A Fresno dog survived what some animal rescue workers have described as one of the most evil acts of animal cruelty.
Roxy, a brown and white pit bull mix, was stabbed 17 times all over her body in a July 23 attack in Fresno, according to Fresno Humane Animal Services.
Miraculously, Roxy not only survived, but brought the world to life.
Within two weeks of the horrific attack, Roxy worked hard to give birth to a litter of puppies.
Some believe it was the dog’s pit bull mentality that helped her get through the pain. Others think it was a mother’s love to do anything for her babies.
What is certain is that a dog found covered in her own blood had refused to die.
“Given everything she’s been through, it’s a miracle she’s alive,” said Evon Dumesnil, an animal rescue volunteer. “This dog is amazing. She’s so loving. She’s just resilient.
The evil attack
Who does that to a dog?
Fresno police did not return messages requesting information about the attack.
However, Fresno Humane Animal Services workers confirmed that police are investigating the incident.
Why torture a dog? Why try to kill someone’s pet, if not your own animal?
Some first aiders stopped asking such questions a long time ago.
They have seen too many cases of animal cruelty and too many heartbreaking details.
They realize that their goal is not to understand why bad things are done to animals, but to figure out how to save them.
Helping an animal through a traumatic incident often requires a collective effort from people generous with their time and/or money.
In Roxy’s case, she had been stabbed so many times she couldn’t lift her neck.
“I don’t have all the details of what happened,” Dumesnil said. “But what I do know is that it was an evil act by a monster.”
Roxy had stab wounds to her face, neck, shoulder, leg, ear and abdomen.
“She was in terrible shape,” said Brenda Mitchell, chair of the board of directors for Fresno Humane Animal Services. “We see cases of animal cruelty. Usually this means an animal has been severely neglected. This, this case was not normal.
Pet doctors expressed concern that the physical trauma, coupled with all the mental stress of the attack, would result in a failed pregnancy.
South County Tail Waggers, a Gilroy-based rescue group that specializes in helping some of the toughest cases of animal cruelty, received permission from Fresno Humane Animal Services to transport Roxy to the area of bay for additional care.
“Usually when a rescue (organization) sees a dog in this type of case, and also being a pit bull mix, they will be reluctant to help,” said Marguerite Murphy, founder of South County Tail Waggers. “And here’s one where the dog suffered horrific abuse.
“The stab wounds were all over his body; it looked very deliberate. And the fact that she was pregnant, we had to try to help save this dog.
An emergency caesarean section
Thirteen days passed between when Roxy was stabbed and when she gave birth.
South County Tail Waggers rescuers had prepared for the possibility of the dog giving birth at a volunteer’s home.
But when Roxy started having labor and the babies weren’t coming out, the volunteers rushed to the emergency animal hospital at 1 a.m. for help.
As Dumesnil made her way to the nearest pet emergency about 40 miles away, fellow volunteer and retired vet tech Sandra Peart sat down next to Roxy to comfort and watch over her.
Peart was also prepared for the possibility of delivering babies from the back seat.
“She didn’t look well and you knew she was in a lot of pain,” Dumesnil said of Roxy. “We kept saying to Roxy, ‘Hold on. We will be there soon. You’ve come this far, you can get away with it too.
“But we were all very scared for her and for her puppies.”
Roxy ended up having an emergency cesarean.
But not before giving birth naturally to two babies.
Roxy’s first puppy survived.
The second puppy did not survive.
“They got a baby out just in time,” Dumesnil said. “The second baby, however, was completely stuck. This little one was a boy and he died.
“Then they had to do an emergency caesarean section and delivered five more babies.”
In all, Roxy gave birth to seven puppies, including five boys and one girl who survived.
None are considered premature, although there is one that is smaller and needs special attention.
“It was a very dangerous pregnancy, very hard labor, and she was still trying to heal after being stabbed all over and losing a lot of blood,” Murphy said. “But six of the seven puppies did it. She did it. She’s a survivor.
Recovery and Hope
Roxy, who is between 5 and 7 years old, still cannot move much.
Vets believe she has a long way to go to recover from stab wounds, C-section surgery and general pregnancy fatigue.
But for now, what Roxy can do – and does well – is care for her babies.
Feed them, lick them, lie down next to them.
“She’s so sweet and so loving, especially to her babies,” Dumesnil said. “I really wonder why anyone would do something so horrible to her.
“Every day you spend time with Roxy, it’s easy to fall more and more in love with her.”
An online fundraiser has been set up to help cover medical costs for Roxy and her puppies.
At some point, Roxy and the puppies will be put up for adoption.
The hope is to find loving homes for every dog.
Especially for Roxy.
“In this world with everything going on, you see incredible evil,” Dumesnil said. “But the fact that a dog survived a violent and vicious attack and then gave birth to innocent lives gives hope that happy endings can still happen.
“Evil doesn’t always win out.”