We don’t even know what to write. How can words express the heart-wrenching pain of seeing a dog in such a state? It is impossible to pass by indifferently, not to react, not to feel the urge to do something. And yet, there are people who choose to be blind, to turn a deaf ear, to be inhuman. This is the story of Kajtek, a dog that we rescued from a life of neglect and abuse.
It all started with a phone call. Our animal rescue organization received a tip from a concerned citizen about a dog living in deplorable conditions in a remote area near the steppe. When we arrived at the location, we were greeted by a sight that will forever be etched in our memories. There he was, a small dog with ribs protruding from his thin frame, covered in sores, scabs, and blood. The stench of infection was overwhelming, and we knew that time was running out for him.
We approached the owner, a man who appeared to be in his mid-fifties, and asked him why he didn’t take the dog to the vet. His response was chilling: “Take? Probably just to sleep.” He went on to explain that the dog was in that condition because he ran in the forest and contracted the disease. We knew that it was a lie. The dog’s condition was not the result of a few days’ worth of infection but weeks, if not months, of neglect and abuse.
We insisted on taking the dog with us, but the owner was reluctant. He said that we should follow him to the place where the dog gets water. We were shocked to find out that the “place” was a filthy, stagnant pool. When we expressed our outrage, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “What should I drink? urban?”
We knew that we couldn’t leave the dog there. We had to act fast. We took him to the clinic, where he was immediately admitted to the hospital. The vet diagnosed him with scabies, a highly contagious skin infection caused by mites. The dog’s immune system was weak, and he was suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, and anemia. The vet estimated that he had been living in these conditions for at least six months.
The next few weeks were critical. The dog needed constant medical attention, including dermatology, morphology, biochemistry, and ultrasound tests. He required regular medication, oiling, bathing, and rubbing. We knew that the road to recovery would be long and arduous.
We also knew that we couldn’t do it alone. The cost of the hospitalization alone was staggering – one day in the hospital cost 100 PLN, including examination, treatment, and meals. In addition to that, there were the costs of examinations, treatment, vaccinations, deworming, and castration. The total cost for a few months of hospitalization and treatment would be around PLN 3,000.
We turned to the public for help. We shared Kajtek’s story on social media, and the response was overwhelming. People from all over the country, and even from abroad, donated money, food, and supplies. Some even offered to adopt Kajtek once he recovered. The outpouring of love and support was heartwarming, and it gave us the strength to carry on.
Kajtek’s condition gradually improved. His wounds healed, his fur grew back, and his appetite returned. He became more trusting and affectionate, and he even started to play with other dogs. We knew that he was on the road to recovery.
The day finally came when Kajtek was ready to leave the