Everyone has heard sad stories about rescued dogs, but the story of Chadwick is a whole level beyond what any dog or human should ever have to suffer in a lifetime. Found in a Tijuana junkyard the second week of October, he was rescued by a network of Mexico-based animal helpers, brought to the nonprofit HIT Living Foundation of Van Nuys and finally to Dr. Lisa Newell at Malibu Coast Animal Hospital.

Newell—better known locally as Dr. Lisa—diagnosed the dog as having 14 different serious conditions that all need veterinary care, with treatment including three or possibly four surgeries. Perhaps his worst condition is having a large open wound on his right hip bone, with the bone exposed. On Monday, the doctor performed surgery to close that up.

In addition, he has both sarcoptic and demodex mange, caused by parasitic mites; ear and urinary tract infections; anemia; low albumin; a tick-borne blood disease; severe dental problems; a partial dislocation and sepsis of a wrist joint; multiple pressure sores; starvation and possible transmissible venereal tumors (TVT).

“I named him Chadwick, after Chadwick Boseman—he too has amazing spirit and an incredible will to live and the same soulful eyes,” Dr. Lisa wrote in an email. “You look into his eyes and they are so powerful and tell a real story. He has really touched my heart. I mean, I see so many rescue animals, as you can imagine, and none have affected me to this level. He is now wagging his tail and giving kisses, things I am sure he has never done before.

“So far, I have treated his mange and am managing his bacterial infections and his ear infections, and started him on Doxycycline (antibiotics),” she continued. “If he has TVT, then he will also go through chemo. He will need to be neutered, have multiple teeth extracted, have a second hip procedure and then probably off to an orthopedist for the dislocated carpus. The good news is, he is eating so very well. He has been with us for six days and has gained five pounds!”

Chadwick was expected to be well enough to go to a foster home in Malibu as of Tuesday. “And as he gets stronger, he will have the other procedures,” Dr. Lisa wrote.  

The founder of the nonprofit HIT Living Foundation animal rescue group, Heather Crowe, said in a phone interview that she first met Dr. Lisa a couple of years ago. And, although she had brought some difficult cases to Malibu Coast Hospital since then, the practice usually didn’t have the capacity to take in many rescues.  

However, since the start of COVID-19, Crowe explained that two things have changed—it has been more difficult to get veterinary appointments for her rescued dogs, and her network has been rescuing more dogs from Tijuana.

So, this year, Malibu Coast Hospital has been stepping up to help HIT Living Foundation with its rescues more often, including working to save the life of Chadwick.

“We now work with this amazing charity group on a regular basis,” Dr. Lisa wrote. “They help a lot of dogs from Tijuana.”

She estimated Chadwick’s medical care could cost as much as $15,000.

 

Anyone interested in donating may go to hitlivingfoundation.org or send funds via Venmo: @hitlivingfoundation.

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