UPDATE: January 16, 2013
According to Yahoo News, Buck had his eye surgery and was released to his owner Tami Augustyn on Saturday.
“Just picked up Mr. Buck and was getting ready to head home and everybody’s little angel just peed all over the back of my SUV,” Augustyn wrote on the dog’s Facebook page. “[The doctor] said the healing looks like it is coming along nicely, but still no way to know about [Buck’s] vision [yet].”
Buck underwent eye surgery, which was completely paid for by donations made via the online community and Buck Needs Bucks for his Buckshot Injuries page.
One of the challenges of the dog’s recovery is the application of eye drops, which must be administered every 6 hours; a two-person job, Augustyn takes Buck to the animal hospital, where personnel take care of the arduous task.
Tami Augustyn has always had a passion for helping animals in need. So when a neighbor called her about a severely injured dog found in the Houston suburb of Conroe, she didn’t think twice about coming to the poor dog’s aid.
One of Augustyn’s neighbors was on a drive Saturday morning when the neighbor spotted a large garbage bag tied to a roadside fencepost. Slowing down to take a look, the passerby noticed with horror that the bag was moving.
After getting the bag open, a badly battered dog stumbled out into the light, his face swollen and covered in blood. Exhausted, the injured dog collapsed to the ground. Augustyn scooped up the 60-70 lb. pup, who she has since decided to call Buck, and gently placed him in her car.
When Augustyn brought poor Buck to the Emergency Clinic of Conroe, she didn’t know if he would survive. Upon examination, veterinarians Dr. Ron Hendrick and Dr. Brad Bennett made a horrific discovery — Buck had been shot in the face, pellets from the buckshot still lodged in his face, mouth, shoulder, and eyes. Presumably, the person responsible for the dog’s severe injuries had tied Buck into that garbage bag and left him for dead.
“This is the worst case [of animal abuse] I’ve seen around here,” Dr. Bennett told Your Houston News.
Dr. Hendrick estimates that Buck, who was suffering from hypothermia upon arriving at the clinic, must have spent at least 10 hours trapped and bloodied in that garbage bag before he was discovered Saturday. Augustyn is baffled that anyone could be so cruel.
“Dogs love unconditionally,” Augustyn tells the Montgomery County Police Reporter. “You’ll never find anyone or anything that loves you like a dog. Why would you injure something like that? I don’t understand.”
Though Buck is expected to recover, the scars from his wounds remain. The Buckshot pellets have likely caused permanent damage to his eyes. While he is up and moving, Buck also shows signs of some brain damage and hearing loss.
But Augustyn, who felt an instant bond with the abused pup and plans to keep him, tells the New York Daily News that Buck is a sweet and loving boy, despite everything that’s happened to him.
“Today he’s great,” Augustyn said Tuesday. “He’s very happy when he sees me, when he hears my voice.”
But Buck’s road to health will be long — and expensive. His medical bills have already totaled more than $3,000 and are still rising. Veterinarians say that Buck will require extensive and specialized treatments, visits to an ophthalmologist, and x-rays. Determined to do right by the animal, Augustyn decided to start a fundraising campaign to raise enough money to cover Buck’s veterinary treatment. She created a Facebook page called “Buck Needs Bucks for his Buckshot Injuries,” and put out a plea for donations.
The response was instant and overwhelming. Within only a couple of days, supporters of the dog donated more than $10,000.
If you would like to help Buck, please consider making a donation toward his veterinary care. Those interested can donate by contacting the Emergency Clinic of Conroe directly at 936-539-3800 or by making a contribution to Buck’s PayPal account care of Tami Augustyn at her PayPal address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Augustyn plans to use any extra funds to create the Buck Foundation, which will provide help for other abused dogs.