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In mid-November, we launched a campaign for Mr. Hicks. He was found wandering the streets of Puerto Rico, scared, alone, helpless and completely blind. He must have wandered the streets, unable to see and unable to find food for some time.
New York Bully Crew immediately, upon hearing of Mr. Hicks, took him into their rescue family. The cropped ears and collar were a strong indication that Mr. Hicks had a family at some point. His condition, unfortunately, was critical and the rescue rushed him to the vets for care.
Mr. Hicks had sarcoptic mange, heartworm and dermatitis. He was severely malnourished and completely blind. His paws were raw and inflamed. Although he was still not strong enough to receive vaccines, he received vitamin supplements, medicated baths, pain meds and treatment for his multiple skin conditions.
Being blind, he was so frightened by all the new sounds, smells and touches. But, rescuers never gave up. Mr. Hicks slowly got used to humans touching him, caring for him. He started to gain some weight. His foster mom in Puerto Rico cooks daily for him and gives him medicated baths every day to help his skin regenerate.
In January, Mr. Hicks was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. Mr. Hicks had a cancerous tumor on his front leg that his doctors had been monitored. Due to his poor skin condition, his doctor felt that it was best to get him healthier and before removing it. But, the tumor burst and was very difficult to stop the hemorrhaging. Hicks had to undergo emergency surgery to remove the tumor.
Unfortunately, the bad news is that the pathology report of his tumor that was removed came back and concurrently he developed a swollen lymph node. The doctor in Puerto Rico believed that as the affected lymph node is on the same side as the leg tumor was this could be very problematic.
The pathology report indicated that the mass removed was an amelanotic malignant melanoma, morphological high grade.
This is cancer and with a poor prognosis.
New York Bully Crew actively sought a second and third opinion, including consulting with oncology at UPenn and exporing all options for our Mr. Hicks.
It is with immense sadness that we must announce that on February 11, Mr. Hicks passed and has now crossed the rainbow bridge.
New York Bully Crew, Wild at Heart Foundation, Terrie Hayward of Positive Animal Wellness and of course, Neva Kaya, Mr. Hicks’ angel, have been in constant contact and conversation about the wellbeing of this sweet boy. Hicks had been battling a long list of serious health concerns and although his current health was poor, what helps to find solace in this situation is that Hicks literally had a team of people pulling for him and has known love, comfort, and been able to sleep in a safe, secure spot without worrying about food or harm coming to him.
New York Bully Crew and the entire Team Hicks battled tirelessly to save Mr. Hicks. But sometimes in life, especially rescue life,
we have to bow our head and do the most selfless deed. Hicks deserves our utmost respect for his dignity.
In his final days, Mr. Hicks was comfortable and rested quietly in a home setting. Most importantly, he felt love.
Let's always remember Mr. Hicks. Let his story guide all of us to continue to work together to save animals and to be their voice.
You can continue to support New York Bully Crew's life-saving work in honor of Mr. Hicks here: https://www.nybullycrew.org/dogs-for-adoption/dire-cases/mr-hicks/