OSWEGO, NY â€“ Vets will surgically repair Rockfordâ€™s injured jaw today.
The pit bull puppy was surrendered recently to employees at Absolute Auto and Audio in Fulton by a customer, according to store manager Rachel Dean.
â€œHe said not to worry about the dog (in the vehicle) because there was something wrong with his jaw and he couldnâ€™t bite,â€ she said. â€œThe jaw was literally hanging from the dogâ€™s head; only held on by skin and some tissue. The bones were completely severed off the dog.â€
Rachel is now Rockfordâ€™s legal guardian.
The previous owner told her his kids had played with the dog and injured his jaw that morning. She didnâ€™t believe him and convinced him to give the six- to eight-month-old puppy to her.
Rockford was treated at Fruit Valley Vet Clinic in Oswego Town. Vets there said the injuries had occurred before that morning. They also found the dog had previously suffered broken bones in his left leg that hadnâ€™t been treated, Rachel said.
The investigation was turned over to the CNY SPCA (Onondaga County) because Rockford’s previous owner lives in Syracuse.
On Tuesday, the previous owner was charged with three counts of cruelty for animal abuse and neglect, she added.
A muzzle was placed around Rockfordâ€™s jaw to see if it would heal properly.
However, after a couple days, they became concerned that the bones may fuse incorrectly.
Rockford got to spend the 4th of July weekend with Rachel. They took him back after X-rays were taken on Monday.
â€œThey werenâ€™t good. One side of his jaw is lined up. But the other side, the bone seemed to rotate. His left is a lot worse off than anticipated. He does in fact need surgery. Dr. Eric from Fruit Valley talked to Dr. Bliss at Cornell who will be doing the surgery,â€ Rachel told Oswego County Today.com
She dropped him off for an evaluation and they told her surgery is the best option for Rockford.
â€œIâ€™m so nervous. Poor guy, I didnâ€™t want to put him through any more pain,â€ she said.
â€His weight is still down and he is hesitant on eating because it seems something is bothering the inside of his mouth, besides the fact that it is broken, of course,â€ she continued. â€œWhen I brought him to Fruit Valley, he weighed 23.9 pounds. Now he weighs 25.5 pounds. They think that was mostly fluid weight that he gained back because he was so dehydrated.â€
Rachel prays that hopefully, he is strong enough to make it through surgery, â€œwhich is one of their biggest concerns.â€
â€œI should get him back Monday or Tuesday. Tuesday is my birthday, so Iâ€™m praying Iâ€™ll have him by then – best birthday gift EVER!â€ Rachel said.