Animal “kill shelters” are some of the saddest places on the planet. According to the ASPCA, more than 1.5 million animals are euthanized in American shelters every year. Although this staggering number is getting smaller (it was more than 2.6 million animals in 2011), it's still much too high. It's so important for animal lovers to adopt from shelters whenever they can. Four-year-old Jude St. Francis, an adorable Australian Shepherd mix, was in one of these “high kill” shelters, injured and afraid and just waiting for the slight chance someone may come to take him home.
Scratch My Belly (SMB) is a rescue organization keenly aware of the sad plight faced by dogs and cats in these overcrowded shelters. They saw Jude St. Francis and instantly fell in love. They were drawn to his loving and sweet manner and amazed he could be so calm and affectionate, even when he was clearly suffering in a tremendous amount of pain. Immediately taking him to the vet, they were heartbroken to discover his right front leg had a major break which would require surgery for the installation of plates and screws.
The surgery was complex and they took him to several vets, none of whom could perform the complicated surgery. But SMB wouldn't give up on getting Jude the care he needed and they found a specialty clinic capable of doing the surgery. However, the cost would be high due to the severity of the break. The vet explained, “One bone was completely fractured from the elbow joint. The joint was dislocated and there was likely ligament damage as well’" They asked ISF for help and set up a fundraising campaign as well to cover the extensive costs.
Jude was a real trooper and seemed to recoup well after the surgery. However, two weeks after the procedure, it was discovered he would need an additional surgery to repair the ligaments on the other side of his joint. Jude made it through the second surgery with flying colors and he worked hard to heal. He had to undergo numerous physical therapy sessions and all of this hard work paid off when Jude began to walk on his right front leg again! His healing continued and now he has virtually no noticeable limp. He loves to go on frequent walks and “run in sort bursts”, too!
Jude's rescuers told ISF the lovely story behind his name. They named him after Jude St. Francis from the book “A Little Life”, “Because, like Jude in the book, he clearly had a rough start to life and he had a serious leg injury, but he was able to overcome that injury”. Also, just like the Jude in the book, he was able to prevail over probable abuse and adversity and maintain a happy, loving spirit. In fact, Jude loves to give “puppy kisses”, enjoys a good car ride, loves dried chicken snacks and he gets along well with other dogs and cats.
We're also very happy to report that sweet Jude St. Francis has found his loving “furever” home! His adoptive family know of his medical issues and are ready to support him in any way necessary and they're happy to have him as part of their family!
By Brandy D. Anderson
Edited by Bob Stone