MANCHESTER — Her limbs are wrapped in bubble wrap, and she faces a 10-hour surgery. But an Australian shepherd still manages to wag her tail, despite getting struck by a snow plow during the Tuesday night snowstorm.
Three-year-old Molly is being stabilized at the Center for Advanced Veterinary Care and will likely go under the scalpel on Saturday, when a veterinarian will try to mend three broken bones and torn ACL, said Dr. Sara Rose.
She was brought to the 24-hour emergency clinic after getting struck Tuesday night by a plow on Union Street, Rose said. Unable to pay for her care, her owner — a veteran — discussed putting her down or taking her home to die, according to the clinic.
A subsequent email campaign ended up raising the money needed to pay for her surgery, as well as follow up care, Rose said. Now, the clinic hopes that donations will keep coming in for other abandoned animals. For example, two male cats are at the clinic now with urinary tract infections, a fatal ailment that is expensive to treat.
"This is the first plow-hit I've ever seen," said Rose, who said the plow driver has contacted the clinic and wants to come see Molly as well as meet with the family. She said the accident was not a hit and run, and the driver wrapped the dog in a blanket.
She said the family surrendered the dog to the clinic, which is standard practice when an owner comes in and cannot afford care for a pet. The clinic has its own non-profit — All Better Pets — which it created to raise money for abandoned, homeless and injured pets.
"We try our best to get them back to the owner, depending on the situation," Rose said. She said that will likely happen with Molly. The family has come by to visit her and brought a stuffed animal for the dog.
She said the family has a fenced-in yard, and it appears that Molly got loose by accident.
Earlier this week, Molly was on a drip painkiller, eating and wagging her tail. However, she cannot walk, and workers at the clinic must turn her because she is unable to move.
Rose said the dog does not appear to have internal injuries, but it is typical to wait several days to make sure she is stable before surgery. Expenses could exceed $10,000, which includes the hospitalization, surgery, intensive nursing care and plates that will be attached to the bone.
"There will be a lot of hardware used," Rose said.
But if everything goes well, Molly could be home by Tuesday, she said.