2. March 1, 2012
Pets Alive is a no-kill animal shelter. It’s mission is to “rescue, rehabilitate, and place animals in need.” Based in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, volunteers help coordinate anything their rescue animals may need, from a “bath and a little affection” to “very intensive surgical intervention and long-term care.”
One night in late February of last year, the executive director started to search through the animals that the New York City Animal Care and Control has placed on its kill lists; sanctuaries and rescue organizations can call and pull animals from those lists to pick them up the next day. Volunteers, however, cannot pull animals.
The executive director pulled two cats and two dogs before going to sleep that night.
At 9:45 the following morning, while checking for confirmation on the four animals, they discovered an injured dog that was not on the list the night before.
He was the victim of a car accident that happened two or three days previous.
His name was Robert.
The staff of Pets Alive faced a hard decision. As the blog post describes, they knew “what taking in a serious medically difficult dog means to us all, and we all know how expensive it may be too, and we all know how much time it will take to help and handle a crippled dog. But they didn’t hesitate.”
The staff decided to rush him as quickly as they could to a critical care animal hospital — over an hour away in evening traffic and in a snowstorm. According to the vet visit right after Robert was rescued, it seemed like he was recently hit by a car which made a potentially pre-existing condition worse.
Although they had only met Roberts a couple hours ago, they decided to endure thousands of dollars of medical care. The staff was ready to make it work with whatever means necessary; no one could say no to that face or to the tail that could barely thump the floor.
4. March 15, 2012
It was a week since Robert came home from the hospital. He was diagnosed with:
- T3-L3 myelopathy- non ambulatory paraplegia
- Traumatic disc rupture T13-L1, left sided hemilaminectomy on 3/1
- Upper motor neuron bladder and suspect chronic bladder muscle injury
- Suspect HBC (hit by car)—multiple abrasions (head, R elbow, R hock)
- Traumatic hepatopathy-resolving
He had spinal surgery. It took days for his appetite to come back, and he was released even though he couldn’t express his bladder on his own. With the help of plenty of liverwurst, he took 10 pills at three times a day.
It was “heartbreaking to see him get frustrated with his immobility, but even if Robert is to use a cart in the near future his spine needs to heal for several weeks first, or MORE damage may result.”
Volunteers gave him their happiness, patience and love.
5. March 27, 2012
With his car accident about a month earlier and a spinal surgery that couldn’t do much to reverse the affects of the accident, it was decided that Robert needed a way to get around!
Eddie’s Wheels offered to give Robert a cart so he could get around on his own.
Look at him go! This video was taken after Robert spent only three minutes in that cart.
Volunteer John Sibley saw Robert already starting to transform from a dog “who was painful and in shock, with a look of desperation, to a dog who knew he was safe and loved and was determined to keep going to a dog that runs in his own special way with a look on his face that I can only describe as pure joy.”
7. July 6, 2012
Physical therapy was a huge part of Robert’s recovery. Between the volunteers, monetary donations and excellent medical care, Robert was well on his way to finding a more joyful life and hopefully a home.
This is the only progress report uploaded to Rockin’ Robert’s Facebook page, but there are plenty of current photos to show us just how well he’s doing.
The Pets Alive Twitter account is also a great way to see how many wonderful animals they find homes for — if you’re in the New York area, it’s also a nice way to see if there’s any way to can help out, though that’s just one Pets Alive sanctuary location.
Robert is pretty beloved by followers of Pets Alive’s hard work; his story shows everyone that you get back exactly what you give when it comes to rescuing animals.
- Bitterly cold temperatures and arctic winds began freezing large swathes of the U.S. Northeast ❄️