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‘Pit bull’ getting used to life after gruesome injury

Dog recovering after losing leg

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    Kennel staff member Sara Hensen holds Channing, a stray 7-month-old ‘pit bull’ mix at the Lucas County Canine Care and Control in Toledo. A special pool of money set aside for dogs at the shelter with medical needs, Cutie’s Fund, kicked in to pay for the treatment.

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    Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle

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A young, stray dog is getting a fresh start after a gruesome injury.

Channing, a 7-month-old “pit bull” mix, is getting used to life on three legs. The Lucas County Canine Care and Control picked him up June 14 near the railroad tracks at Post and Albion streets in central Toledo. A significant portion of his right foreleg was missing, ending with a length of exposed bone.

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Julie Lyle, director of the county shelter, said the pup’s loving personality shined even though he was in a great deal of pain.

“He was never anything but sweet, even initially when picked up,” she said.

A special pool of money set aside for dogs at the shelter with costly medical needs, Cutie’s Fund, kicked in to pay for Channing’s treatment. Dr. John Dillon at St. Francis Veterinary Hospital in Sylvania removed the injured leg Friday, and stitched up an additional laceration that almost entirely encircles his torso.

“He’s a very nice dog, and his prognosis is excellent,” Dr. Dillon said. “He should lead quite a normal life.”

Channing’s wounds were at least a week old, he said, and could have been the result of becoming entangled in something like wire. As the pup would have fought to get free, it cut into his flesh both around the leg and his torso. The strangled tissue in the leg would have eventually died and sloughed off as the pup struggled, allowing him to finally free himself.

“He had no paw. The limb was entirely removed except for the radius bone below the elbow,” Dr. Dillon said. “He had lost all flesh below the elbow” as well as the ulna bone.

Channing was transferred Monday to the Lucas County Pit Crew to heal, gain weight, and eventually go up for adoption. Executive Director Jean Keating initially met him at the shelter Saturday, the day after his surgery.

“He’s sweet as pie,” she said. “He came right out and crawled right up in my lap. He’s perfectly happy.”

Since it was created in 2012, Cutie’s Fund has raised more than $166,000 and helped more than 300 dogs at the county shelter get the medical care they needed. The first $5,000 in public donations for Cutie’s Fund was matched by Block Communications Inc., parent company of The Blade, and seeded with a $5,000 donation from John Robinson Block, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Blade, and Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications.

The fund has been bolstered to a current balance of about $9,600 after being critically low earlier this month. But “it is always helpful to have more,” Ms. Lyle said, especially as the shelter enters its busiest time of the year.

Contact Alexandra Mester: amester@theblade.com, 419-724-6066, or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.

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