By the time he was taken away from his neglectful home, Libre the puppy had sores and mange so severe his skin oozed at the touch. His coat was covered in skin disease and his markings were indecipherable, even though beneath lay a sweet Boston Terrier puppy.
But those days are behind him now that Libre has fully recovered and been adopted by Janine Guido in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where he plays with other dogs at Guido’s sanctuary, Speranza Animal Rescue, according to Dogster.com. It took a month of veterinary supervision, and daily medicated baths, to ensure the little guy was going to be OK, but now that he will be, his case might even help other dogs in his situation.
Libre’s bad luck began to turn for the better at 4 months of age, when a produce deliveryman who had seen Libre’s declining health at a Lancaster County farm during repeat visits asked the farm owner if he could take the puppy. The delivery driver brought Libre to a former humane officer who reached out to Guido and took the dog to an emergency vet clinic.
After emergency care, and an overnight stay, Libre went to the Dillsburg Veterinary Center. The medical team cared for him for 31 days, treating mange and skin wounds, several of which had maggots — a sign of severe long-term neglect. The dog needed intravenous fluids, strong antibiotics and around the clock care.
During the month he was at the vet center, however, his condition turned around. He grew healthier and happier. Now, he lives with Guido and is an example of the strong spirit of dogs. He’s also helping to change the law around animal cruelty.
Libre’s case had gotten so much attention that people began calling for justice for the puppy. Eventually the farmer who had owned him admitted to police that he thought his sick small dog would simply die when left in his kennel; he was charged with animal cruelty. The District Attorney wanted to take the case further and sought to change Pennsylvania’s cruelty laws. Pennsylvania’s state senator has also voiced support on proposed legislation.
“It’s called Libre’s Law,” Guido told Dogster. “Animal cruelty is not a felony in [Pennsylvania], and we want to make that happen and have harsher punishments for people. A lot of good things have come out of this horrible situation.”
This could mean that dogs like Libre might never have to go through this horrible situation, thanks in part to this little, lucky guy.