fro because her rear legs didn’t work.
Khalessi — named after the “Game of Thrones” heroine — was taken to Orange County Animal Services. It was there that she met Stephanie Paquin, founder of St. Petersburg, Florida-based rescue group Passion 4 Pits, and her life took a turn for the better.
“My husband and I had gone into Orlando for a couple days off and … we stopped by the Orange County Animal Services to check on a dog that was on the euthanasia list,” Paquin told the Tribune.
She said one of the staff asked her to look a special case dog, with which they needed help.
“When they brought her out, I immediately started crying,” Paquin added. “She came home with us that day.”
It’s unclear how Khalessi ended up in such a state, but it is believed she had been abused. Paquin told the newspaper she is doing all she can to help Khalessi – who has more than doubled her weight since being found – despite being criticized by some who say the dog should be euthanized to prevent suffering.
Veterinarian Kerri Slomcenski, owner of Hays Towne Veterinary Hospital in Hudson, Florida, supports Paquin. Slomcenski took X-rays, which revealed Khalessi will need up to five surgeries to repair her legs, a fractured spine and broken ribs that didn’t heal properly and her snout, according to the Tribune. Other than that, there was little indication the dog was suffering at all, she told the newspaper.
“It’s all fixable,” Slomcenski said of Khalessi, who will be put up for adoption after her operations and rehabilitation. “She’s not ever going to be a regular dog. But what is a regular dog?”
Passion 4 Pits is raising money to help cover the vet bills. To date, the organization has raised more than $44,000 on Yourcaring.com.
Despite all she has endured, Khalessi remains a happy little dog.
“She’s playful and gets along with other dogs,” Paquin told the Tribune. “She has an amazing personality for what she has been through and continues to go through.”