Jax needs heartworm treatment, knee surgery

Safe Harbor Animal Rescue of the Keys, the animal shelter in Marathon, has a special dog in need of adoption. “Spike Broke-Tail” lived outside for five years, alone, starving to death and unwanted, until his owner surrendered him in late January. The five-year-old Boxer is heartworm positive and has a torn cruciate in his right knee. The treatment for both ailments could run as much as $2,000.

“SHARK is hoping a kind soul would be willing to adopt this wonderful, sweet, neglected dog, who spent years alone without ever stepping foot in a home, and provide him with the treatment he needs and the love he deserves,” said a shelter representative, adding that the shelter has started a fundraiser for his medical treatments and any donations would be appreciated.

The folks at the animal shelter hope Spike’s story will turn out as positive as Jax’s.

Jax, a young adult Bichon Frise mix, was recently adopted after being surrendered to the shelter due to an injury the owner claimed she could not afford to treat. Sadly, the small dog was, according to the owner, struck and run over by a golf cart in November. The incident left the dog with a devastating break to the right femur and a torn lateral collateral ligament. The hip on the left leg was dislocated on impact with the golf cart. Jax, remained brave, and suffered through two months of intense pain as the injuries went untreated.

Dr. Sean at Marathon Veterinary Hospital saw Jax that day and after examination and diagnostics, surgery was recommended. Staff was concerned that even after major surgery poor Jax would require up to six months of physical therapy to fully recover. Without physical therapy facilities in the Florida Keys and limited resources at the shelter, Jax’s fate was still uncertain.

The following day Jax had a re-check and consult with Dr. Doug Mader and Dr. Sean at Marathon Veterinary Hospital. Staff was holding Jax in the lobby, trying to keep him comfortable until his appointment, when fate intervened.

An amazing woman, Carol Vaughn, from Michigan came to visit SHARK while on vacation. She briefly looked through the adoption book but could not keep her eyes off little Jax. She was interested in his story, and upon hearing the harrowing tale of the brave little dog, in her words, her “heart melted onto the floor.”

Carol Vaughn came to Jax’s appointment, listened intently to the Doctor’s recommendation and gripped Jax tightly in the exam room. She said she knew in that moment he was hers to care for. Carol not only paid for the exam, his pain medications and antibiotics, but had the wonderful staff at Marathon Veterinary Hospital forward the radiographs and their recommendations to her orthopedic surgeon in Michigan. Jax is on his way home now to his new wonderful life with Carol in Michigan. There he will have the necessary surgeries, the appropriate physical therapy, and remain in Carol’s intimate care until he finds a new forever home.

For more information about contributing to Spike’s treatment fund, or for details about the shelter, call 305-743-4800. The shelter is located at 10550 Aviation Blvd, Marathon. The hours are 9”30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.



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