by admin • Posted in: Rescue, Special Needs Pets


His eyelids are folded under. Every time he blinks, his remaining eyelashes scrape his eyes. Most of his hair is missing. His skin is red and swollen, bleeding in spots on his torso, legs and face. This photo is of Duke at TLAC after waiting for over a week for someone to come and get him.

See more photos here.

duke_happyIn all of this pain, he was still one of the mellowest and gentlest dogs any of us had met. He ended up on the euthanasia list. Luckily, we found a foster and pulled him out Sunday afternoon. Check out how happy Duke was to jump into his new foster’s car.

TLAC called his owner, who told them to euthanize him. Strangely, one of his owner’s friends was at TLAC Sunday checking on him. He said that Duke was looking better than he had in years, with the care he had been receiving at TLAC to help him with his skin.

Dr. Jefferson examined Duke yesterday. He has entropion, which is when the eyelids roll inward. The eyelashes then rub against the eye with every blink, causing excruciating pain and infection if left untreated. The only treatment is surgery. She believes that his hair loss is from an allergy and she also found ear infections.

He started ear medicine, skin antibiotics, fatty acids, and a hypoallergenic diet yesterday. We hope to get him in for eye surgery and neuter next week. He is a HUGE sweetie. 93 lbs and thin! His head alone probably weighs 20 lbs! He is ridiculously adorable and reminds some of us of a little hippopotamus!

Duke’s treatment will cost at least $1,000.  Please help us raise the funds necessary to fix his eyelids and other problems. Any overages will go to the medical expenses of the hundreds of other dogs and cats we’ll be pulling out this month who are just as needy. Medical expenses are by far our largest expense and are the #1 limiting factor in the number of pets we save.

While we have reached Duke’s minimum goal, there are hundreds of other animals in our care right now that require treatment, surgery and medications. If you’ve come to our site to help Duke, please consider giving for the countless other animals who are equally deserving and who we simply aren’t able to individually spotlight

This is another example of how pit bulls are treated cruelly by a handful of irresponsible owners. This is a sweet dog and he deserves better. Pit bulls continually get a bad rap for behavior that is ultimately created by abuse at the hands of a few owners, then are blamed on the rare occasion when one becomes aggressive. Most pit bulls stay just as sweet as Duke, but unfortunately, those stories are not reported in the media.

Duke has already settled well into his foster home.  He gets along great with other dogs, but we’re not sure about cats yet.  His foster does have a cat, so we’ll be finding out about that soon.



Thanks to Ed Lehmann for the first two photos and Duke’s foster Jay for the second two.

15 Responses to "Duke"

  1. Hilarysays: August 19, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    YAY for everyone who chipped in! And YAY for dear puppers Duke :).

  2. Laura Strombergsays: August 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    If you’re reading this comment, then you must be on this page because you wanted to learn more about Duke.

    APA! did indeed reach its goal for his surgery costs, but please consider the other animals and medical treatments that are required to keep this non-profit operation running.

    APA! has saved more than 2,000 animals in just over a year — and these animals were saved because of generous donations that are getting harder to come by in these economic times.

    If you have a job in today’s economy, but you don’t have the time to volunteer, show your thanks with a $10 or $15 donation. They all add up!

    A modest donation from you could mean all the difference for another dog like Duke.

  3. Ryansays: August 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Hey everyone— let’s KEEP IT GOING! Duke may be the focus of this particular blog, but Austin Pets Alive saves hundreds upon hundreds of animals with medical issues. Please contribute whatever you can TODAY to help APA continue to save lives.

  4. Melissa Finesays: August 20, 2009 at 9:49 am

    YAY!!! I’m so thrilled! Been posting about Duke on Twitter! PEOPLE CAN BE SO GOOD! Please follow up and let us know how he is. And yes… let’s keep up the momentum and save more of these little babies!!! GOD BLESS!!!

  5. Fayesays: August 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Is the Owner going to be prosecuted for obvious neglect and
    animal cruelty? If not he should be, good for the Ed for taking
    care of him.

  6. Juliesays: August 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    thank you APA for all that you do. as a TLAC volunteer, i know our sources are scarce for severe cases like Duke. it’s so tough to decide who gets a chance and who doesn’t (it takes a very special person to do that job and TLAC has the best with the kindest heart). it warms my heart to know we have a fabulous partner in APA.

  7. Melissasays: August 23, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    That’s wonderful Duke is doing better and is in a loving foster home! I’m curious if anyone knows how the city of Austin handles neglect cases like these. Would this be characterized as severe neglect and, if so, can the owner be punished? I would just like to see people that treat sweet dogs like Duke so cruelly be punished in some way.

  8. DogLoversays: August 26, 2009 at 1:03 am

    I think Duke is beautiful! Such dignity and gentleness. I will pop over online and make a donation.

  9. Karen Floressays: September 16, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Has he had the surgery & how old is he? Is he adoptable?

  10. austinpetsalivesays: September 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Sorry that you couldn’t find that info. Please visit:
    http://www.austinpetsalive.org/tag/duke to see all updates on duke.

  11. Kelly Smithsays: November 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Were any charges brought against the owner?

  12. austinpetsalivesays: November 5, 2009 at 5:34 pm


  13. Jerisays: January 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    How’s Duke?

  14. austinpetsalivesays: January 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I’m working on getting a full update for you, Jeri. Duke was a special case – he was fostered by someone who wanted to just foster him and isn’t a part of our regular foster program, so it’s a little harder to get updates. His foster sent Duke to a foster-to-adopt home and things have been going well, but the adoption hasn’t been finalized yet. Apparently the foster-to-adopt home is perfect for him.

    I was really hoping to get a photo to go along with his update, as I’m sure he’s looking very handsome with all of his hair grown in.