ST. CHARLES – A puppy is on the path to recovery thanks to a chain of volunteers and a local veterinarian who donated his services to give her a chance in life.
A driver in Kentucky headed to Illinois couldn't pass by the injured dog he spotted on the expressway May 20. Its position on the roadway and the diagnosis of three broken legs led to the surmise that someone had thrown the dog off the overpass.
A series of helping hands landed the injured dog at the K9 Enrichment Initiative, a nonprofit animal welfare organization in Plainfield that provides foster-based rescue.
"When I found out that three legs were fractured, I [said] Father, Son and Holy Ghost, give me strength," said K9 Enrichment's founder and Executive Director Cynthia Guzman, adding the thought prompted her to name the pup Trinity.
Guzman connected Trinity to the care of Dr. Adam Conroy of South Elgin, a partner in animal care clinics in South Elgin, Geneva, Algonquin and Hoffman Estates.
Conroy and his team pitched in beginning the week before Memorial Day to treat the injured dog and keep her comfortable after the several surgeries needed to repair both back legs and her right front involving three casts. Conroy said his devoted staff took turns arriving at the clinic every two to three hours during Memorial Day weekend to care for Trinity. Dressings had to be changed and they had to keep the immobilized dog clean and make sure she was eating, Conroy said.
"She's in great spirits," Conroy said during her hospitalization. "That's what breaks your heart. She 's such a sweet dog."
He ordered a customized cart with wheels to relieve the pressure on her back legs and said he also treated the approximately 7-month-old coonhound mix for ticks and parasites, noting the next step will be aggressive rehabilitation.
"This was a unique case with a unique story," Conroy said. "I just wanted to give this dog a fighting chance."
He said healing would take about six to eight weeks, followed by up to four months of physical therapy. Watching her run again will be the fun part, Conroy said, noting the dog wants to play and the more it engages with loving humans, the tougher it initially proved to keep her immobile enough to protect her broken limbs.
He said he is proud of his staff and appreciates the positive feedback he has received from people hearing about Trinity in states as far away as Virginia and Colorado.
Conroy said using his surgical skills to help her heal reminded him of exactly why he chose his profession.
At the end of May, Trinity was able to move into a foster family home, and despite some setbacks is reported to be on the mend. A video shared by K9 Enrichment on June 4 showed her enjoying breakfast in bed.
"The outpouring of support in words and deeds is powerful and I know Trinity feels the love all around her as she recovers," Guzman said in an email. "She has a tough road ahead of her after re-fracturing the front leg (in May), but she is a fighter looking to live and we have her back all the way."
A GoFundMe campaign was begun by K9 Enrichment to help with her continuing medical expenses and to help support its rescue work. Supplies can be donated at poundwishes.com/donate/2806705/trinity. And people who would like to stay apprised of Trinity's progress may go to facebook.com/KEI4LIFE. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit k9ei.dog.
Guzman said Trinity will make an appearance at the Joliet Slammers baseball stadium on July 22 when her organization co-hosts a fundraiser for its Southern Comfort Coalition program. It supports southern Illinois shelters with food and supplies to ensure the animals in their facilities have healthy food and care while awaiting rescue. Tickets to the ballgame, which will be a bring-your-dog-to-the-game day, will be offered on the K9 Enrichment website.