Rescue Dog Was Next For Euthanization, But Vet Tech Decided Otherwise


This is the story of a dog named Pacino, who was found all alone in a bedroom of an abandoned house located in Camden, New Jersey back in 2013. He sustained extreme wounds all over his body – animal control officers had to rush him straight to a animal clinic for medical treatment. Things did not look good for poor Pacino. Brittany Elder, a veterinary technician, knew Pacino was a sweet dog who deserved a chance despite his rough state and breed stereotype.

Rescue Dog

“When they brought him into the treatment room, they had him in a giant crate. I opened the crate and he was cowering in the back and wouldn’t come out, but I could see that he was all bloody and extremely wounded. They dumped him out of the crate and he fell into my lap because he couldn’t stand. He was shaking and so scared. His body was cold, skinny, and filthy,” Elder recalls as she hugs him.

As Elder held Pacino in her arms, both the vet and the animal control officers began discussing Pacino’s situation. Based on his condition and where he was found, they assumed that Pacino was previously a bait dog for dogfighting matches. His wounds were extremely serious and expensive to treat, thus the only option they got was to euthanize him. But Elder decided against that.

“At one point, even though he was in so much pain, he looked up at me and licked my face. It was at that moment I knew that this dog was not ‘too aggressive’ and that I had to do something to save his life. I decided that I was going to take full financial responsibility for him, foster him to bring him back to health, and figure out adoption stuff later. I just needed to do something, and quick,” Elder added.

Rescue Dog

Elder took on full responsibility for Pacino’s recovery. His injuries could not be stitched up, thus the vet had to place around a dozen drains throughout his body to prevent any infections. After his surgery, both Elder and her boyfriend began preparing for his arrival.

For the first few days, Pacino was incredibly skittish, but quickly realized he could trust the couple who cared for him. He bonded with them very quickly, and allowed them to dress his wounds without fidgeting or snapping.

Throughout his recovery, the couple had to teach him how to be a dog, such as potty, obedience and leashing training, getting him to adjust to meal times, introduction to play and toys as well as learning how to enjoy life like any other canine would.

The more Pacino spent in his new home, the more he began to open up. Originally, Elder planned to only foster him, but there was something about Pacino that made her decide to keep him – permanently. “We couldn’t ever let him go,” she says. Today, Pacino is all healed both emotionally and physically – and Elder could not have asked for a better companion!

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