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Tiny puppy loses leg, has big message for pet owners

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 06, 2017

She lost her leg, but not her spirit. A 4-week old pit bull puppy is recovering after being rushed into an emergency surgery to amputate her front leg. Now her rescuers hope the little puppy, who weighs less than two pounds, spreads a message: If you're not able to care for your pet, hand them over.

The veterinary technicians at Blue Pearl Animal Hospital in Clearwater are used to seeing dogs in heart-wrenching conditions. But none have ever been as young, tiny and fragile as Leena, a pitbull puppy that came into their care last week.

Liz Fratea got a call from a woman whose puppy had a severe broken leg, which was infected from not being cared for sooner. Fratea isn't sure if the dog was abused or neglected, but she agreed to take the puppy in. The rescue she volunteers for, Passion For Pits, and her employer, Blue Pearl Animal Hospital, teamed up to care for the tiny pup.

“It’s hard to see a puppy go through all this,” Fratea said as she kissed the puppy on the head.

The tiny puppy's leg was so badly infected that they had no choice but to amputate it.

Kourtney Glaser was in charge of giving her the anestheia. “In all my years doing this, it was my most nerve-wracking case just because of her size alone.”

Her size, less than 2 pounds, made vet techs wonder if she’d be able to pull through. But against all odds: she did, with Glaser by her side. "She’s the one who wanted to live. She chose to make it through,” Glaser said with a smile.

Now, one week after surgery, the puppy is taking her first steps.

And she has a new, fitting name: Leena. "I wanted a name that seems ordinary and where you wouldn't know that she only has three legs. I always liked the name Leena and she leans a little with only 3 legs, so it fit,” Glaser explained.

And Glaser has made up her mind: Leena is joining the family, “All the stress she caused me caused me to fall in love with her.”

The same family who handed over Leena to the Passion for Pits rescue group, surrendered another dog a few months ago.

“If there are people out there struggling reach out. We don’t want any puppy to suffer,” added Glaser.

Especially one as fragile, yet full of life, as little Leena."I'm so glad she ended up here with us. She's a wonderful puppy," Fratea said as the pup lovingly licked her nose.