Powell Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) was contacted by their local shelter about Veronica, a young Labrador Retriever mix who had been hit by a car.  The car accident left Veronica with multiple pelvic fractures, broken teeth, a split tongue and severe thoracic trauma. In addition to her extensive injuries, Veronica was underweight, covered in ticks, and had ehrlichiosis.  Ehrlichiosis is a disease transmitted by ticks which attacks a dogs white blood cells. From the condition she was in, it was clear Veronica had been neglected before being hit by a car. Deeply moved by her situation, PAWS quickly agreed to rescue Veronica and restore the quality of her life.

Once stabilized, Veronica was released to PAWS who took her immediately to their veterinarian’s office to further assess the pain she was in.  While there, her condition quickly deteriorated and she refused pain medication which dramatically spiked her level of pain.  PAWS volunteers immediately transported her to a local emergency veterinary hospital where they were able to administer fluids and intravenous pain medication.  Upon further examination, it was determined her pelvic injuries were more serious than originally thought. Surgery was scheduled for the next day which the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) helped pay for with an Emergency Medical Grant.

Veronica underwent her initial surgery in May 2014 to fix the multiple injuries in her pelvis.  After surgery she went into a loving foster home where she could rest. As healing continued, Veronica was able to increase her activity and participated in land, water and laser physical therapy twice a week. The staff where Veronica received physical therapy loved her visits. When walking into the vet’s office for check-ups or therapy, staff would cry out “V’s here”, which would send her tail wagging. A PAWS member said “She brought light into every room and everyone wanted to meet her.”

Her foster family diligently helped with at-home exercises on a treadmill, in sand and water to encourage her to resume using the leg most injured by the accident. Typical of her Labrador nature, Veronica enjoyed her water therapy the best!

During Veronica’s recovery, PAWS wrote to ISF to say “Veronica is the quintessential all-American family dog – a yellow Labrador Retriever who loves people, other dogs, and life in general.  We got our first glimpse into her sweet personality when she was loaded onto the stretcher after being transported to PAWS and she wagged her tail when she saw our volunteers.  She exemplifies resiliency – despite a likely neglectful past, a traumatic accident, and major surgery, she is happy, affectionate, and trusting.  We could not have found a more deserving dog to help.  Our supporters have immediately connected with her, and we are honored to play a role in her recovery.”

As Veronica’s pelvis continued to heal, she had multiple teeth extracted and dental work done in order to repair the injuries in her mouth. Her ehrlichiosis was also treated to restore her to full health. PAWS provided biweekly updates to their supporters to let them know how Veronica was doing. Through the updates, one of PAWS loyal supporters fell in love with Veronica and decided to adopt her.

Veronica has been renamed Polly. Recently, Polly's human parents had their first child and Polly's now a big sister! Her new favorite pass time is cuddling with her families’ nieces and nephews while watching the movie “Frozen”.

Of their experience with Veronica, PAWS told ISF “She was one of the most memorable dogs we've helped, and really helped unite our group and its supporters.  She gave homeless and neglected dogs a face, and it was heartwarming to witness the outpouring of support that rallied behind her.”


Written by Veronica Hampton