HCAS DVM Responds to “Niko’s” Story, Says “Concentrate on the Positive”
BROOKSVILLE – Last week, RNRF brought you Niko’s story; a near tragic tale a stray dog who was struck by a car, shot twice, paralyzed, and scheduled to be euthanized. CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL REPORT
SPCA Suncoast (Pasco County) contacted RNRF and asked us share Niko’s story, hoping to gain support from the community. Niko still needs surgery to repair his L7 vertebrae, which if successful, could allow Niko to walk again.
In the days following our report, Dr. Julie Rosenberger of Hernando County Animal Control contacted RNRF, to clarify what she says are some inaccuracies and tell her side of the Niko’s story.
According to Dr. Rosenberger, on Monday November 23rd, Animal Enforcement Officer Jennifer Elswick responded to a stray dog that had been injured by a hit and run driver. Nearby residents comforted him and bundled him in a bed spread until she arrived. Officer Elswick provided an accurate description of his injuries and condition and I instructed her to take him directly to the local emergency veterinary clinic. Shortly thereafter, Niko was treated for shock and discomfort with fluids, pain medications, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics at The Animal Emergency Clinic of Hernando. Based on his presentation, it was suspected that he had injuries to his pelvis and hind limbs. The emergency clinic stabilized and supported him and Animal Enforcement transported him to the shelter the following day. Upon arrival, the pup was reluctant to move and was painful so medical staff administered additional pain medications, expressed his bladder, cushioned his bedding and minimized his movement. “Unbelievably, throughout it all, he continued to wag his tail,” says Rosenberger. “Niko required diagnostics (like x-rays and bloodwork) and likely surgery, supportive care to eat and remain hydrated, and assistance with his urinations that we could not perform or intensively support for any length of time,” according to Rosenberger. Subsequently, on November 25th, Niko was released to SPCA Suncoast to further his treatment. By 4:00p.m., on the eve of Thanksgiving, Niko had x-rays and a diagnosis. That’s also when it was discovered that Niko had evidence of past pellet shots, unrelated to the spinal column injury.
Rosenberger praised SPCA Suncoast and says “They are a valued rescue partner of ours and they take on a lot of financial and time intensive special needs cases.” However, Rosenberger believes some of the statements made by SPCA Suncoast, negatively represented the shelter and tarnished the true spirit of “Niko’s” journey. Rosenberger says, “The Hernando County Animal Services shelter has a past history that we are tirelessly working to improve… For animals that end up unclaimed in municipal shelters, this is often their last chance. We need to concentrate on the positive things we do. Representing the shelter negatively is not going to encourage people to come and adopt, volunteer, foster or rescue from us.”
Dr. Rosenberger began her career in 2007, after graduating from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She served as Director of Veterinarian for Citrus County Animal Services in 2009 and took over as Veterinarian Director for Hernando County Animal Services in May of 2014. Rosenberger claims, that over the last 1 ½ years, Hernando County Animal Services has experienced increased adoptions, increased rescue partnerships, increased volunteer and fosterer involvement and increased outreach event participation.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2015 Real News Real Fast, Inc.