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Lionheart was rescued on October 6, 2009 from a puppy mill raid in Lamar, Arkansas. He was discovered in a “pen” outside a barn that housed 85 other small-breed dogs. He had no shelter, food, or water: his area was made up of scrap metal and pieces of chain link fence placed together. He was found standing in several inches of mud, standing urine and feces. There was a dog carrier in the corner of his “pen” that had several inches of excrement at the bottom, which was his only source of shelter. His only known source of water was runoff that pooled in the mud in his pen.
Lionheart in his “pen” at the puppy mill in Arkansas:
Photos courtesy of HSUS
When Lionheart was brought to the League, he was emaciated, covered in matts, fleas, ticks, urine and excrement, he could barely breathe and was wheezing loudly. He was rushed into the Medical Center, where veterinarians at first thought he was suffering from chronic heart failure and anemia. After extensive testing, it was determined that Lion’s heart condition was caused by his anemia; he was treated with antibiotics and a normal diet and his heart improved and strengthened. His coat was shaved off to free him of the mats that caused his skin to stretch and tear, and he gained 15 pounds in three weeks from being fed on a routine schedule.
Lion was adopted by an employee of the League, who along with the League’s staff, fell in love with his courageous attitude and incredibly sweet and calm demeanor. He was taken to an ear, nose and throat specialist where it was discovered that Lion’s throat, nose and airways had been crushed by blunt force trauma earlier in his life. After two extensive surgeries, Lion’s nose, throat and airways have been improved, and he now runs, plays, and enjoys chasing after squirrels. His coat has grown in and he continues to prove to everyone he meets that he is a resilient, amazing dog who holds no grudges from the horrendous life he once had. His new mom said Lion is never fearful, always happy, and is the sweetest dog you will ever meet.
Here are some photos of Lionheart today: