Warning: This story contains graphic images.
Heidi needs your help.
The three-and-a-half-year-old German shepherd is suffering from serious injuries after falling off the back of a moving pickup truck in Nanaimo and being dragged behind it, according to the BC SPCA.
It’s an incident the non-profit calls “devastating” with the aftermath being so bad, Eileen Drever, the SPCA’s senior officer of protection and stakeholder relations, says she was shocked when seeing photos of Heidi’s injuries.
In fact, Drever described it as “one of the toughest days” of her life.
“Her paws and lower leg were worn down to the bone,” she said in a release Tuesday. “The physical and psychological pain that this kind of tragic event would cause is unimaginable.”
Drever continued: “Transport of an unsecured pet in the back of a pickup is illegal, but as Heidi’s case shows, even tethered transport poses serious risks. The best and safest way to transport dogs is always inside the vehicle, preferably with a harness made specifically for travelling in a vehicle.”
A witness called RCMP and officers found Heidi and her owner on the side of the road, the SPCA said. The dog was in critical distress, seized by police and rushed to a veterinary hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery.
“Heidi remained at the hospital for three and a half weeks and received round-the-clock bandage changes and pain management,” the SPCA said, noting her treatment plan is ongoing and will change as her injuries heal.
“The BC SPCA is covering all of the costs of Heidi’s treatment,” it added.
Court documents show the incident occurred on Oct. 9, with the dog’s then-owner, Seyed-Amir Jozi, facing charges of killing or injuring an animal and causing injury to animals being conveyed. Jozi is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 6.
Vet staff described Heidi, who’s now at the SPCA’s Nanaimo animal centre after being seized, as a lovely dog with a friendly disposition, despite the trauma she has endured.
“(Vet staff) are all wishing Heidi a speedy recovery so she can begin the next chapter in her life and enjoy being a young shepherd,” said Drever.
The SPCA is currently seeking donations via its website to aid in Heidi’s recovery and to help her begin a new chapter in life, adding that she should be ready for adoption by mid-December.