A small puppy suffering from severe mange has made a phenomenal transformation after being found neglected and left for dead at a Pennsylvania farm.
Libre, a 4-month-old canine named for the Spanish word for freedom, was found in July on the Quarryville ranch in such poor condition that he couldn’t lift up his head or eat on his own.
"I was so emotional when I walked into the hospital," said Janine Guido, Libre's new owner. "I smelled him before I saw him and it was the smell of rotting flesh and when I touched him, puss came out — he was literally at death's door.”
The pup was taken to Dillsburg Veterinary Hospital, where he was treated for his severe mange infection. His prognosis was not good, but veterinarians were hopeful.
"Doctors only expected a miraculous recovery. They said 'all he needs is prayers'" said Guido, who stayed by Libre's side until he was released.
Now, at 6-months-old, the brave Boston terrier has recovered phenomenally. Although he has permanent damage to both eyes due to his previous skin infection, he is in good condition and now on a special diet for his skin.
He's such a playful puppy, he loves to say hi to others and he's great," Guido said of Libre.
Farmer Benjamin S. Stoltzfus, 33, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in relation to Libre's condition. He was fined $300, according to court documents.
The furry friend’s case has caused uproar within the community in regard to Stoltzfus' sentence, which did not include jail time and was viewed by some as too lenient.
Susan Martin, the executive director of the local SPCA, claimed there was ‘no sign of neglect’ when they picked up Libre. She later stepped down from her position after authorities and the community signed a petition calling for her ouster.
The case also led to systematic changes in the Lancaster Police Department. Officers will now investigate animal cruelty cases in conjuction with the Humane Society.
The outpouring of support is amazing… There are no words to describe it” Guido said.
Not only is the community taking a stance, but State Senator Richard Alloway proposed for “Libre's Law,” which will push for animal cruelty crimes to be prosecuted as felonies.
For now, Libre is enjoying the "ruff" life