Hunstsville is a city in Texas that is home to Sam Houston University and the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville. A trip along Interstate 45 will get you a glimpse of a giant roadside statue of the famed statesman, Sam Houston himself and several warning signs not to pick up hitchhikers, who may be escaped prisoners.
Local rescue group St. Francis’ Angels has been picking up strays from the area streets for over 30 years. This is the story of one of their rescues, whose condition broke co-founder Anne Graber’s heart.
Abandoned by His Family
His name was Bjarni. He was found wandering the streets in a very pitiful and painful condition. Half of his nose was missing. Part of his lips and face were gone. His teeth were crooked and misplaced. The poor guy could barely breathe or eat. Although we will never know what caused Bjarni’s injuries, he was likely attacked, viciously, by another animal.
The group was able to track down Bjarni’s family but they refused to take him back. Determined to make things better for the dog, Graber got to work reaching out to her network of clinics and animal hospitals. She finally got the answer she was after when Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists agreed to perform surgery on the badly disfigured face. The group raised funds for the surgery through their Facebook page.
Surgery that Changed His Life
The Dr. Jason Balara at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists performed surgery that dramatically improved Bjarni’s life. His face was realigned making it possible to breathe and eat freely once again. Graber told the Huffington Post that despite some obvious trauma, Bjarni is a happy, loving dog.
“Vivacious and engaging. He is totally unaware of his limitations and disfigurement.”
Recovered in the Care of St. Francis’ Angels
Following surgery, St. Francis’ Angels kept Bjarni in their care. The procedure required the extraction of the right upper canine and all went as expected. In order to allow the tissues to heal properly, Bjarni had to live a very sedentary lifestyle for about a week only eating small, frequent, soft meals. Recovery went very well and Bjarni was ready to be on the ‘available for adoption’ list.
Bjarni Gets a New Family and a New Name
It took a little longer than expected but at last, Bjarni was adopted by a wonderful family. They renamed him Hogan and he looks quite pleased with his situation. Along with two caring paw-rents, he got a doggie sibling. We are so thrilled with this happy ending!