Rescuing Neglected Bully Breeds
By Susan Spisak
To sum up the 501(c)3’s Pittie Posse Rescue (PP) mission in four words, it’s rescue, train, adopt, and educate. Yet it goes far beyond that, and the main word that speaks to PP is missing—that’s heart. Case in point is their little rescue, Hiccup. Britt Bolnick, co-founder of the nonprofit with her husband, Todd Sullivan, said when they saw his gut-wrenching picture from their southern partner, PP’s GA Angel Team grabbed the puppy from the shelter and got him to a vet, so he had a chance to survive.
A definitive victim of neglect with skin so horrific, first thoughts were that Hiccup had been burned. Britt admitted this sweetheart they’re smitten with looked so strange initially, he appeared to be part sea creature and part dog. Turns out he had one of the worst cases of demodex mange—a skin disease characterized by severe itching, hair loss, and scabs—and Hiccup’s body was covered with open, weeping sores. This led to such a terrible secondary skin infection he almost became Septic and died. Despite the pain, this American Bully and English/French Bulldog mix remained the most loveable guy.
“He is an absolute medical monstrosity of a case,” said Britt. Their several trusted vet partners including Maine Veterinary Medical Center and Westside Animal Hospital had to diagnose and treat countless issues including abnormal blood levels, muscle irregularities with biopsies, liver and kidney problems requiring panels and ultrasounds, nasal discharge, and extraordinarily dry eyes—an inward turning of both eyelids. This is a glimpse of his medical complexities.
Hiccup was also anemic and needed a central IV line for lifesaving antibiotics. He developed pneumonia and was hospitalized with oxygen therapy. The poor guy’s skin infection stopped responding to antibiotics—it proved to be very resistant, and symptoms showed the bacteria was attacking his spine. His team of doctors put him on a heavy-duty antibiotic which got everything under control initially, but it soon became apparent it was too much for him, and his skin infection became resistant. Currently, he is clinically better, and his team is again re-working a treatment game plan. It’s estimated he’ll remain on antibiotics for at least a year to ensure all infections are resolved.
Britt said they’re fortunate that they have a strong Facebook following who answers their pleas for medical funds. This little munchkin is not available for adoption—their goal is to get him healthy first. For more on Hiccup and to donate, facebook.com/page/1851370028464475/search/?q=hiccup.
PP’s heart is apparent in their rescue stories. A classic example is Ruger. His family couldn’t raise the money for a necessary surgery in time, so they relinquished him to PP to save his life. PP fundraised quickly and Ruger had the surgery. Britt talked to the owners, and it was clear they were good, loving folks who had been devastated to let their pet go. PP paid the vet bill and gladly returned Ruger to his family. The owner’s boss was so impressed with PP’s kindness, he held a fundraiser/party for them.
Britt mentioned two girls they’ve had within their rescue for a few years, Mocha and Inu. She’d like to find them their perfect homes. Please see below for info on them. For more on PP and foster and adoption criteria, pittieposserescue.com/adopt/.