Helping injured animals get a new lease on life

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Local animal shelters use community donations to change the lives of stray and abandoned animals, and for ones like Ezekiel, it makes a world of a difference.

One of the staples in communities are the humane societies dedicated to stray, abandoned, surrendered, and abused animals.

Tucked down a dead-end road in Cold Lake, the Lakeland Humane Society strives to help the animals that come into their care.

Functioning mainly on donations, animal care and program coordinator Nicole Mbanefo said they wouldn’t be able to do what they do without the support from the community.

“We spend about $60,000 on vet bills alone in a year,” she explained.

Some animals that come into their care may need extensive medical attention before being available for adoption, like Ezekiel.

The one-year-old terrier-cross came to the shelter as a stray earlier this summer.

“When he came into the shelter, he was very emaciated and underweight,” Mbanefo recalled. “It was evident that he’d been a stray for a while, running around on his own. It was also quite obvious right away that he had an injury to his back digits, a couple of his toes were missing parts of them. It was a very clean-cut injury, it looked likely that it was intentionally done.”

Regardless of his injuries, Ezekiel is described as a sweet and happy dog, who demands attention from everyone around him.

Ezekiel was taken to a local  vet clinic after being brought to the shelter, where it was determined there was an infection in the bone caused by the injury to his back leg, and amputation was required. Further x-rays revealed a previous hip wound meant they would have to amputate higher up his leg than what was initially planned.

After surgery, Ezekiel recovered rather quickly and was walking around within a couple of days. There was a noticeable change in how he carried himself, and he appeared happier than when he first came to the shelter.

Animal care attendant Kaitlin Baskerville said Ezekiel quickly steals the hearts of anyone he meets.

“He’s super lovey, and he just wants to cuddle,” she expressed.

Mbanefo describes him as a happy dog, and she’s glad that his previous injuries haven’t affected his personality.

“It’s really nice that he hasn’t lost faith in people and is still very good at being handled and touched, because that’s really all he wants is to be close to someone,” she said.

Care for Ezekiel is minimal after the amputation. He just needs to maintain a healthy weight to keep any extra pressure off of his remaining limbs. He may develop arthritis and joint pain as he gets older, but that shouldn’t cause for any hesitation when considering making him a part of the family.

Ezekiel is currently available for adoption after recovering from his surgery, and anyone interested can contact the Lakeland Humane Society at 780-594-1896.

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