Dog found severely abused given second chance at life thanks to donations made to Forever Paws

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) – A Shih Tzu found severely abused has gotten a second chance at life thanks to Forever Paws Animal Shelter in Fall River.

Gail Furtado, president of the shelter’s board of directors, said the dog was brought to the shelter earlier this month by a Good Samaritan. Furtado said they found the dog, who’s estimated to be around the age of 10 and is now named Pip, roaming the streets of New Bedford.

“I was here the day the dog came in and the dog was so…such in bad shape. It was very sad, brought tears to everyone’s eyes here so it was really, really bad,” Furtado said. “He was so matted, you know how Shih Tzus are, their hair grows out. His eyes were all closed, he couldn’t even open his eyes, his eyes were severely matted and his hair was all entwined all over his body.”

Animal control took Pip to a veterinarian, where it was discovered one of Pip’s legs had severe tissue damage.

“It was down to bare bone. You could actually see the muscle and the bone and it had to be amputated, and there were maggots all over his body. So he was really bad.”

The vet said there were two options: amputate his leg or euthanize him. To Forever Paws, there was only one option.

“We contacted the vet and said we wanted to try and save his life, so we did, and we’re very happy about that.”

Furtado said it was only possible thanks to donations from the public to the shelter’s veterinary fund.

“I just want to thank everybody who donated for Pip, you know, we did get a substantial amount of money for Pip and it’s helped with his recovery and his surgery and it’ll be helping the next animal. That’s what I want people to know. We keep that money separate and for special cases like Pip.”

For now, Pip, who’s on the mend, is being fostered by Furtado and will soon be up for adoption. Applications are already coming in for him, she said.

“This is our 25th anniversary this year so I’ve been doing this for 24 and, you know, but it’s good when you see them in a good home and you see them happy and see people happy and crying with them and all that… that’s a reward.”

For more information on Pip and other animals at Forever Paws, click here.

© WLNE-TV 2021

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island