On Tuesday, animal control officers with the Kokomo Humane Society picked up a little dog name Royce, whose leg had been sawed off by its owner during a botched amputation attempt, according to police.
Karen Wolfe, executive director of the humane society, said the officers took Royce directly to a vet, who identified other injuries on the dog. The vet also diagnosed Royce with anemia.
Meanwhile, the owner was arrested on charges of animal cruelty and resisting law enforcement.
But patching up the 9-pound dog, who is a suspected Bichon Frise-Maltese mix, and properly treating his amputated leg would, of course, cost money.
So on Wednesday, the humane society put up a Facebook fundraiser asking for $400 to help pay for the necessary medical procedures.
Fifteen minutes later, the fundraiser had already surpassed its goal. Within hours, residents had donated more than $1,000. And 24-hours later, the fundraiser had garnered nearly $2,400 to help Royce.
“Watching the donations come in, you could just almost cry,” Wolfe said. “It was amazing. To get $2,400 is mind-blowing. It just makes me feel proud to be part of a community that cares about their animals.”
Now, the $400 is set to help pay for Royce’s treatment, which the vet is providing at-cost at a hugely reduced price.
The rest of the money will go into the humane society’s Shelby’s Second Chance fund to help the “many animals that need a little extra, often expensive TLC,” Wolfe said.
She said in just the last three months, the fund has helped pay for three cats to have their legs amputated. Other procedures paid for by the fund include eye removals and dental treatments.
As for Royce, he’s happily settled in at the vet, where he’ll be observed and treated for the next week until he’s ready to undergo surgery to fix the botched amputation.
But he seems perfectly content to hang out at where he is, Wolfe said.
“He’s been just trotting around the clinic,” she said. “The vet said with his other injuries, they’re surprised he’s even walking. He’s just 9 pound. He’s a tiny little guy, but he’s happy. The dog is just as sweet as can be.”
Wolfe noted that although there’s already been a good deal of interest from people wanting to adopt Royce, the humane society isn’t seeking anyone to take him yet.
She said it’s unclear as of now if the dog might need to stay as the owner makes his way through the court system.
“At this point, if we need help with a foster parent or adopter, we’ll let people know,” Wolfe said.
For now, she said, it’s enough to know that after living through a harrowing experience, Royce will get the much-needed treatment he needs, thanks to the overwhelming support from the community.
“People are so generous,” Wolfe said. “Our community is really amazing.”