Sometimes rescues have to go through extreme measures to save a dog from an abusive owner, including rallying with concerned neighbors to convince a person to give up their dog. Sometimes, it’s not that simple. At least it wasn’t so simple for Pit Bull Lucy in Egypt, whose owner attacked her and beat her jaw until it was broken on both sides.
Despite being seen as somewhat of a status symbol in Egypt, a country rife with street dogs who scavenge from trash piles, purebred dogs aren’t safe from abuse. When animal lovers working for a rescue group in Cairo heard of Lucy’s plight, they knew they had to step in.
But Lucy’s owner refused to give her up. And to make matters worse, Lucy’s owner was also the shelter’s landlord. Upsetting him could spell disaster for the other animals under the shelter’s care if he evicted them.
Fearing the worst if they waited any longer, the group contacted Special Needs Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation (SNARR) for help. Together, they came up with a plan to save Lucy from certain death—by faking her death. In a statement to The Dodo, Lauren Connelly of SNARR shared details of Lucy’s rescue:
“They told [Lucy’s owner that] she died and immediately put her on a plane to JFK airport. If they had not, she would have likely suffered more beatings and starved because she couldn’t eat with her jaw the way it was without specially mixed food.”
From New York, volunteers transported Lucy to Pittsburgh, where a veterinarian diagnosed Lucy with a severe infection due to her jaw injuries. “The vet said that the jaw was broken in two places. She was either kicked or hit with something strong like a brick,” Connelly said.
Once the infection cleared, the long process of reconstructing Lucy’s jaw began. For months, she had to be given dog food soup to lap up with her tongue. She even earned the nickname Licky Lou. Finally, she was left with a fully functioning mouth and a cute underbite. The 1-year-old Pit Bull was finally ready to be placed in a forever home.
Today, Lucy runs free in a loving foster home with her three tiny humans and their parents. She loves to lick people and frolic with other puppers, and according to Connelly is the friendliest dog you’ll ever meet.
She is somewhat slow to warm up to men, though, which is understandable given her traumatic history at the hands of her male owner. Other than her initial shyness around strange men, Lucy is just like your average well-adjusted pup who just wants a cuddle.
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