Ending Animal Abuse: Community Outreach in Chicago


Seeing the devastated forehead of the gentle pit bull woman was an emotional moment for Tammy Schmitt, DVM. A section of skin three to ten centimeters wide – the diameter of a grapefruit – was just gone, exposing the hard bones of her skull. When Schmitt looked closely, she saw that the edges of the skin were smooth and not torn. A person with a cutting blade – not another animal – was responsible for the dog’s injuries.

“It was terrible,” says Schmitt. “I had never seen anything like it. This poor dog was obviously in great pain. “

Two Chicago residents discovered the dog abandoned on the street; their torturers were never found. The friendly strangers took the dog to Animal Ark, a veterinary clinic known for its partnerships with animal rescue groups. Schmitt led a team through an elaborate operation, and the dog healed even faster than expected.

Six weeks later, Faith, as she is now called, was in her new adopted home. “That dog had every reason to be afraid of people,” said dog trainer Janice Triptow, president of Chicago Canine Rescue, the nonprofit group that arranged her adoption. “But she has become warm to her new family. It was good to see. “

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