By Julia Deng
MIDLAND - A newborn puppy named Trigger was given a second chance at life after being dropped off at the Animal Control Division of the Odessa Police Department with injuries severe enough to warrant euthanasia.
"The vet said it was horrible," Megan Perkins, a Midland resident who volunteered to bottle feed and care for the pup, believed to be a mastiff-pit bull mix, said.
"There was a deep gash on his neck and his ear was [almost hanging off and] stuck to the side of his head with dried blood. [The gash] was so deep and nasty, [the vet] couldn't even take it," Perkins said.
The unidentified woman who turned Trigger over to Animal Control officials said she found him on the street, near death and did not know anything about his past. It's unclear how he sustained the injuries on his neck and left ear.
According to Perkins, veterinarians said the gash was "too deep and clean cut" to be the result of an accident and was a clear sign of animal abuse.
"[I believe] something or someone tried to decapitate him," Perkins said.
Odessa Animal Control officials reached out to Speaking Up For Those Who Can't, a local non-profit organization known for taking in abused or unwanted puppies, before going ahead with euthanization.
"[The Odessa Shelter manager, Jackie Adimare,] contacted me and said she had this puppy come in that still had its eyes closed [and] was still very young," Bobbie Donaldson, Director of Speaking Up For Those Who Can't, said. "It had a gash cut in its neck and she didn't know if it could be saved but [she asked], 'Were we willing to try and save it?' And I said, 'Yes, of course we will.'"
Speaking Up paid for a specialist in Gardendale to treat Trigger's neck wound and safely remove the mangled pieces of his left ear.
Donaldson said, "many, many other dogs; maybe dozens" at the Odessa Shelter have similar injuries.
"Those dogs, they just don't have much hope once they get in there because the adoption rate is so low," Donaldson said.
She said the lack of spay and neuter laws in Texas was a driving force behind the abundance of unwanted and abused puppies statewide.
"That's why we've had so many lately," Donaldson said. "It's because people are going to the shelter and dropping off litters at a time."
Not all of them are lucky enough to find new homes the way Trigger did. Speaking Up posted his photo on their Facebook page earlier this week and caught the attention of Megan Perkins.
She volunteered to take him in, despite working seven days a week and already caring for two dogs and a five-year-old son.
"I'm crazy," Perkins said. "My heart said to do it, so I did it."
She now calls Trigger her "baby" and said she cares for him like one.
"I gave him a pacifier because I was having to stick my hand in [his bed] the whole night and let him suck on my knuckle [to go to sleep]," she said.
Her three-year-old German Shepherd, Ava, has also been mothering him.
"She's so protective [of Trigger] and has been doing all the things that a dog would normally do for her own litter of puppies... He's her child now," Perkins said.
Trigger is scheduled to have the four staples in his neck removed next Friday, November 21. Veterinarians expect him to make a full recovery and be left with, "nothing but a tiny scar on his neck."