Pepin's rescue

Pepin’s rescue

UF evaluates dog rescued after attack

Dr. Natalie Isaza, left, poses with Pepin and Alachua County Animal Services investigator Jessica Lauginiger.

Dr. Natalie Isaza, left, poses with Pepin and
Alachua County Animal Services investigator
Jessica Lauginiger.

A dog that was severely beaten in front of several children at a Gainesville apartment complex was evaluated at the UF Small Animal Hospital on Sept. 26 to determine whether surgery might aid in the healing of a fracture she sustained in her skull.

“We decided not to do surgery because the fracture was already healing, having occurred two weeks prior to her visit,” said Antonio Pozzi, D.V.M., an associate professor of small animal clinical sciences and an orthopedic surgery specialist. “In addition, her bones had been minimally displaced and had not collapsed into her sinus. Assuming she doesn’t have further problems with her sinus in the future, I would say her prognosis should be good.”

Pozzi conducted an initial orthopedic examination on the dog soon after she arrived at UF through the Merial Shelter Medicine Clerkship program, headed by Natalie Isaza, D.V.M. The program provides training to veterinary students in spay/neuter and other procedures and works closely with the shelter and other rescue groups. Isaza arranged for the dog to receive the orthopedic evaluation and a CT scan after being contacted by Jessica Lauginiger, an investigator with Alachua County Animal Services.

The dog, which animal services workers named Pepin, arrived at UF wagging her tail, walking and enjoying all the attention she received in the shelter medicine area. A program known as Helping Alachua’s Animals Requiring Treatment and Surgery — better known as HAARTS — provides funding for shelter animals that need additional veterinary care to become more adoptable. The HAARTS program paid for Pepin’s visit, Isaza said.

The Gainesville Police Department responded to the incident involving Pepin on Sept. 12 when they were contacted about a white male adult seen choking a dog at The Polos apartment complex. The suspect has not been apprehended, and there is a reward for information leading to the suspect’s identification. Anyone with information should call Lt. Robert Koehler at GPD at 352-339-6185. — Sarah Carey