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Misty’s lifesaving lockdown story

24 September 2021
Misty’s lifesaving lockdown story

Let me introduce myself – my name is Georgina and I’m an SPCA Inspector. I have been at SPCA for seven years, yet every single day, every animal and situation I find myself facing, is different.

Even with those years of experience behind me, Covid has brought huge and unique challenges. We are physically separated from our Inspectorate teams and handling jobs alone that we’d typically attend in pairs. We can’t go into vet clinics, and we are only able to attend critical cases under Levels 3 and 4.

This means that even under lockdown, SPCA Inspectors are still able to be out there every day for animals who need us. Animals like Misty, whose story I want to share with you today.

Sadly, Misty’s former owner had abandoned her, passing ownership over to someone who was unable to look after her. When Misty suffered a horrific tail injury, they reached out to SPCA for help.

I mentioned we could only attend ‘critical’ jobs under Level 4. When I saw the picture they sent over of her tail, it was plain to see just how critical Misty’s need was.

Her tail had been totally degloved, meaning all the skin had come away to the point her tail bones were exposed. The poor girl must have been in unimaginable pain

Despite it being Level 4 lockdown, it was clear that Misty urgently needed medical attention, so I rushedstraight out to collect her.

Because of Level 4 procedures, I didn't see where she was living, but was told she lived outside, tethered on a chain. When she was brought out, she was noticeably thin, and seeing her injury in the flesh, it appeared even worse than the picture I’d been sent.

I was told she acted aggressively with people and other dogs, so I handled her with appropriate caution. By the time I got her into the emergency vet 30 minutes later, I was already so smitten with her sweet nature. It’s like she knew I was there to help.

SPCA vets assessed Misty as soon as we arrived at the Centre. Because of Level 4 procedures, I wasn’t able to accompany her inside, so I said goodbye not knowing when I would see her again.

In the short time, I’d spent with Misty, I was already pretty attached, and absolutely rooting for her. I enquired with my colleagues in the hospital the very next day.

Misty’s tail wound was even worse than I’drealised. The wound had become necrotic, meaning all the tissue was dead and flesh was rotting away from the wound site. The severe infection risked spreading, so Misty was very lucky she received treatment when she did.

I was also told she wasn’t showing any aggression as we’d been led to expect. I wasn’t able to visit Misty in our kennels due to health restrictions, but our amazing canine team kept me updated on her progress.

At first, right after her tail amputation surgery, Misty was extremely wary of people. She would cower in the corner whenever anyone came into her kennel but the team - as always - was patient and gentle. Slowly, Misty came out of her shell and learned to trust them.

I’m told Misty is medically recovering really well, and slowly making friends with our canine team. A turning point came one day when she walked up to my colleague and leaned her face into his palm – he captured a picture of the sweet moment (above) and couldn’t wait to share it with me.

These are the moments that I live for – animals I have rescued showing trust in humans again.

Just yesterday, for the first time since the day I rescued her, I was able to see Misty. Despite the progress she’s making, I didn’t know what to expect.

When she saw me, what’s left of her tail started wagging, and she even jumped up to give me a kiss… I couldn’t believe this was the same dog! After being told she was aggressive with people and other dogs, Misty has surprised everyone at SPCA with her shy sweetness.

She has a long journey ahead of her… she needs to learn how to be part of a family with new people and animals. We believe in giving every animal an opportunity to rehabilitate where possible, and our canine team is going to give Misty every chance to do that.

As the Inspector who brought her in, nothing is more rewarding than seeing animals like Misty get the second chance they deserve.

It’s why nothing – not even a Level 4 lockdown – will stop us from being there for the animals who need us.

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