If it wasn't for Melissa De Feis, a volunteer at Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, a neglected Staffordshire terrier mix puppy named Harding would have been put down.
Instead, he was saved from the DeKalb County Animal Shelter and taken to Georgia Veterinary Specialists where veterinarians ran a battery of tests to find out what is wrong with him.
"It is hard to say what exactly is going on with him," Dr. Chris Piscitelli said. "His issues could range from immune disease, to potentially cancer, to a wound that needs to be treated over time, a chemical burn is a possibility. We are hoping for the best for this dog. But, he does have a long road to recover. The hope is he does have a disease that is treatable and responds well."
Piscitelli said his team didn't know how Harding ended up in the condition in which he was found, and couldn't rule a severe case of animal abuse or neglect, either.
Harding was taken to the DeKalb County Animal Shelter on Wednesday, but the information about his owner was unknown.
"He was within hours of being euthanized, he was in a lot of pain and it wouldn't be fair for the shelter to keep him longer than a day," De Feis said. "He is a puppy, and he hasn't lived his life and he has already suffered so much, potentially at the hands of someone. At the very minimum he has been neglected, if he hasn't been chemically burned. And I thought he deserved a second chance at life, and to know that not all humans are bad."
Harding will have to stay at the animal hospital through Sunday, maybe longer.
Doctors need to take biopsies, a dermatologist will check his skin and another specialist will run tests on his vision.
It may be hard to imagine, but when Harding arrived at the hospital he looked a lot worse, but he was given a medicated bath and antibiotics.
Doctors said Harding would be kept in isolation until they know he's not contagious to other dogs.
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