Abused Hagerstown-area puppy continues to recover following amputation surgery

Abused Hagerstown-area puppy continues to recover following amputation surgery

Abused Hagerstown-area puppy continues to recover following amputation surgery

A Dalmatian puppy who suffered injuries in an early January animal cruelty case in Washington County had a severely damaged front leg amputated last week, said Colin Berry, executive director for the Humane Society of Washington County.

The amputation went as planned last Wednesday and Bijou, now about 17 to 18 weeks old, spent that night at Mountain View Animal Emergency on Crayton Boulevard, Berry said. By Thursday, she was “up walking and wiggly and giving kisses,” Berry said.

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The puppy is back with his foster family, who is trying to keep Bijou as calm as you can keep the puppy while she also continues her physical therapy, said Berry.

The amputation surgery has been delayed to give Bijou’s injured back leg more time to heal, Berry said. The back-leg surgery was “fragile” and the veterinarian wanted to make sure that when Bijou woke up from the amputation surgery, her back leg would not be compromised.

Humane Society of Washington County Executive Director Colin Berry said Bijou's favorite thing is chewing on sticks.  The Dalmatian, recovering from animal cruelty, is pictured about two weeks ago in mid-January.

Humane Society of Washington County Executive Director Colin Berry said Bijou’s favorite thing is chewing on sticks. The Dalmatian, recovering from animal cruelty, is pictured about two weeks ago in mid-January.

Bijou has more months of “healing and growing and physical therapy,” Berry said.

“As of right now, we’re on a really good path and we have high hopes for her full recovery,” Berry said Friday afternoon.

Maryland man charged with cruelty to puppies

Michael W. Snyder, 24, a now former resident of Hagerstown, was charged in early January with aggravated animal cruelty — a felony punishable by up to three years in prison — and animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, according to Washington County District Court records.

Snyder was released on recognition until the trial, with conditions. Snyder is to stay at a relative’s Frederick, Md.-area home and not be around any animals.

A humane society field services officer and a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy respondent to the emergency vet hospital on Jan. 3 for a suspected animal abuse case. The puppy had head injuries and two broken legs. She went into cardiac arrest while diagnostic X-rays were performed and she was resuscitated, according to court records.

The court records indicate Snyder’s girlfriend told the field services officer she got a call from Snyder around 11 am saying their dog was limping after coming into their Hagerstown home from playing in the yard. When she got home late that afternoon, she found the puppy unresponsive and contacted the animal hospital.

Bijou, an abused Dalmatian puppy the Humane Society of Washington County is helping, is pictured about two weeks ago in mid-January.  At the time she was recovering from surgery on a back leg.  She's now back in the cone after having a front leg amputated on Feb.  1.

Bijou, an abused Dalmatian puppy the Humane Society of Washington County is helping, is pictured about two weeks ago in mid-January. At the time she was recovering from surgery on a back leg. She’s now back in the cone after having a front leg amputated on Feb. 1.

The girlfriend is not being charged, a humane society official has said.

Snyder told the field services officer the puppy defecated near his son’s play area around 11 am, state court records. Snyder “began to discipline the puppy by pushing his nose into the stool and struck her on the back while doing so. Snyder admitted that he struck the puppy very hard and probably struck the dog too hard,” court records state. Snyder also told the officer he wasn’t trying to be malicious by hitting the dog, only trying to discipline it.

Community supporting humane society in response to puppy cruelty

The case has drawn a lot of attention, with people eager for news about the puppy and making donations to the humane society.

About $11,000 has been raised in response to Bijou’s case, Berry said. An updated total for the puppy’s medical expenses was not immediately available, but Berry said she thinks it’s going to be close to the total being raised.

The humane society has animals that have suffered at the hands of humans come in on a weekly basis, so donations are always welcome to help with animal cruelty cases, he said.

The veterinarian and Mountain View “have been overly accommodating” by providing discounts to enable the humane society to do what needs to be done to help Bijou, Berry said.

Bijou, a Dalmatian injured via animal cruelty, has been staying with a foster family.  When this picture was taken in mid-January she was recovering from surgery on a back leg and still had a heavily damaged front leg.  Humane Society of Washington County Executive Director Colin Berry said Bijou's foster caregiver had to lay her in the leaves to play.

Bijou, a Dalmatian injured via animal cruelty, has been staying with a foster family. When this picture was taken in mid-January she was recovering from surgery on a back leg and still had a heavily damaged front leg. Humane Society of Washington County Executive Director Colin Berry said Bijou’s foster caregiver had to lay her in the leaves to play.

During Bijou’s recovery in foster care, the puppy has had “typical puppy behavior.” That includes playing in leaves — after her foster caregiver laid her down in a pile — and chewing on sticks, which is Bijou’s favorite, Berry said.

As far as adoption for Bijou, Berry said the humane society will announce when the puppy is available for adoption.

For now, she has a few more months of recovery to focus on.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: Dalmatian puppy recovering from amputation surgery following abuse