Deebo came into the Lesslie Animal Hospital in Rock Hill, South Carolina, sick and in bad shape. The 5-year-old dog was emaciated, was suffering from a skin condition, had infections in his ears and had tested positive for heartworm. His owner also thought he had a tumor on his face. It was a lot of health issues for such a young dog.
“We got a phone call that a dog was coming in for euthanasia who had a tumor on his face, and he was only 5 years old, so that got my attention right away because 5-year-old dogs aren’t euthanized very often,” Dr. Eric Setzer, owner of the hospital, told The Dodo.
Setzer presented Deebo’s owner with a quote to treat the dog, but she could not afford it. Still, Setzer didn’t want to euthanize a dog whose health issues could be successfully treated.
“I gave her a quote for what the treatment would cost, but she said she couldn’t afford it, and to still put him to sleep,” Setzer told The Dodo. “So I had her sign him over to the animal hospital.”
Setzer then began to work on Deebo’s treatment, and called Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks Rescue, a rescue in the greater Charlotte area that works to save large breed dogs, which agreed to help pay for the dog’s medical treatment.
Deebo was under Setzer’s care for about three weeks, in which time the Pit Bull got a chance to bond with the veterinarian who refused to euthanize him.
“He’s one of those real lazy dogs,” Setzer told The Dodo. “He kind of lumbers over to you, and you can tell that all he wants is to be petted and loved. He just kind of leaned right into me, and he was really, really sweet.”
Setzer, who last year saved a cat in a similar situation, hopes that those who decide to bring an animal into their homes have the capability to provide care no matter the circumstances.
“If you get an animal, make sure that you have the financial wherewithal to take care of it, no matter what happens,” Setzer said. “[Deebo’s owner] had three animals, and if she only had one, she might have been able to afford the treatments.”
As for Deebo, he will be available for adoption when he fully recovers.
“Deebo would do great in any home,” Suzanne Blocker, vice president and cofounder of Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks Rescue, told The Dodo. “He is friendly with other dogs, indifferent to cats and he is a huge snuggle bug. He thinks he is a lap dog.”
If you wish to inquire about Deebo, or would like to make a donation, you can visit the Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks Rescue website.