HUDSON, Fla. (WFLA) – Dr. Kerri Slomcenski has a heart of gold and a passion for helping animals. She loves what she does and is moved by her patients, especially a sweet survivor named Khaleesi.
Dr. Kerri, as her friends call her, has eyes full of tears as she talks about the abused pup who endured horrific abuse for months on end. The Florida vet, adored by her four-legged patients and their families, specializes in trauma cases.
“Her eyes drew me in, I thought this is a little one I can help,” said Dr. Kerri on Monday.
And, that’s where the love began. This longtime vet in Hudson at Hayes Towne Veterinary Hospital saw Khaleesi’s photo on the Passion 4 Pits Facebook page, and when she heard the details of the savage abuse, she knew this dog needed a healing hand.
“All you have to do is look at her face and her emaciated body,” she tells us.
Indeed, Khaleesi has the heart of a warrior and has suffered greatly in her short life. Her nose and upper jaw were cut off completely, leaving her in searing pain with an open wound that never healed completely. It was so severe that scar tissue grew over her nostrils, and now she struggles to breathe through her mouth. Her spine, ribs and kneecaps were beaten and broken, also injuries that never healed properly. Her frail, tiny legs are now left atrophied and drag behind her. Khaleesi was forced to fight, forced to breed and left to starve in Orlando. In fact, she was beaten while pregnant with her puppies.
A St. Petersburg activist from the rescue group, Passion 4 Pits, found Khaleesi in an Orange County shelter and began fostering her immediately.
“Someone did this to her. Why? Why would anyone hurt her like this,” asked Stephanie Paquin, the woman fostering Khaleesi.
After the sweet pup’s photos were posted on Facebook, Dr. Kerri reached out right away to help. Now, a reconstructive surgery is scheduled for this Thursday, one that will be intricate and will take hours. Dr. Kerri will work alongside another surgeon to heal this pint-sized survivor.
“As you know with her nasal area it’s completely gone, so in order to open those nasal passages,” Dr. Kerri told us. “Khaleesi also has those big canine teeth that are there. Hopefully surgery Thursday but we’ll see how things progress over next few days.”
To follow Khaleesi’s story, you can visit Dr. Kerri’s website, www.haystownevh.com. In addition, many people have asked how to donate funds to help Khaleesi’s ongoing care, and Dr. Kerri has instructed them to visit the above website for details.
There will be many operations in the future, the vet tells us. And, her theory is – one day at a time. This first surgery will most likely involved Khaleesi’s nose and face, then the next procedures will involve her legs. Khaleesi is now on antibiotics for an infection and still has broken ribs. But, she is a survivor and anxious to love. The future looks bright for this gentle angel.
“Her attitude is great, here energy level is great, she wants to be a great dog,” said Dr. Kerri. “She wants to love people, gives kisses happy tails. The concern I have is surgery she’s gonna need. There’s going to be a lot of rehabilitation.”
Detectives now have an open investigation in Orlando, trying to find the person responsible for the abuse.