Brooksville clinic honors abused puppy 'Savannah' with memorial - WFLA News Channel 8

Brooksville clinic honors abused puppy 'Savannah' with memorial

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A memorial honors Savannah. Animal Health Vet Clinic Facebook photo A memorial honors Savannah. Animal Health Vet Clinic Facebook photo
A memorial honors Savannah. Animal Health Vet Clinic Facebook photo A memorial honors Savannah. Animal Health Vet Clinic Facebook photo
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BROOKSVILLE, FL (WFLA) -

The staff at the Animal Health Veterinary Clinic in Brooksville did everything they could to save the life of an abused 5-month-old puppy. But, her injuries were so severe, she could not be saved. Now, a memorial set up in the clinic's reception area honors Golden Retriever puppy "Savannah."

Savannah was found in June on the side of a Brooksville road with an electric cord around her neck.

A recently-completed necropsy revealed disturbing new details about her condition. One of the veterinarians at the Animal Health Veterinary Clinic says the necropsy, which was conducted at the University of Florida, found that the young golden retriever suffered brain damage beyond repair.

"We can only guess as to what actually happened," wrote veterinarian Deborah Rodriguez on the clinic's Facebook page.

"... we do know... someone tied the electric cord around her neck and at some point her brain was deprived too long without oxygen," wrote Dr. Rodriguez.

"We know she had pieces of the cord in her intestines (which had completely passed while in our care), so we know she tried to free herself at some point."

A good Samaritan found the puppy and brought her to the clinic where she was nicknamed "Savannah."

Savannah initially responded to treatment, but her brain damage continued to progress and the staff at the clinic had to make the difficult decision to euthanize her, to end her suffering.

"It was heartbreaking," Dr. Rodriguez told WFLA.com.

Savannah's symptoms had led veterinarians to think she may have suffered from distemper, which has the same symptoms.

However, the pathologist who conducted the necropsy on Savannah found otherwise, her brain damage was so severe it led to the progression of her symptoms, despite the treatment.

Savannah's story touched many people in the Tampa Bay area, who donated thousands of dollars to the clinic for her care.

"It pulled at people's heartstrings," said Dr. Rodriguez.

The staff at the clinic also adored Savannah. An urn containing her ashes and a plaque are on display at the clinic.

"We do know, her last few days, she was loved! Even though she could not see, she could feel loving, gentle hands. We do know that she touched a lot of folks hearts, one golden retriever puppy that will never be forgotten," wrote Dr. Rodriguez on the clinic's Facebook page.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

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