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Injured dog recovering from wound, neglect
Her collar was so tight, it cut into her neck 2 1/2 to 3 inches
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Dr. Summer Roper, left, lets Grace the dog enter the lobby of Browns Bridge Animal Hospital for a visit by Anna Roberts, center, and Susan Kemp. The dog is still under Roper’s care following surgery to remove a collar emedded in her neck. A local rescue, Evelyn’s Place, found the dog along Athens Highway.

How to help

What: Donate to Grace’s Fund

How: Contact Browns Bridge Animal Hospital at 770-536-8831, and tell reception you want to donate to the Grace’s Fund account

For more info: Evelyn’s Place, 770-503-5402 or evelynsplacerescue@gmail.com, or Browns Bridge Animal Hospital, brownsbridgeah.com

Source: Evelyn’s Place, Browns Bridge Animal Hospital

The American bulldog mix, named Grace, was discovered along Athens Highway on the morning of Nov. 16 with a neck wound so extreme veterinarians were surprised she was still alive.

“Grace was found with a gentleman walking up the street with her neck slit basically from ear to ear, practically trachea-deep, and some good Samaritans cared enough to stop and ask the gentleman what his intentions were with the dog,” said T.C. Reynolds, owner of Evelyn’s Place, a Gainesville-based animal rescue currently caring for Grace. “The man told them that he didn’t know what to do with her, that he was going to go dump her. They said, ‘If you don’t mind, can we take your dog?’ and he let them take her,” Reynolds said.

Along with the visibly injured Grace, the man had a second dog but refused to give it up.

The people then contacted a rescuer at Evelyn’s Place, and Grace was taken to a local animal emergency care, where the cause of the wound was revealed: an embedded collar.

“Apparently, when the collar got put around Grace’s neck, she was about 8 weeks old, and it never got taken off. Now, she’s estimated at 12-15 months old, so all this time she was growing, that collar was getting embedded in her neck,” said Reynolds.

The incident was reported to animal control, Reynolds said, but because of a lack of specifics to identify the man, it’s unlikely he will be found.

“This man was walking, so without a license plate number or anything, there’s no way to identify him other than we do know that he was a black male with tattoos on his face,” Reynolds added.

After the collar was removed from her neck, Grace underwent surgery at Browns Bridge Animal Hospital on Nov. 17.

Dr. Summer Roper, the veterinarian who performed Grace’s surgery, said her injury was the worst of its kind she had ever seen.

“Grace is unfortunately not the first one we’ve seen (with this type of injury), we see it very commonly, but this is the worst one I’ve ever seen. It was so deep that you could almost palpate her trachea, and probably another week or two would’ve severed her entire trachea,” Roper said.

Grace’s wound, which was approximately 10 inches in length and 2 1/2 to 3 inches deep, was cleaned of dead tissue, then sutured closed, Roper said. Aside from a scar that will likely be visible on her neck, Grace is healing very well and is expected to remain on pain medications and antibiotics for the next few weeks.

“Physically she’s going to heal really well; emotionally ... she’s doing well, but I think that’s going to be the bigger thing long term for her,” said Roper. “She is very comfortable with my staff here — she’s a sweetheart, an absolute doll. And she’s learning how to play with toys. She’s a lucky girl that she made it,” Roper said.

Reynolds echoed Roper on Grace’s progress and demeanor.

“Even after what she’s been through with this guy, with this horrific injury, she was just wagging her tail, just so happy that someone finally noticed her. She’s just the sweetest thing in the world,” Reynolds said.

A donation fund for Grace has been set up at Browns Bridge Animal Hospital, which will help cover the costs of her care.

“So far, about $975 has been called in from wonderful, caring people in Grace’s name to the vet directly,” said Reynolds.

Because of the daily wound care and further treatment, more donations are needed.

After her rehabilitation, Reynolds said she hopes Grace will be adopted to a loving home.

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