Miami-Dade Animal Services rescued a dying puppy in response to a complaint from a person concerned about the health and welfare of an eight week old pup owned by someone in the neighborhood. When Animal Services investigators arrived they found the eight-week-old American Bulldog puppy, named Emilio, in critical condition. “Emilio was unable to close his mouth due to a very painful broken jaw, and his gums were ghost white,” said Lisa Yambrich, Animal Services Investigator. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, investigators immediately removed Emilio from the property and brought him to Animal Services.
At Animal Services, Emilio was examined by shelter veterinarians who determined that in addition to his physical injury the puppy was also suffering from a severe hookworm infestation, a type of parasite which latches onto the intestines and sucks the host’s blood. In Emilio’s case the hookworms had consumed so much of his blood that his life was in grave danger. Shelter veterinarians quickly gave Emilio a life-saving blood transfusion.
That evening Dr. Ken Sieranski—the shelter veterinarian who treated Emilio when he arrived—took the puppy home with pain medication to help ease the little dog’s pain until the next day when he could take Emilio to a veterinary clinic for x-rays of the injured jaw. The x-rays confirmed a fractured jaw diagnosis that required surgical repair.
According to neighbors, Emilio had been suffering from the jaw injury for at least a week and his owner made no attempt to take him to a veterinarian for treatment. With witness information and the veterinary assessment, it was more than clear the owner’s inaction caused the puppy unnecessary pain and suffering and Animal Services pursued criminal animal cruelty charges. Dr. Ken Sieranski took pictures documenting Emilio’s condition and prepared a formal veterinary statement. “It was obvious that there had been a lack of proper and reasonable care of the puppy and that he was left to suffer in pain,” said Dr. Sieranski.
The State Attorney’s Office charged Emilio’s owner with felony animal cruelty. On Sept. 17, 2015, the dog owner pled guilty to the charge and was convicted of a first degree felony. His sentence includes five years of reporting probation with several conditions including that he cannot own dogs or have dogs on his property, must submit to regular inspections by Animal Services and must pay for all of Emilio’s medical costs. The money for Emilio’s medical care will go to Paws 2 Care Coalition, Inc., an Animal Services approved rescue partner that took over care of Emilio. Four months after he was removed from his previous owner’s property, Emilio is now happy and healthy in a foster home and will soon be ready to find a forever loving home.See video of Emilio now healthy.