Friday, July 29, 2016

Dog learns to walk after losing paws to abuse.

By Erin Gallagher
For lehighvalleylive.com

Michaella, a mastiff with no paws, learns to walk again with the help of a cart at Creature Comforts Veterinary Service in Saylorsburg, Monroe County, on July 27, 2016. The dog required all four paws to be amputated after a neglect case in February, according to caretakers.

"It was one of the worst cases of animal abuse the veterinary office had ever seen. 

And now the comeback story is one of the greatest.

Since being allegedly stabbed, beaten with a hammer and left to die by her owner in February, an English mastiff named Michaella has been cared for at Creature Comforts Veterinary Service in Saylorsburg, Pa.

When she arrived at the Monroe County veterinarian on Feb. 5, caretakers discovered Michaella had suffered severe wounds, hypothermia and recently given birth to a litter of stillborn puppies.


After she received emergency care, the dog was in a coma for three weeks and from there slowly improved.

On March 2, veterinarians decided that the only option was to remove her frostbitten paws.

"I didn't see how she was going to survive," said Barbara Tokar, kennel supervisor at Creature Comforts. "Now, it's opening up her cage door in the morning, she crawls out, she's happy to see everybody and wagging her tail."

"She gets her bandages changed every day, and now we're starting her with the cart, to see if we can get her back legs moving."

With the help of a cart designed for canine rehabilitation -- called a "quad cart" -- Michaella is able to move herself around for the first time since the abuse. The cart has four wheels and special supports to increase mobility.


Dr. Karin Breitlauch, Creature Comforts' owner and veterinarian, said the ultimate plan is to outfit the dog with prosthetics.

"The optimal is that she'll be able to walk on all four legs with little prosthetics," she said.

Breitlauch said Michaella -- she'll be 3 years old in November -- is gaining a quarter-inch of skin per week and she believes she'll be ready for prosthetics approximately eight weeks from now.

Besides the care she's received, Breitlauch attributed Michaella's remarkable recovery to her incredible spirit.

"She never gave up and we never gave up on her," the doctor said.


Michaella's owner and accused attacker, 31-year-old Brandon Cramer, of Saylorsburg, was charged with animal cruelty on Feb. 19.

Cramer, the 1500 block of Bonser Road, waived his preliminary hearing on March 28 and the case was transferred to Monroe County Court, according to court records.

He thought the dog needed to be put down after giving birth to stillborn pups and tried to do it himself, according to a WNEP-TV report. Instead of taking her to a veterinarian, he hit the dog with a hammer and stabbed her with a kitchen knife attached to a pole, the TV station reported.

Michaella's custody is being transferred to Creature Comforts.

Despite what she's been through, staffers at Creature Comforts say Michaella's outlook is bright.


"I think she is going to completely heal," Tokar said. "I think she's going to get prosthetics and then be running around."'

Click here for the original article.


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