As animal lovers, the thought of hurting a pet, even by accident, can turn our stomachs. That’s why, when we hear stories of intentional cruelty, we feel compelled to act.

In late September, we received a request from one of our community partners, Joyrides Rescue, for assistance with vet bills for a dog they had pulled from the city shelter. We get calls for help like this all the time, but the story of Max hit us harder than most.

Max, a laid-back Black Labrador Retriever mix, was asked by his owner to sit. When he didn’t immediately comply, his owner did the unthinkable – he ran over Max with his car not once, but twice. By chance, this unconscionable act was witnessed by a police officer, so the owner was immediately arrested.

As you might expect, Max was in rough shape. Veterinarians found a completely fractured front leg and severe road rash resulting from the recent trauma. But they also discovered an old, poorly healed break in his hind leg as well as gun pellets lodged in his body. What cruelty this sweet dog must have experienced before being rescued!

In just a few short weeks, Max has left behind his world of hurt and sadness and found himself surrounded by caring people who want nothing more than to give him the love he deserves. He is far along the road to recovery, having just gotten his therapeutic hardware removed from his surgically repaired front leg. 

Everybody who meets Max, LOVES Max. He is happy and silly in spite of everything he has endured. And without our ability to support Joyrides Rescue in their endeavor to save his life, who knows what fate might have befallen Max.

As this year comes to a close, we hope you will take a moment to reflect. Reflect on how much you love your own pets, and how fortunate they are to be loved unconditionally by you. And then think of all the pets who don’t get to experience that love… yet. With your support and your generous end-of-year gift, we can continue to provide these happy outcomes for animals like Max.

Lisa Tynan