Meet Alfie: a little pup's unique story of survival
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7
AUGUSTA, GA. (WRDW.WAGT) -- He's not even 2 months old yet, but this little puppy already has quite a story of survival. Not every story ends the way his does -- especially in a time when cases of abuse and violence are increasing.
As our I-TEAM reports -- experts are also worried about pets.
The picture of Alfie's injury is upsetting. His x-rays are too. Lindsay Armstrong doesn't know how Alfie managed to get away --
"When he first came in, we thought he might not be with us anymore," she said.
But she knows someone put that metal rod through him on purpose.
X-rays paint a heartbreaking picture of what happened off Deans Bridge Road in Blythe. The vet tech at Care More wondered if he'd survive the surgery to remove it.
"There's no way," Armstrong said. "It was just so traumatic, and I guess he was just in shock by the time he got to us because he was...pale. He had no color to him."
Alfie is a fighter, though, and his rescuers think that was also the purpose of the metal.
According to Zeus' Crusaders, "this is typical of dogfighters using them as bait dogs to string them up."
"I don't understand how people can do the things that they do," Lindsay Armstrong said.
Unfortunately, people are doing things more often right now. The I-TEAM has reported on spikes in both domestic violence and child abuse during the pandemic.
But it could also mean a spike in animal abuse.
According to the U.S. Humane Society, between 71 and 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters reported their partners also abused or killed the family pet. In instances of child abuse -- pet abuse was concurrent in 88 percent of the families.
But back to Alfie: his abuse might have actually saved his life.
"We actually found out that he has something is called PRAA, and it's a persistent right aortic heart syndrome. So it's something he was born with," Armstrong said.
A complicated and expensive surgery that had to be done in Columbia, and Zeus' Crusaders covered all Alfie's bills.
"So it was actually an open chest surgery. And he's four pounds, so he's pretty amazing," Armstrong said.
So is the care he needs -- Alfie almost seems more like a baby boy than a puppy. Lindsay carries him around in a baby bjorn at work.
You can also tell -- he's now officially her baby -- even though she didn't think she was ready to be a dog mom again.
"I just lost my first baby. So she's 10 and a half years old and I lost her and I'm gonna start crying," Armstrong said.
Alfie will never replace her first dog -- but you can tell definitely found his place with his new family.
If you would like to see Alfie's journey, visit his social media!