LAKE JACKSON — When a scared, sick dog that had been weathering the elements was brought in to the Brazoria County SPCA last week, volunteers had no idea how the community would rally and support their mission to make her a healthy pup again.
The female dog, about 4 years old, was brought in by a man after he found it outside in Lake Jackson, SPCA board of directors member Beate Damm said.
“She came in with scars all over her, and her skin was flaking so bad,” Damm said. “She was in really bad shape, so we sent her to the vet, but now she’s doing really well.”
The dog had severe mange, a skin condition found in neglected animals, and was extremely matted, Damm said.
“She just looked awful,” Damm said. “If you touched her, some parts of her skin were falling off. It was the worse mange I’d ever seen.”
Damm said she posted about the little dog, called Mila, to Facebook on Nov. 5. Within hours, hundreds of donations were pouring in to help with veterinary costs.
The community rallied in support of Mila and raised more than $3,000, Damm said.
“You know what it means to me personally; it means we don’t have to shoulder this on our own,” Damm said. “It means we have the community behind us. We have huge vet bills. We’re fighting it constantly, and if (animals) come in in such bad shape, it’s not easy. With the community behind us, it brings tears to our eyes because it means we’re not doing it on our own.”
About 20 minutes after Mila arrived at the shelter, Damm said, two other dogs arrived in similarly poor condition.
“A second set — a male and female we call Sid and Nancy — were brought in,” Damm said. “Nancy went back to the vet because her infections are so bad. Both were found together. A gentleman pulled up and said he found them in a ditch behind Jasmine Hall. He found them and brought them straight to us. They were really matted up badly with raw areas of skin.”
The community managed to raise $1,500 for the pair of dogs that arrived after Mila, Damm said.
With the funds, the dogs have been able to recover at the VCA Animal Hospital in Lake Jackson, where medical professionals said the animals’ health is improving.
“All three dogs had mange, which we treated,” Dr. Jennifer Kyle said. “Nancy had some wounds on her neck, which looked suspicious — she maybe had a collar left on that got embedded in her skin. But she’s staying with us right now, and she’s already improving.”
Kyle said the community’s support means a lot to an organization with finite resources.
“I think it’s fantastic (the community pitched in),” Kyle said. “Our shelter does some really great work and they do an awful lot with very little resources, so I appreciate the fact that the community supports the mission It takes some work, but (the dogs) have a really good chance at a really good outcome.”