The veterinarians and volunteers who cared for Leroy — a stray dog found on the streets of Caldwell in December — knew the dog had suffered severe injuries. But they didn’t know how bad until he took a turn for the worse this week.
Leroy died Thursday. In his final days, he was getting care and treatement at All Valley Animal Care Center’s hospital in Meridian.
“Several of the people he was close to, myself included, gathered at noon to be there with him as he left,” said Brittany Smith, assistant foster / adoption coordinator for Boise Bully Breed Rescue.
Smith, who works as a resident director at Boise State University, had rallied engineering students to make Leroy a wheelchair because the dog suffered paralysis in his hind legs. Smith’s uncle, who owns a fabrication business in New Hampshire, pledged to make another five wheelchairs for dogs in Idaho that might need them.
It was a feel-good story until yesterday. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail that Cathleen Catti, founder of Boise Bully Breed, sent to volunteers yesterday:
“I am very sorry to send this e-mail and I know your hearts will be broken. Leroy has taken a turn for the worst. Yesterday he turned blue and was placed in the oxygen tank 3 times, his eyes are dilated, he is having difficulty breathing, has to be carried out to potty, is in pain and is urinating on himself.”
Catti told the Statesman that Leroy suffered such severe injury from abuse, neglect and lack of nourishment that the veterinarians didn’t think he’d last a week. He had an L-shaped spine that “flopped in every direction.”
“With good food and medicines he did a turn around for awhile,” Catti said.
Leroy was one of many dogs that Boise Bully Breed Rescue was trying to find a new home for. Another one who became well-known in the Valley was Walker Moore, a dog hit by car on Idaho Highway 44, and named for a pair of police officers who helped rescue him.
Walker Moore is still in foster care, awaiting a permanent home. If you’re interested in adopting him, contact Boise Bully Breed, BoiseBBR@gmail.com or visit their website, www.boisebullybreedrescue.com.