Butch, a 1-year-old black Lab, had two broken legs and was facing a steep cost for surgeries. Thankfully, some donors stepped up.

By Hilary Braaksma
June 29, 2021
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Black Labrador retriever laying on the floor
Credit: Tyler Brade / Getty

In late March, a Spokane, Wash., animal shelter shared a Facebook post asking for help caring for a new arrival. Butch, a 1-year-old black Labrador retriever, had been turned over to its care with broken front and rear left legs. Though it was unclear how Butch received his injuries, it was immediately apparent that he would need serious medical intervention to live the rest of his life.

Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) had reached out to a team of surgeons at Washington State University and learned that Butch's care would cost between $8,000 and $10,000. The shelter's social media post described the cost as "daunting and scary … but not as scary as not doing right by Butch."

The service added that surgery on Butch's legs was his only path to survival: "Either we get these surgeries for our boy or we have to say goodbye."

SCRAPS posted that it planned to send Butch into surgery at WSU regardless of cost and shared a link for readers to donate along with its address and phone number for additional contributions. The reaction to Butch's story was immediate and overwhelming—in 48 hours after Butch's arrival at the shelter, donations for his surgery reached $10,000.

The veterinary surgeons at WSU performed two operations the following week to repair multiple breaks in Butch's back left leg and a fracture in his front left leg. After surgery, Butch was sent to a foster home for his recovery, which will take an estimated 12 weeks for full healing.

"You see the best and worst in this job, so it is nice to see the best," Dr. Peter Gilbert, an animal orthopedic surgeon on the team told the WSU Insider.

In an update posted on the SCRAPS Facebook account, the shelter shared that Butch was able to walk with the assistance of a weight-supporting harness. It described Butch as being in "good spirits" and expressed gratitude and relief to those who donated to help give this precious pup a second chance at life.

"We are simply overcome with gratitude and relief. THANK YOU for joining with us and WSU to save Butch—he would give each and every one of you a big kiss if he could," SCRAPS wrote.

We are so happy to hear Butch is recovering well thanks to the support and outreach of everybody touched by his story. We can't wait to hear more updates on Butch, and we hope he finds his perfect forever family soon. For more information on adopting a dog of your own, check out the Daily Paws adoption guide.