The rescue journey of a romanian shepherd dog.
BUSTER - 5 year old giant breed Mioritic Sheepdog.
Put simply, Buster’s case is one of the worst we have ever seen.
Buster was found wandering in a field looking lost and bewildered and in an appalling state of neglect. His fur was badly matted and filthy and he was painfully thin (although until his fur was removed, we had no idea just how badly).
A woman was picking vegetables in the field and took pity on him. Sensing hope, Buster followed her home to her village. Unfortunately, the residents were frightened by his size and disgusted by his state of neglect. They shouted and threw stones, sticks and bottles at him. As if this poor soul had not been through enough, one of the bottles hit him just above the eye and gashed it badly. Thankfully another villager agreed to take him in overnight and local rescuer Carmen was asked for help.
Carmen’s resources are badly overstretched and she couldn’t take Buster until she was sure of further help for him. So she contacted us here at Paws2Freedom. Mioritics hold a special place in our hearts, we have several among our rescue dogs here and we said yes right away.
Carmen collected him the next day. She gave him food but worryingly, for such a starving dog, he wouldn’t eat. This pointed to an underlying health problem. Being the weekend only the local village vet was able to attend. He found that Buster was tick and flea infested and showing all the signs of Babesiosis, a tick-borne disease common in neglected dogs in Romania. Given his state they decided there and then not to wait for blood tests but to treat him straight away.
The next morning Buster managed to eat a little tinned food! A breakthrough! This continued for some days, with Carmen feeding little and often, so as not to overload his system after such a long period of starvation. Carmen then introduced dried food and Buster began to eat heartily.
Next his fur was tackled. It was a matted mess, it must have pulled at his skin dreadfully and it was infested with parasites. It all had to be removed by the local vet. That was when we saw the true, heartbreaking extent of Buster’s condition. He was a walking skeleton.
Buster was microchipped which showed that he was 4 years old and registered to someone in a neighbouring village who often neglected their dogs. The chip was duly registered to Carmen, breaking the last link to his horrendous previous life forever. It was time for him to look forward at last. With a warm, padded dog coat and pillows in his kennel to protect his joints Buster started on the slow road to recovery.
Next we arranged for Buster to be thoroughly examined at a good clinic in Bucharest. He was too large to fit in Carmen’s car and she had to get help to get him there!
They treated the deep gash over his eye, an eye infection and a wound and skin infection on his hindquarters too.
He was 4DX blood tested (for Heartworm) and sadly, it proved positive. Worse, in his weakened state he could not cope with the treatment. He had to build up his strength first. With good food and care, slowly, he got stronger every day. Such a joy to see. Further tests showed too that the disease was only at stage one and Buster had every chance of making a full recovery within 6-12 months. He was finally declared strong enough to begin his heartworm treatment on 16th November. In 6 months he will be tested again and we are hoping with all our hearts that he will test negative.
Once he has been passed fit for travel, our plan is for Buster to come to us here at Paws2Freedom for further assessment and re-homing.
During this whole time, Buster never showed any sign of aggression at all, enduring all his scans, tests and treatments without needing to be muzzled and showing no resistance to being walked on a lead either. He travelled well in the car too. He does bark at feeding times or when a stranger enters the yard, like most dogs but it isn’t excessive. He is eager to make friends with other dogs too, and has endearingly befriended the dogs and little puppies in the pen next to his. We were touched so much to hear this. That despite all the cruelty he has suffered, he shows nothing but love and compassion to those smaller than him and no aggression to humans.
We will keep you updated on how Buster is doing and add new photos as his treatment progresses. Our gentle giant has touched so many hearts already and will continue to, we believe.
The costs for Buster’s treatments, food and transport to and from the vets have reached 600 Euros. This includes various vet bills, treatments, vaccinations, haircut, lots of tinned and dry food, vitamins and fish oil as well as transport costs. These costs will be ongoing during his treatment and will be followed by tests, neutering, travel preparation/papers and eventual transport to us here.
Has Buster’s story caught your heart? Would you like to help with a donation? We would be so grateful for whatever you are able to give so we can support him and others like him in the future. You can donate using the button below, or via our charity bank account. If you are a UK taxpayer and would like to help more at no cost to yourself, please consider signing up for Gift Aid. Please contact us for details.
Please mark your donation with ref BUSTER.
Thank you for being with us at Buster’s side during his journey to a brighter future and for caring about this darling giant of a dog.
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