A near tragedy turned into a holiday miracle for one local canine. Chance was found on the side of Rock Products Road by Heber Springs Animal Control Officer Zachary Carlisle on November 18, the apparent victim of a hit and run.
"It was the first day we really got hit with the cold and it was raining," said Wendy Hosman of the Heber Springs Humane Society. "He was found on the side of the road wet and injured. He had obviously been hit by a car."
Hosman said there was no way to tell how long the dog lay on the side of the road before Animal Control discovered him.
"Our first thought was to get him into the vet and see what was going on," she said.
After taking Chance to Dr. Bradley Self at the Ozark Animal Medical Center, x-rays were taken and they discovered he had a fractured pelvis and broken hip, which typically requires plating and pins.
"Plates and pins have to be done down in Russellville," said Hosman. "That's a pretty expensive procedure. Another option we had was to amputate his leg. And of course, euthanizing him was an option, but that was something we definitely didn't want to do unless we had to."
Ultimately, they decided to make it their mission to save Chance. The expense involved with plates and pins was too great to be considered as a viable option.
"Amputation was our next thought," she continued. "He had a small fracture on his other leg, so we were looking at putting his entire back end in a cart to take the weight off so he could heal. That was the plan we decided to go with."
They talked to some area veterinarians and Dr. Self gave them a different option, one that could give Chance a chance at becoming a normal dog again.
"Dr. Self said all we really needed to do was remove the femoral head of the leg," she said. "He didn't think that it was severe enough to majorly effect anything and by removing that, we could save Chance's leg."
The Humane Society created a GoFundMe fundraising account to help raise money for Chance's surgery. The response was overwhelming, raising more than enough money to help him with the surgery and rehabilitation.
"We went ahead and had that done last week," said Hosman. "He's doing really well. He'll require probably another month or two for rehabilitation, but he's a happy dog and in good spirits."
Indeed, as she brought him out for the photo, Chance was happy, friendly, and except for the visible area indicating he had surgery, displayed all the energy and excitement of a normal dog at play.
Because of the big response in donations to help Chance, the Humane Society plans to use the leftover funds to apply towards heart worm treatments for some of the other dogs.
"Chance's vet bills have all been taken care of now," said Hosman. "Anything we have gotten above that is going to go towards our heart worm treatment dogs. We've got about 6 heart worm positive dogs right now and it costs about $500 apiece to treat those, so we'll be using that to treat them."
Although he still has some rehabilitation time, Chance is definitely up for adoption and looking for a loving home. He is a very friendly and outgoing dog.
"That's one of the things that we really loved about him," said Hosman. "Even when he was brought in and he was so broken, laying on one of our beds so cold and wet, that little tail was just wagging and he acted so happy. He was in so much pain and so broke, but he still was just happy being around people."
If you would like information on adopting Chance, or any other pet at the Heber Springs Humane Society, give them a call at 501-362-7322.
To keep up with Chance's progress, check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ASecondChanceforChance72543