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Trinity: A Story of Hope and Courage

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WARNING: Some images may be graphic.

Ask anyone involved in animal welfare and you’ll be certain to hear your fair share of horror stories. Cases of neglect, cruelty, and abuse so disheartening that you’d likely turn away in disgust before digesting the bulk of the gruesome details. Severe mange, fractured limbs, embedded collars, starvation – these are just a few of the hundreds of cases the Turks & Caicos SPCA tackles each year. Recently, members of the organization’s rescue team came across one of its most severe cases in years, and North Shore Animal League America was there to assist with the rescue efforts.

As Hope lay suffering and alone in the bushes off Amanyara Road near the Northwest Point Resort in Providenciales, a wire wrapped so tightly around her right hind leg was slowly cutting off circulation. As the pain became too much to bear and the limb slowly died, the Potcake/Shepherd mix’s survival instincts took over and she began gnawing away at the area, desperately trying to untangle herself. With every painstaking pull and tear, more of her flesh began to peel from the bone, but the wire’s fibers held firm. Determined to rid herself of this living nightmare, Hope did the unfathomable.

“Once we got a good look at her injuries it was apparent that this poor girl had been tied by a tight piece of wire, so much so that it became embedded in her leg,” said Susan Blehr, Program Director at the Turks & Caicos SPCA. “We believe she chewed off her own leg to escape the horrific situation she was in. However long it took or how long she lasted like that is unknown, but the pain she endured must have been excruciating. How she survived in a bush without dying from secondary infections or blood loss is a miracle.”

Susan said her organization received reports of a severely injured stray dog in the high bushes of the Northwest Point Resort, but was never able to track her down until homeowners in the area decided to lend a helping hand. Tom and Margaret McFarlane and Tom and Kathy Lamb loaded their properties with pieces of chicken in hopes of luring the starving dog into a trap. Sure enough, Hope took the bait and was inside the cage within an hour and on her way to Pampered Paws, another local rescue organization in the area. Once there, her wounds were examined, thoroughly cleaned, and treated with high dosages of antibiotics and pain medications. She was also put on a proper diet to help her gain back some of the weight she lost while she was homeless.

From there, it was more than 1,300 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to Port Washington, N.Y., home of America’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization. There she would receive the extensive medical care she needed to live a healthy life and the chance to find a responsible, loving home – she’d also receive a new name – one that would signify her new life as a three legged survivor. Now named Trinity, her gut wrenching story is one of courage and survival, serving as a reminder that all animals, regardless of their prior condition, are worthy of a second chance.

“When she first arrived, she was in pretty bad shape. A piece of the bone was actually hanging out of the skin and whatever was left of the limb was dead, so we knew we were going to have to perform an amputation in order to give her the best quality of life,” said Animal League America Senior Vice President & Chief of Veterinary Staff, Dr. Mark Verdino. “We were able to perform a pretty routine amputation at the hip, and within a couple of days she was fully healed and ready for adoption. We’re very pleased with how far she’s come.”

Shortly after her surgery, Trinity was welcomed into the home of Joanna and James Marvin, loving adopters from Massachusetts, who immediately fell in love with her affectionate personality and embraced her disability. Today, she is enjoying every second of her newfound life in the Bay State with her new family. Going on three to four walks per day, taking road trips, riding the subway, socializing at the dog park, and even sleeping under the covers in their bed, Trinity has become the center of the Marvin’s universe.

“My husband and I were in the Navy for 20 years and have lived all over the world. Years ago, we rescued several dogs in Guam and actually kept two of them as our own. Recently, we were searching the websites of various rescue organizations and came across North Shore [Animal League America]. That’s where we saw Trinity. I showed my husband her photo and he said “let’s get her.” That was it. A few days later after doing the pre-approval over the phone, I made the trip to Port Washington and took her home,” Joanna said. “Trinity is absolutely perfect. We couldn’t be happier with her.”

Trinity's story is one of survival, strength and second chances. You can help give more animals the second chance they deserve when you support our Rescue Fund.