Phoenix's Story - A Tale of Survival and Hope

Phoenix's story

Phoenix is nearly a 1 year old pure bred German Shepherd who was donated by LookOut kennels to a US Army Veteran in Northern Arizona. She was being trained as his mobility service dog (for free) by K9 Paws Behavior dog training and her food was being donated by a local no-kill shelter mutt matchers organization.

As a 18 week old puppy her training and puppy manners were going exceptionally well and we were very excited that she was going to be one of the best dogs we’ve ever had, we were all so thrilled with her progress. After nearly two months, the Veterans neighbor called our main PTSD trainer one day to notify her that she kept hearing Phoenix screaming horribly and non-stop. Our trainer immediately headed down to the Veteran’s house but there was no answer, for the next 3 days she repeated the check-in, but still there was no answer at the door.

Several days later, the Veteran emailed and said that he was having nightmares and kicked and broke Phoenix’s jaw, the trainer immediately contacted the local authorities and together they went to remove Phoenix from his home. As he opened the door they saw the Veteran drag this beautiful 18 week old puppy with her jaw hanging, the authorities grabbed him and our trainer grabbed Phoenix and rushed her to the local Veterinarian where it was found that she had a compound fractured jaw and suggested that she be taken to a specialized Las Vegas ER animal hospital to be operated on immediately. Once examined upon her arrival it was further determined that she had 3 broken ribs, was sexually abused and terribly malnourished. Apparently the Army Vet was taking the donated food to local pet stores for refund gift cards he was selling and feeding her cooked rice, carrots and cat treats. After hours in the ER and 8 pins in her jaw her long road to recovery began.

Given her lack of nutrition and severe abuse, she developed arthritis in her ankles and was barely able to walk, additionally her skin/coat were in horrible condition due to lack of care and attention not to mention a poor diet.

We almost immediately started to give her Arthramine Max and Lipiderm Skin and Coat supplements along side her medicine (we were familiar with these products because we use them on all our PTSD trained dogs). We noticed an almost immediate change in her mobility and in about 2 weeks, she started standing up on her own and walking much better on her pads, additionally her skin and coat were starting to heal in the areas she had lost fur.

Now 9 months after her surgery and this terrible ordeal, she walks (and runs) like a normal German Shepherd, her skin is healthy and looks amazing and she enjoys her days with her adopted new family and 8 other beautiful dogs. Thank you to IVS for making products that work, are affordable helped so many of our service dogs.
Marsha Tonkinson
K9 paws behavior dog training