OSWEGO, NY â€“ Rockford is one lucky dog.
His jaw is completely severed; held in place only by some tissue and skin.
Recently, his previous owner brought his vehicle to Absolute Auto and Audio in Fulton for work.
Thatâ€™s when Rockford met Rachel Dean.
The Absolute employee saw the puppy and felt something was wrong.
Rachel asked the customer what was wrong with the dog and another employee notified the authorities.
â€œI asked him if I could take the dog and get it some medical help because I felt that he would not do that,â€ she told Oswego County Today.com â€œHe surrendered the dog to us and now I am Rockfordâ€™s legal guardian.â€
Since the previous owner lives in Syracuse, the alleged abuse is being investigated there. A spokesperson for Syracuse Police said the SPCA is handling the investigation.
Rockford is about eight weeks old, Rachel estimated.
â€œHe is just a great dog. Even though he was probably in a lot of pain he was wagging his tail and running all over the shop meeting people,â€ she said. â€œHe ran up to everybody and wagged his tail. Heâ€™s very friendly.â€
Rockford is being treated at Fruit Valley Vet Clinic in Oswego Town.
â€œWhen the vet told me that he could save him, I said, Go for it!â€™â€ Rachel said. â€œThey put him on a special diet to get his weight up because he was malnourished. The vet put a muzzle on his jaw; we hope that it heals back together.â€
If not, Rockford will be transported to Cornell for surgery.
â€œWe sent his X-rays down to Cornell. Weâ€™re waiting to hear back from them. Weâ€™re taking it day by day right now. If he doesnâ€™t heal properly in a few weeks we have to go to Cornell for surgery,â€ she said.
The surgery could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000, she added.
Several donations have already been made to help defray the puppyâ€™s medical expenses.
Anyone wishing to contribute to Rockfordâ€™s recovery may do so at Fruit Valley Vet Clinic, 7100 Route 104, Oswego.
â€œIf surgery is needed, Fruit Valley will cut a check for Cornell and send it,â€ Rachel said.
Any extra money will be kept at the clinic in a special account for Rockford.
â€œHeâ€™s likely going to require more medical care throughout his life and those funds will help cover that,â€ she explained.
While at the clinic, Rockford also got all the vaccinations a puppy his age should have.
â€œThey have been amazing at the clinic. Theyâ€™re taking such good care of him and theyâ€™re having a blast with him,â€ Rachel said. â€œHis jaw was hanging by just a piece of skin, he must have been in a lot of pain, and yet he is very friendly.â€
When Rockford gets to his new home, he will have a canine companion to help him recovery as well.
Domino, a black and white three-year-old pit bull, â€œis the love of my life,â€ Rachel said. â€œSheâ€™s another rescue. I got her when she was about seven weeks old.â€
She is a good dog, very calm and good with other dogs, Rachel said of Domino.
â€œSheâ€™s a good dog. She will help take care of Rockford,â€ she said.