Alex had all but given up, spending his days chained outside, a wire cable embedded more than an inch deep in his neck.
"You couldn't even see the cable because it was maggots on top of maggots." His owner had called a Nebraska rescue group to surrender him but didn't say how hurt he was. The rescue team took him to the Pender Vet Clinic, but they knew he needed more help than they could give. They called one of the only animal rescue teams in Siouxland to take on such dire cases: Noah's Hope Animal Rescue.
"They feel it was months, maybe up to a year that he had this cable had been embedded. So he was pretty down and out."
Brenda Iwen has been with Alex since he came to Pender, documenting his journey on Facebook for Siouxlanders to see. "I honestly did not think he was going to make it. The first day, day two, he didn't start to recover at all. He was still just down and out."
Iwen and the Noah's Hope team brought Alex to the Siouxland Animal Hospital and began treating his open wounds, hoping for a miracle. His neck wound was deep, filled with maggots and infection. Iwen says the vet team worked their magic, cleaning the gaping wound, urging Alex to eat and drink.
"Once he started getting hydrated and started getting some of the infection gone and getting rid of most of the maggots," Iwen said, "just like that he started turning the corner and he never looked back."
Two weeks after his rescue, a miracle is walking around the Siouxland Animal Hospital location in Indian Hills. Alex is going home with Brenda to continue healing, but it's not just his open wounds, it's the ones you can't see on the surface.
"I think his biggest hurdle is his mental," Iwen said as she pet Alex in the grass. "He was a watchdog in his previous life. Not any human interaction."
Alex's new journey is just beginning, and he is learning that humans can be good, especially for ear scratches and forehead kisses. He's got quite the fan base at the vet office and hundreds of people from around the globe cheering his recovery on online.
"I feel like he really coming around that way," Iwen said. Alex still isn't sure about people. "The problem is his mental rehab. He is just so leery of people."
While his tail is now wagging and his ears perked up, Alex still has a long road to recovery, but his new life of love and happiness is just getting started, never again to be chained up.
Noah's Hope Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization in Siouxland, running fully on donations with all money going directly to help animals in need. If you would like to help pets like Alex and others who need it, you can visit their website to donate and learn more. Noah's Hope is also in need of fosters to house their rescue animals. If you think you may be a good fit, you can fill out an application on their website.
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Web articles from my time at Siouxland News.