FLINT (WJRT) (1/3/2018) - An injured dog spent the night frozen to the ground in the bitter cold with a badly broken leg. But he's been given a second chance.
The dog has been through a lot. Streethearts Animal Rescue believes he was hit by a car, then frozen to the ground, yet somehow he survived. Now they are trying to find out where he belongs.
"This is not a stray dog, this is somebody's loved pet." said Bill Heatley, one of the organizers behind Streethearts Animal Rescue
If the Golden Retriever he could talk, he would have quite a story to tell -- one of survival when the odds were against him.
"He has a fractured femur, his leg bone is broken very high up and I can't fix it," said Dr Lawrence Ehrman of Veterinary Medical Hospital. "He would need anesthesia to have more X-rays done to completely determine whether anything else is broken."
The ordeal for the dog, which Streethearts named Feliz, began on New Year's Eve when a witness saw him get hit by a car in a Flint neighborhood.
"She heard the impact, looked out, heard the dog cry, looked out to run to her backyard. As soon as he entered her backyard he went and laid down at the back of the yard and didn't move for over 24 hours," said Heatley.
The neighbor called 911 after the dog didn't move for 24 hours and Genesee County 911 Communications Center notified Heatley about the situation. Heatley found the dog, badly injured, but still alive.
"When I got to the point where I meant to move him I had wrapped him and I went to lift the blanket and it wouldn't move," said Heatley. "I actually had to peel him off the ice."
Once he was safely removed from the ice, the dog was rushed to a veterinary hospital.
"The first consideration with this dog was organ damage or failure, and thankfully the veterinarians both say because of his very thick heavy coat, that probably saved him," Heatley said.
Once Feliz was stabilized, veterinarians and volunteers from the rescue group worked to keep him as comfortable as possible while they decide how to treat his fractures.
"We've just been taking care of him, giving him pain medication, let him relax, making sure he eats and awaiting decisions on what goes on from here," said Heatley
Now as the dog continues to recover, Heatley is hoping his owner comes forward or they find him a new home. In the meantime, they will continue to try to save other animals from suffering a worse fate than Feliz.
"The sad thing ... is that's one dog that we found," Heatley said. "There are a multitude of dogs out here in the city of Flint and cats that are not being found that we don't know about."