Libre: From the Brink of Death to Changemaker

Posted by hendrickandco 11/28/2016 0 Comment(s) Animal Stories,
Libre goes from the brink of death to changemaker

In July, we launched a campaign for little Libre. He was not expected to live. His transformation is nothing short of a miracle and his story literally changed the world. Read and share his inspiring story: http://hendrickboards.com/blog/libre-brink-death-changemaker

Posted by Hendrick & Co. on Sunday, November 27, 2016

Libre, only 7 weeks old, was rescued from a breeder in July 2016 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A Good Samaritan, who was on a produce delivery route, noticed Libre on one of his stops.

When found, Libre was lifeless. Curled up in a cage, he had open wounds and sores littering his frail body. The Good Samaritan asked to rescue the dog, the breeder agreed, and he rushed him the local emergency vet, the Dillsburg Veterinary Center.

The doctor called Speranza Animal Rescue and said it does not look good. Libre is in and out of consciousness and barely breathing. Speranza Animal Rescue immediately came to the hospital to see firsthand Libre's condition. Rescuers could smell his rotting infected flesh before they could even see his tiny head stick out of the blanket. 

Libre had severe demodectic mange and secondary skin infections. Puss and blood oozed from his his small body. Emergency staff has also found maggots infesting his wounds.

Libre was in critical condition and doctors felt he would not even survive. 

But, Speranza Animal Rescue never gave up. 

Within the first 24 hours of rescue, Libre showed tiny signs of improvement. He started to eat a small morsel of food. His blood tests started to show improved white blood counts. He remained in critical and guarded condition. 

Every day, Libre showed signs of recovery. He started to lift his head up on his own. He began to eat more. He sat up by himself. And, he took his very first steps. 

He remained in the hospital for an entire month, before he went home with Speranza Animal Rescue's founder, Janine Guido.

While Libre continued to recover at Janine's home, a new fight just began. 

Local animal abuse investigations are completed by the Lancaster County SPCA. Once the investigation was completed, it was not the outcome anyone expected. 

"Because the breeder was working with a veterinarian and it was confirmed that the dog was under vet care at the time it was taken by the rescue, the SPCA cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was willingly wanting to cause harm to the puppy," the Lancaster County SPCA said in a news release.

Libre supports, under the banner of Libre Strong, came together to voice their outrage. Hundreds gathered in front of the Lancaster County SPCA with signs and calls for SPCA's director Susan Martin's resignation. 

The media attention that ensued caught the eye of Lancaster County District Attorney, who decided to call for his own, independent investigation. 

The district attorney came to a far different conclusion compared to the SPCA. In a press conference in August, the district attorney announced that he would be seeking animal cruelty charges against the breeder who had Libre and, most importantly, he called for the suspension of Susan Martin. 

A week later, Susan Martin resigned as executive director of the Lancaster County SPCA, just days before hearing was supposed to start.

The breeder pleaded guilty and was given just a fine. 

The light sentence given to the breeder led Pennsylvania state lawmakers to take notice. Pennsylvania, at the time, was one of only a handful of states that did not make animal cruelty a felony. 

This happened because of you and all those who were the voice of Libre. With every share, with every shirt and with every donation, you have helped to save Libre, change how animal cruelty investigations are handled in Lancaster County and, hopefully, make Pennsylvania one of the toughest states for animal abusers to live in. 

A state senator from Franklin County, PA hoped to tighten up Pennsylvania’s animal cruelty laws with a bill that was dubbed Libre’s Law.

Sen. Richard Alloway II was moved by the puppy’s plight and immediately started drafting the toughest animal abuse legislation in the state's history.

In October, with unanimous vote, Libre's law passed the State Senate. Libre's Law will hopefully come up for a vote in the Pennsylvania State House in 2017. 

And, we are so pleased to announce that Libre has found his forever home. Janine Guido, the founde of Speranza Animal Rescue and Libre's top caregiver throughout this long ordeal, has adopted Libre. 

Libre's story has touched thousands in Lancaster County, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation. Libre and his story have led to real change in Pennsylvania. 

This happened because of you and all those who were the voice of Libre. With every share, with every shirt and with every donation, you have helped to save Libre, change how animal cruelty investigations are handled in Lancaster County and, hopefully, make Pennsylvania one of the toughest states for animal abusers to live in. 

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