Every day, the Arizona Humane Society’s Emergency Animal Medical Technicians™ and Second Chance Animal Trauma Hospital™ teams work to save nearly 18,000 pets from horrible abuse and neglect, stray pets with life-threatening injuries, and sick pets with nowhere else to go. Without help, the outcomes for these pets are bleak, at best.
This lifesaving mission is driven by AHS’ Ethical No-Kill Philosophy which ensures that pets are never euthanized for length of time in AHS’ care or due to the amount of space available. AHS, with the community’s support, never gives up and sees remarkable stories of perseverance and survival every day. Stories like Van Gogh’s.
It was November 2019 when Van Gogh was rushed to AHS by a Good Samaritan after being found in an auto body shop, huddled in a corner, and in intense pain with extreme wounds to her head, neck, muzzle, and body. While the cause of her injuries were unknown, Van Gogh’s wounds were so severe that AHS’ trauma team was unsure if her ears could be saved.
During her two month recovery in AHS’ trauma hospital, which cares for 12,000 pet patients each year, Van Gogh received extensive medical care including daily wound cleanings, bandage changes, surgery to remove several masses, treatment for an upper respiratory infection, and dental work. Luckily, due to the diligence of the trauma team, Van Gogh’s injuries healed incredibly well and both of her ears were saved, even though they now have a unique shape due to scarring.
In addition to extensive medical treatment, Van Gogh also needed specialized care from AHS’ Behavior Team, who worked to help build her trust of humans, which included lots of indoor and outdoor playtime as she learned to be a dog, enrichment, countless walks, relaxing naps in staff offices and plenty of treats! Although always extremely sweet, she required a special home due to her nervous tendencies and shyness in certain situations. However, after more than a month waiting for a new home and thanks to AHS’ dedicated adoptions matchmakers, this deserving pup found her forever home and now resides in Phoenix.
Van Gogh’s story represents an unprecedented transformation within animal welfare in Maricopa County. In the last six years, AHS has been able to decrease euthanasia by 81 percent and turn Maricopa County into one of the best places to be a pet. And Van Gogh couldn’t agree more.