Trinidad Express / Cold, broken and alone, Lily the dog suffered in silence.
She had been flung off a 20 foot precipice in Carenage by two men.
Lily somehow survived the fall.
The men then proceeded to throw stones at her hoping to deal her a death blow.
They eventually gave up and walked away.
No one knew how long she had been there or the amount of pain she was in.
She not only suffered injuries from her attackers, who left her for dead at the bottom of a precipice recently, but her broken body also bore marks of previous abuse.
But thanks to Sara Maynard at Animal Welfare Network, Dr Craig Clermond, Emily Cappon at Sunnyview Vetcare Services and the residents of Carenage, Lily was given a chance .
Though this story has a happy ending, Maynard and Cappon both agree that there are countless animal abuse cases like this in Trinidad that either go unnoticed and end tragically.
Lily’s rescue mission was no easy feat, and took about two hours to get her to safety, Cappon said.
It took a pick-up truck, several feet of canvas, a suitcase and more than 15 people to save Lily.
Maynard, who has more than 30 years’ experience in animal welfare was a part of the rescue mission.
“Lily was first spotted by a resident in Carenage last week Saturday around 10:30pm. He did not know what to do, and called other residents from the area to come and help. They then called the Animal Welfare Network, and I came to assist,” she said.
“A young man from the area, Kerron James was the first to volunteer. He was lowered with a makeshift harness with canvas. We secured the canvas to the pickup, and then around the tree and lowered him. After that they lowered me,” she said.
“When I got there Lily was in the water and injured. She was trapped because a rock had rolled onto her collar, which dragged in the water. It pinned her so she could not lift up her head very well, so I got the collar off her,” Maynard added.
Navigating how to safely get Lily out and up the embankment without causing her further injury was a challenge.
“A resident thought she might fall out of the harness and suggested to put her in a suitcase and zip her up and then haul her up, which is what we did,” Maynard said.
“Lily was taken to Sunnyview Vetcare Services, and received emergency treatment by Dr Clermond. We stayed there until two in the morning,” she added.
Lily was safe but her battle had only just begun.
“Initially, we thought Lily had one broken leg but she had two. Her tail was also broken, and had to be amputated. She also bore marks of previous abuse,” she said.
Maynard noted, one of Lily’s legs was broken before the fall, and she also had injuries to her pelvis and a severe skin condition.
“Normally, when a dog is injured or any animal for that matter is in pain, you have to expect that they will react. They might even try to bite you. Lily never whimpered or utter a sound, and just allowed our team to do what they had to do to get her out. I think Lily is so accustomed to abuse and pain, it is just heart-breaking to see,” she said.
“How many injuries Lily sustained before the fall, and those she got after the fall is uncertain, but what is clear, Lily has been abused for quite some time,” Maynard said.
A video of the incident was captured by a resident of Carenage, and Capon posted it on her Facebook page.
Capon also posted pictures of the numerous X-rays that had to be done on Lily.
Animal Cruelty Should Not Be The Norm
Cappon is a veterinarian surgeon at Sunnyview Vetcare Services, she says, animal cruelty is not seen as important in our society.
She said, “We need stiffer laws and enforce it, so people who do animal cruelty are brought to justice. These laws will not only protect the animals but people too. There is a lot of evidence which suggest that people who do these types of crimes often go on to abuse children, women, and can even become murderers.”
“People need to understand that these types of acts are not acceptable,” she added.
Maynard echoed similar sentiments and said, “Our laws on animal cruelty is so outdated, and people feel they can often get away with these heinous acts. We need to update our laws and have more stringent measures in place, so people who do animal cruelty understand that that kind of behaviour is not normal. Even if you don’t have a passion for animals, you should understand that it is not ok to hurt or kill a living thing.
Lily is on the road to recovery, and recently had titanium implanted in her leg to help her to walk.
Cappon noted, it is still too early to tell but Lily might need a second surgery for her pelvis.
Though Lily is mending physically, her psychological recovery would take some time, she said.
James, a resident of Carenage was the first person to rush to Lily’s aid.
Despite the fact Lily might have to face a second surgery, James is not put off by the prospect and wants to adopt the adorable canine that has won the affection and admiration by everyone who has nursed her back to health.
Cappon said, “Lily likes to be petted but understandably there is a level of mistrust around humans. She needs a lot of ‘TLC’, and hopefully over time she would feel more comfortable.”
Anyone interested towards Lily’s treatment/ recovery can send a donation to: Animal Welfare Network : Republic Bank Ltd. Ac# 110003138601 or make payments directly to Sunny View Vet Clinic in Diego Martin.