The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Dog’s injuries raise questions
BY KATIE THISDELL
At 64 pounds and about 1 year old, Chip looks like a fairly healthy dog, says Lori O’Pry of the Stafford County SPCA.
The black-and-white dog, who looks to be a lab and pit bull mix, has great teeth and strong bones, and he loves human attention.
That’s why the SPCA is asking questions after he was found with a broken back leg on Courthouse Road on Sunday morning.
“For someone to lash out and strike and hit that bone, it’s very deliberate,” said O’Pry, the SPCA’s director of operations.
At first, she and executive director Bill Hoyt thought the friendly dog had been hit by a car, based on what a caller had told them on the phone.
But Chip’s injuries are inconsistent with that type of trauma, they discovered, because only his leg is affected. He doesn’t have any other cuts or bruises, or injuries to his liver or ribs.
Now the SPCA is asking for the community’s help in paying for the dog’s extensive vet bills to repair his leg. Already, donors have given more than $1,000 on the organization’s ChipIn.com page, which the shelter uses occasionally to raise funds.
“There’s so many dogs that are out there. This is a very, very lucky dog. This isn’t something we can do every day. It’s not something [Stafford County] animal control can do every day,” said O’Pry.
The SPCA, which has a shelter on Andrew Chapel Road and an office on U.S. 1 at Stafford Courthouse, received a call about 11 a.m. Sunday.
The caller said he had found a dog with a broken leg on Courthouse Road, seemingly the result of a hit-and-run situation. The man didn’t give a specific location where he found the dog.
Hoyt told him to take the dog to Banfield Pet Hospital in Stafford Marketplace, where the SPCA commonly treats animals.
There, Dr. Heather Trout gave the unneutered dog pain medications and took X–rays.
But since Banfield is not one of the county Animal Control’s approved facilities, the SPCA had to step forward to care for the dog.
Hoyt said he and the dog immediately bonded, thanks to Chip’s sweet disposition.
“His left leg was flopping around like a wilted flag,” Hoyt said. “He was in such terrible pain, but he was being so sweet and so loving, and giving kisses.”
Meanwhile, O’Pry was trying to track down information from the dog’s microchip, but numbers went back to Hong Kong and Michigan, and the email address had never been registered.
It was because of that microchip that Chip got his name.
“Chip, chip, chip was on the tip of our tongues all day,” O’Pry said.
Surgery was done Monday morning at the Veterinary Surgical Referral Practice in Manassas.
A plate with seven screws was inserted into Chip’s rear left leg, which had a clean break. He’s expected to recover fully.
It’s because of the type of break that SPCA staff and the vet question how Chip got the injury.
“You don’t find an animal that’s this sweet, this tolerant, this loving, that’s been raised with abuse,” Hoyt said.
He suspects a single, swift hit with a bat or tire iron.
Animal control is investigating the case.
HOW TO HELP “CHIP”
Do you know anything about this dog? Chip is a 1-year-old possible lab/pit bull mix found off Courthouse Road in Stafford County.
Call the SPCA at 540/657-7387 or Animal Control Officer Warnick at 540/658-7387.
To donate to Chip’s care, visit staffordspca.chipin.com/chips-injuries.
The SPCA is also looking for a foster family that can take Chip to the vet every two weeks.
Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975