‘Death row’ dog who was taken to a kill shelter after being abused by owners gets a second chance after a pilot flew 750 MILES to rescue her, just 24 hours before she was due to be euthanized
- Adrienne, two, had a severe bladder prolapse after a suspected case of abuse and was in desperate need of surgery
- The poorly pup was taken off the streets and put into a kill shelter last week. She would have been euthanized within 24 hours if rescuers hadn’t stepped in
- When pilot Paul Steklenski, a former tank trainer who now runs an animal charity, heard about her ordeal he knew he had to help
- The ex-US serviceman flew his five-seater plane from his home in Pennsylvania to North Carolina, picked up Adrienne and flew her to Westchester, New York
- On arrival Adrienne was transported to an animal hospital in Stamford, Connecticut, where she underwent a three-hour op on Monday
A dog with just 24 hours to live was given a second chance at life after a pilot flew 750 miles to rescue it from its kill shelter.
Adrienne, two, had a severe bladder prolapse after a suspected case of abuse and was in desperate need of surgery.
Vets say the damage may have been caused by a breeder ripping a puppy out from inside her during a traumatic birth or she could have been raped by a human.
The poorly pup was taken off the streets and put into a kill shelter last week. She would have been euthanized within 24 hours if rescuers hadn’t stepped in.
Dog charity Animals R Family was alerted to the case and agreed to fund the $1,500 treatment Adrienne desperately needed to survive.
But they needed to get the dog from Granville County Animal Shelter, North Carolina to a vet in Stamford, Connecticut who agreed to do the treatment for a third of the price.
When pilot Paul Steklenski, a 45-year-old former tank trainer who now runs an animal charity, heard about her ordeal he knew he had to help.
The ex-US serviceman, who trained to fly in 2013, filled his five-seater plane with fuel and flew from his home in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, to North Carolina.
He loaded Adrienne into the plane’s front seat, strapped in 13 other abandoned dogs in crates to the rear and flew back to the airport in Westchester, New York—a 750-mile round-trip.
The lovable pooch—thought to be a beagle or Basset hound—was then driven to an animal hospital in Stamford and underwent surgery to reinsert her bladder on Monday.
Once she’s back up to full strength, rescuers will find her a new home along with the other pups Paul rescued, which have been taken to other, non-kill shelters.
Pain: The prolapsed bladder (pictured) could have killed the young animal
‘When I heard about Adrienne I knew I had to help,’ Paul said.
‘Animals R Family managed to get the funding for the surgery and I knew I was the missing link.
‘It was touch and go because her bladder could have twisted and that would have been fatal, but all it required was for me to save that animal’s life.
‘I didn’t think about it – I just had to do it.’
Paul set up a dog and cat rescue charity called Flying Fur Animal Rescue in 2015 and estimates he’s saved more than 700 unloved animals from euthanasia.
He travels to Southern states where rescued dogs can be killed at some shelters and transports them north, where there is less of a pet overpopulation problem.
On Sunday, Paul rescued Adrienne and 13 other dogs in his plane, a $70,000 Beechcraft Bonanza.
‘Adrienne was very scared and timid and gentle. She sat next to me the whole way because I needed to keep an eye on her,’ he said. ‘It was so sad. She was malnourished and all these problems. It was not how a two year old dog should be.
‘I flew 750 miles from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to get Adrienne and then to get her back to Westchester. I left at 9am and was in the air for six hours.
‘It was a very emotional rescue because of when was at stake. I was exhausted by the end of the day.’
Adrienne is now on painkillers and an IV drip but experts expect her to make a full recovery.
‘It is a good feeling,’ Paul, who writes about his rescue missions on his website, added. ‘The trip was the difference between life and death but now, given the proper care, Adrienne will life a perfectly normal life.’
Animals R Family founder Nicole Bruck said she and the rest of the team now wishes for the best regarding Adrienne’s future.
‘We are hoping she will be OK but she has faced a big trauma,’ Bruck said. ‘The disturbing thing is that things like this are unusual in females and it is possible she was trying to give birth when she was injured, or that she was raped by a human.
‘Something large ripped out from inside her with force.
‘She has been through so much but we are just happy she survived because she now has a chance of finding a forever home.’