When Steffenie Vela learned that a 5-month-old pit bull puppy with a broken jaw was left at an emergency animal clinic last month, she thought something had to be done to help it.
Vela is the sponsor for the Trinity GAP (Girls Awareness Program) Club, an organization based at Trinity High School that helps rescue and foster animals in Euless.
She soon realized that the puppy, Rex, was a special case in need of a foster family that can closely monitor him as he recovers from surgery to repair his jaw, which was broken in several places.
“Everyone who witnessed Rex’s extreme pain and suffering was very upset by his condition,” she said.
The GAP Club is working with its go-to veterinary care provider, Animal Hospital and Clinic of Arlington, where Rex is awaiting a foster family.
Two years ago, the clinic treated Riley, a German shepherd mix who was badly scalded in a domestic violence incident. Terrell Hill was convicted of animal cruelty/torture last year and sentenced to 10 years of probation.
Keli Brace, the clinic’s office manager, adopted Riley and is also helping to care for Rex.
Brace said that Rex has many restrictions, such as not playing, chewing or eating hard food — all difficult things for a puppy.
“The injuries were very severe, and the prognosis was very guarded for Rex,” Brace said.
She described how Rex had a fracture to the middle of his right lower jaw and another on the lower left side where the jaw curves toward the temple.
Veterinarian Doug Riley operated on part of Rex’s jaw but realized that a dental specialist was needed to repair the lower left portion.
Bonnie Bloom, a veterinarian who specializes in dentistry at the I-20 Animal Medical Center in Arlington, performed that surgery at a discounted cost to the GAP Club.
Rex’s injuries are not consistent with being hit by a car, which was the explanation given when he was dropped off, Brace said.
He loves nothing more than trying to crawl onto your lap. He has a helicopter tail, almost a weapon of mass destruction.
Keli Brace, office manager at the Animal Hospital and Clinic of Arlington
“There are bruises and other evidence if an animal is hit by a car. It was blunt force trauma,” she said.
“Dumping” animals is a problem, Brace said.
“In this day and age, unfortunately, pets have kind of become a disposable commodity if people are moving, if they are having a baby. I can’t begin to tell you the number of excuses we hear on a daily basis,” she said.
“It takes a village to combat that problem.”
Rex is showing all of the signs of a normal, active puppy, but he has many restrictions until his jaw heals. He cannot chew hard food, toys or bones. He also cannot jump or become overly excited so that he won’t accidentally re-injure his jaw, Brace said.
Vela said that GAP Rescue is looking for a “special foster” for Rex who can handle his medical needs and keep him in a quiet environment.
Rex is learning simple commands such as sit and stay, and he loves taking walks, although he must be watched so he doesn’t try to pick up sticks or other things.
“He loves nothing more than trying to crawl onto your lap. He has a helicopter tail, almost a weapon of mass destruction,” Brace said.
How to help
To make a donation to help defray Rex’s medical costs, visit bit.ly/1UkEkrl.