QUAKERTOWN, Pa. (WLVT) — When two women set out to rescue one dog, they never expected that they'd end up saving 10.
It was a hot day in mid-May when Megan Wedge found a stray dog wandering around a parking lot in Dalton, Georgia.
"A couple of guys at the plant where I work came into the office and said: Megan, did you see the dog outside? It’s limping," Wedge told PBS39. "As soon as she got up, she’d fall back down. When she did finally get up, you could see that she couldn’t put her weight on her one back leg.I wanted to help her, so I started posting on social media, just asking if anyone was able to help this dog. I didn’t want to call the pound on her. I was hoping to find her a home."
Nearly 700 miles away in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, her sister, Sarah Bauer, answered her call for help.
"Sarah was like: What if I take the dog? I said: Are you sure you want to do this? You don’t know what you may be getting yourself into," said Wedge.
Bauer was adamant that she wanted to give the dog a good home.
"We decided to meet in Virginia over the weekend so that I could pick up the dog," Bauer told PBS39.
Bauer soon found out that the dog, which she named Izzy, had experienced serious trauma.
"Because of Covid-19 and everything going on, I couldn’t go into the vet with her, which was hard in itself," said Bauer. "The vet comes out to my car and tells me that her hip is dislocated, she has abrasions on her legs and that she was probably hit by a car. She also told me that she was hit by buckshot. At that point, I started tearing up. To think that this sweet girl had been treated that way...I don’t even want to think about someone hurting her on purpose."
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, buckshot is shotgun ammunition generally used for hunting. When fired, lead pellets—that resemble tiny pebbles—scatter outward. Each buckshot cartridge contains anywhere from eight to 18 pellets.
Bauer showed the X-ray's to PBS39: "The tiny white dots—that’s the buckshot—all over her body. This is just showing her abdomen. I also picked a couple out of her ears, arms and legs."
"When Sarah told me all of that, I started crying," said Wedge. "I have a rescue dog myself, and she was abused before I got her. To me, dog is God spelled backwards. Dogs are angels. I think it’s sickening that people would even think about hurting an animal."
Bauer also received an unexpected discovery from Izzy’s ultrasound.
"The vet told me that she found a heartbeat," said Bauer. "So, just to know that a little puppy was alive after everything that her mom went through, that was incredible!"
At her follow up appointment, Bauer got an even bigger surprise.
"The vet tech came out and said: So, we don’t just have a puppy, we have puppies! Do you want to guess how many? I said: Three or four? She said: Nine! I said: Nine puppies...that’s crazy," said Bauer.
From June 11th to June 12th, Izzy delivered nine healthy puppies.
"I had my mom and boyfriend come over and we kind of developed a system," Bauer recalled. "Izzy would deliver one, we’d wipe one off, then, the next one would pop out!"
Bauer says being a mother has helped to lift Izzy’s spirit.
"She’s really come alive since the first time that I met her," said Bauer. "I think the puppies really brought out the puppy in her. She manages pretty well, but I know that she’s in discomfort every day, especially if she tries to go up or down steps or even just to run around with her puppies, she won’t put weight on that leg. I just want her to have the best life, that’s why I brought her home with me, I just want her to have a good life."
Izzy still has a long road ahead to recovery.
"Izzy’s hip has been dislocated for too long, it’s actually fused in the wrong spot. It can’t simply be popped back into place. She’s not a candidate for a hip replacement. She needs a special surgery to use scar tissue to essentially form a new joint for her hip," Bauer explained.
A GoFundMe page has been created for Izzy’s surgery, which costs $4,000. Bauer estimates that she’s already spent over $1,000 on vet care, medicine, food and puppy supplies over the last few months. She hopes Izzy’s story will help to raise awareness about animal abuse.
"She is so sweet, and she went through so much pain for no reason. I know that there’s a lot of animals like Izzy who have been abused, or left outside for days on end chained up. I think if you can’t properly care for an animal, you shouldn't have one," said Bauer. "Would I have done it knowing that she needed thousands of dollars for hip surgery and that she would have nine puppies? Yes, I would do it again."
Her sister, who had a chance to meet the puppies that she helped to rescue last month, agrees.
"People have told me that it’s a great thing that me and Sarah did," said Wedge. "I mean, we saved 10 dogs. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat."
If you'd like to help, visit Izzy's GoFundMe page to learn more.
Editor's Note: This story is personal to its author, Megan Frank. The two sisters are relatives of Frank's fiancé. Frank has also adopted one of the puppies featured in this story.