Community comes to the aid of abused dog

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Lucky, a female Terrier mix, was abused and is in the care of Naugatuck Animal Control. Animal control is seeking donations to help pay for Lucky’s medical treatment. -CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Thanks to the support of the community, an abused dog is getting the help she needs and will hopefully soon have a new home.

Naugatuck Animal Control recently took possession of Lucky, a female Terrier mix who is about 10 years old. Lucky was abused and signed over to animal control, police said. The case is still under investigation.

Lucky came to Naugatuck Animal Control with tumors in her belly and a hole in the roof of her mouth, police said. Police are working with the staff at Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital to treat Lucky.

“The veterinarian previously assessed Lucky and believes, with surgery, Lucky will have many years to give to her forever family,” Naugatuck Animal Control Officer Caitlin Falkowski said.

Police reached out to the community for donations to help pay for Lucky’s medical treatment. As of Thursday, about $3000 had been raised. Officials expect they need $5,000 for her treatment.

People can call Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital at 203-723-7187 to donate, and say the donation is for Lucky. If people donate more than Lucky needs for her treatment, Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital will hold the additional donations for future animals in need, police said.

“Lucky was deprived medical care for over two and a half years. With help from the community Lucky can get the surgery she needs to end her suffering. She will gain quality of life, so she can finally have a family that will give her the love she so deserves,” Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital veterinary technician Madeline Nelson said. “Without help from the community, Lucky would’ve been euthanized.”

Dr. Stacey Dallas and veterinarians also discovered Lucky had mucometra, a buildup of mucus in the uterus, on Tuesday. Dallas spayed Lucky and removed one chain of mammary masses the following day during a three-hour emergency surgery.

Lucky has four large tumors, some a little bigger than golf balls, and at least a dozen small tumors on her mammary glands. Nelson doesn’t believe the tumors are cancerous.

In addition, most of Lucky’s teeth are rotten, Nelson said. She has a hole in the roof of her mouth where a canine tooth fell out. Her food had been going into the pea-size hole that opens into her nasal canal and she has been sneezing food out.

She will need to get all of the rotten teeth removed to avoid further complications, Nelson said.

Lucky will likely need two more surgeries after she recovers from this week’s operation, Nelson said. Her next surgeries will likely occur in late January.

Despite all she’s been through, Lucky is a loving dog but has some anxiety.

“She is a very sweet dog. You go to the cage and she wants you to hold her,” Nelson said. “When you put her on her back, she gets a little nervous and she tries to nip.”

Once Lucky fully recovers, she will be available for adoption, police said.

“Lucky has had a tough life. Within the walls of our facility sometimes it is hard to gauge how a dog will be once they leave. While rotating dogs through our office, Lucky is a sweet dog that likes to lay on your lap and look into your eyes,” Naugatuck Animal Control Officer Jess Martinez said. “She also listens to our staff’s direction to lay down in the office dog bed and she never fusses going back to her kennel. Lucky will provide more love than a human could ever give.”

The outpouring of support from the community to help Lucky has been a ray of hope for police and the staff at Naugatuck Veterinary Hospital.  

“It means the world to us. It raises our hopes for the future and reminds us of the good people within our community and neighboring communities,” Naugatuck Deputy Police Chief C. Colin McAllister said.