Champ wants you to know that no matter how bad life seems, you should never ever give up. He was left to die by people who didn't care about him. He never gave up and is now ready to tell the world his story, and to inspire you! When things are so difficult they seem impossible, don't give up! You can do it too!
SAFE Animal Rescue/Champ
2060D Ave De Los Arboles
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Champ's journey from the shelter to a life of happiness
A simple text message to a SAFE Animal Rescue volunteer and Champ's life changed forever.
Left in two sealed plastic bags and one over his head tied around his neck, Champsky was left for dead by two people who entered the animal shelter and dropped off what looked like a package on the front desk. After all, it was sealed plastic bags. How were the employees to know there was an animal inside?
When the people were leaving, one of them said "He may still be alive." That's when the shelter worker grabbed the plastic bag bundle and ran to the shelter veterinarian with it.
The vetetinarian quickly cut open the plastic bags and out jumped Champsky. Champsky, blue from lack of oxygen, frantically began running around grasping for air.
The veterinarian in all of his years working at the shelter had never seen such horrific abuse of an animal.
Once Champsky was able to catch his breath and breathe again, although limping, shaking and scared, the veterinarian picked him up to do an exam. Just looking at him he could see the neglect by how matted his fur was, so matted his fur needed to be shaved off. Once his fur was shaved, it was discovered that Champ had ulcers and deep open wounds covering his whole body.
A volunteer from SAFE Animal Rescue received a text message asking if they would be able to take Champsky into their rescue. When she read his story, she immediately called the shelter to tell them YES.
Champsky was being held as evidence until the shelter was able to determine if they could prosecute the people who did this him. Because of this, getting him out would take a little more than walking in and taking him. We had to meet with the lieutenant in charge of his case who wanted to make sure the rescue he went to was capable of handling severe medical issues. S.A.F.E. specializes in animals with medical needs. A perfect match . We would have to provide weekly updates from our personal veterinarian, Westlake Village Animal Hospital/Dr. Daniel Slaton, and photograph his progress. Not a problem. We got Champsky and took him immediately to Dr. Slaton for care and treatment.
Because of being suffocated and the lack of oxygen, we didn't know if there would be any neurological or brain damage.
He was renamed “Champ” and taken directly to Westlake Village Animal Hospital to address any immediate or life threatening conditions. He was given medications and sent home
May 14, 2013
SAFE posted on their Facebook about Champ as they do with all their medical rescues. Here is the post that got his story out (The original post is still on their Facebook page):
Champ quickly gained support from people all over the world, U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Philippines, Netherlands.
With the support, well wishes and prayers, Champ kept on fighting to get better.
Champ arrived at his foster home to find a big fluffy warm bed awaiting him. It was at the foot of his foster parent’s bed so they could tend to any need he might have, day or night.
Champ was so weak he could not walk up or down even two steps to go outside to do his business. He was picked up and taken out several times a day. All he wanted, and needed, to do was sleep. He had been through so much trauma.
Champ would not drink water, but he ate very well. His foster family gave him syringes full of water constantly throughout the day to try to keep him hydrated. He had chicken broth in his food, which he would drink with his meal to help too.
May 15, 2013
Champ received the first of many medicated baths.
May 27, 2013
Eventually it was decided that his open wounds were not healing and he was becoming dehydrated from not drinking any water. So Champ went back to the hospital on May 27th to have more tests run, give him IV fluids and try to figure out why he wasn’t healing.
Every day his foster mom would visit him in the hospital and bring him treats to eat, and chicken broth to drink. She would hold him and read him all the good wishes from his friends and family on Facebook. He seemed to perk up when she came to visit.
But no matter what Dr. Slaton did, and how many tests he ran, Champ was getting worse in the hospital. Everyone was afraid he might not make it. His medication was changed and he went home to be with his foster family on June 3rd.
June 3, 2013
Almost as soon as he got home, Champ started getting better. The new medication was working and within a couple of days he started drinking water on his own. Hurray! Soon after that he got his voice back and barked! His foster family was very happy. Champ was on the road to recovery.
His extended family and friends donated money, food, toys, blankets and clothing to help him. He is loved by so many people! The special food he was eating was very tasty and he loved it. Slowly but surely the open sores on his little body started to heal. Soon they disappeared completely!
Champ still needed to wear clothes every day. He was very very thin. He had no muscle or fat on his body to keep him warm. The clothes helped him feel warm and comfortable. Pretty soon he was out exploring the yard and meeting the other animals that lived with his foster family.
June 13, 2013
June 13th he showed us he has a singing voice too! He loves to howl with the sirens that go by. His family loves his singing voice and sometimes they howl along with him!
June 18, 2013
We got some news and learned that Champ’s blood work was not as good as it should have been, and he may need to have a bone marrow test done to test for a special type of cancer. Everyone was hoping and praying for Champ.
June 28, 2013
For some reason on June 28th when he woke up he was just not feeling well. He cried when we tried to pick him up and just wanted to be left alone. His foster family and SAFE were very worried about him. We think maybe it was because we had to take him off his medicine to do the blood test.
July 1, 2013
A good day. We found out his blood work was normal. Everyone was very happy and it was celebrated around the world! His weight had also gone from 7lbs to 9.4 lbs. He was gaining weight but still weighed about ½ what he should weigh.
July 3, 2013
Champ was given a tiny toy tennis ball with a squeaker. He loved his new toy! He would not put it down and carried it in his mouth everywhere he went. We wonder if he had ever had a toy before.
Champ and his ball
All through July and August Champ continues to get stronger and stronger. He loves to play now with his fellow dog family. He especially likes playing tug-o-war with Amber, his big red lab mix sister. She is very gentle with him and lets him pull as hard as he wants. They have a lot of fun together.
Nilla, Champ's foster sister, is trying to get him to play, but he's still not ready.
Dog pile on Champ....what are foster sisters for if not to keep you warm!
Champ is also enjoying going on walks, probably something he had never done before.
Going on a walk
August 3, 2013
Champ makes his public debut at Petco in Westlake Village where SAFE Animal Rescue has adoption events every Saturday. Champ is not ready to be adopted, but so many people who have given donations, gifts and their hearts want to meet him. He meets many wonderful people and poses with them.
Fiona became a "friend" of SAFE Animal Rescue's Facebook page where all of his newly found friends were kept up to date on his progress. As she read about what happened to him at the shelter and saw how people from all over the world were coming together to support Champ and cheer him on, she was touched by everyone's support and realized how much he had touched the hearts of so many people. She knew she had to tell his story.
Fiona work diligently to put his story together in one place, an E-book. Along with Champ's story and struggle to survive, she has written a children's book with Champ as the star!
Champ was diagnosed with an auto immunue disorder. Because of this he will be on life-long medication. Without the medicine he is very weak, in a lot of pain and his body gets open wounds. He will have regular blood work done to monitor his blood cell counts.
Champ also has a traumatic luxating patella (which means is knee cap pops out). Although this is common in a lot of dogs, Champ's is due to a traumatic injury, not genetics.
He will be undergoing surgery to correct this once he is healthy enough.
Copyright 2013 SAFE Animal Rescue. All rights reserved.
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SAFE Animal Rescue/Champ
2060D Ave De Los Arboles
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362