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Helping Polo on his road to recovery

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Published on: May 19, 2017

Little Polo was severely injured after being taken from his owner's yard at Manitoba’s Red Sucker Lake First Nation and thrown in a fire pit. Thanks to the efforts of Save A Dog Network Canada and Tuxedo Animal Hospital, he's on the road to recovery, but he has a long way to go.

According to Dr. Jonas Watson at Winnipeg’s Tuxedo Animal Hospital, where Polo is being treated, the little dog is on the mend, but the severity of his injuries means it’s been a slow process so far.

“He was flown down to us and we had to do a physical assessment to see what kind of damage was caused as a result of the fire and the smoke,” says Dr. Watson. “There was a lot of damage to his extremities, to his ears and his paws,damage to his body, damage to his respiratory tract including his nose and his throat.

“We began intervening appropriately with medications that included antibiotics, pain control, topical things and systemic medications. As days have gone by, new injuries have declared themselves. Burns sometimes take a while to decide what it is they're going to do and how much damage they're going to cause, so we have hung in there, treated him and watched to see that he's getting better and better all the time. He's looking better now than he was a week ago.”

After the incident, Polo’s devastated family contacted Save a Dog Network Canada, a rescue that has been active in the region.

“Polo is very special to us because we met him as a baby –we've kept in contact with his family – as well as the heinous act that was actually done to him,” says Save a Dog Network’s Katie Powell. “He's such a gentle boy and nobody deserves to have such a terrible act done towards them.”

Since initial news reports about Polo’s injuries, Powell says there’s been an outpouring of support from across Manitoba, across Canada, and even internationally. Petsecure made a donation to Save a Dog Network to help pay for the cost of Polo’s medical treatment.

“Often, in rescue, you feel alone,” says Powell. “You feel nobody gets it, people just go on with their days, and they don't understand these dogs that come in... until you live it, until you meet these dogs and you form a bond with them.

“So to have outside supporters that ‘get it’, like Petsecure does, you step into people's lives when these families need it the most. We're always thankful because we're just a small little group with big dreams, so it's always nice when people see our vision and they're eager to get involved.”

Dr. Watson says Polo is expected to be in hospital recovering for at least six more weeks, at which time he’ll be flown to British Columbia and adopted out by a shelter affiliated with Save a Dog Network. Manitoba RCMP are currently investigating the incident.