DeLand, FL - She might have lost a limb, but she gained a life.
Back on the evening of August 12th, a DeLand family found their 44-pound Labrador mix named Suzy Anna hiding underneath their car and not willing to come out to be fed. The following day, the family was finally able to see her in the daylight, which is when they realized that there was a serious problem with Suzy Anna—a severely injured hind leg.
No one knew what happened to her, but the family assumed that Suzy Anna was hit by a car.
Seeing as they did not know what to do or how to pay for help, Suzy Anna's family turned to Charlotte Walling, a fixture at Volusia County Animal Services, and someone who has helped them before.
First, Walling brought Suzy Anna to a local vet for x-rays, then she took her to scans at Animal Services. Unfortunately, the results of the x-ray confirmed their fears—Suzy Anna's left rear leg bone was completely severed. A surgery to fix the problem would not only be pricey, but "iffy" at best. Instead, Animal Services decided that an amputation would be the best course of action.
According to Animal Services, the amputation was outside of the customary services rendered at the county’s animal clinic. In fact, it was even performed outside of normal business hours. But none of that mattered, they just wanted to give Suzy Anna her life back.
And, since they understood the family's financial situation, Animal Services elected to do the surgery for free.
Then, a month after the 90-minute procedure, Suzy Anna, who was staying with Walling, fully recovered from the surgery, meaning it was time to reunite her with her family. The emotional reunion took place at Animal Services' headquarters in Daytona Beach, where there were hugs and slobbery wet kisses from Suzy Anna.
And, despite missing a limb, Suzy Anna was still as playful as ever.
“She’s a happy dog again,” said Michelle Barrera, who came with her mother to pick up Suzy Anna. “She’s not hurting anymore.”
It was also an emotional and rewarding time for the staff at Animal Services. Dr. Joni Goldstein, Volusia's staff veterinarian, said she was happy to volunteer her time to help reunite Suzy Anna with her family.
“It just makes me very proud to work for an organization that gives us the opportunity to help an animal in need like this,” said Dr. Goldstein. “It was a lot of people with a lot of big hearts coming together for a dog that’s really deserving.”
“If it wasn’t for you all, she’d be in doggie heaven right now,” said Walling. “It takes everybody involved. That’s why she’s still here.”