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Joplin Puppy Healing after Frostbite Tragedy - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Puppy Healing after Frostbite Tragedy

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Meet Defender. He's one heck of a fighter, and even though he just lost a leg to frostbite, that isn't keeping his spirits down. The Joplin Humane Society thinks his awesome attitude will eventually help him find that forever home.

"When he eventually gets his stitches out, we can make him available for adoption," said Kelly Cruzan, a humane society employee and Defender's foster mom. 

Defender and his siblings were brought in to the humane society this weekend, after being found in a drainage ditch. Fortunately, none of the other pups were injured by the cold. But the humane society wants to make it clear: what happened to Defender didn't have to happen.

"The whole reason that we're here is to help pets, so you're never going to be judged or deemed a bad person because you can't keep the pet," said Joplin Humane Society Shelter Manager Lysa Boston.

The humane society may be a judgement free zone, but that might not be the case with Joplin dog owners. Many get concerned when they see dogs outside in the extreme cold. But the head of the Joplin Humane Society says that debate isn't so cut and dry.

"Definitely, there's some nuance to it. It's easy for me to say that on a personal level, I wish people would just bring their pets inside. When you wake up in the morning and the windchill is -15, that's pretty darn cold. That being said though, there are certain breeds that were bred to be outdoor dogs," said Boston.

That's why Joplin Animal Control immediately seeks out the owner when getting a call about a dog left outside in the cold.

"Great Pyrenees, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies: these dogs do quite well when it's cold outside. For dogs like that, we certainly do recommend that they have access to shelter that is weather proof, wind proof, and packed with straw, so they can go inside," said Boston.

As for Defender, despite losing a leg, the humane society thinks he's going to be ok.

"People, often when we have to do an amputation, they get really upset and they don't think that it's fair, but I can tell you, (the dogs) just do phenomenal," said Boston. 

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