Chance still in recovery

Video: Chance goes for a walk with his caregiver

By Shelby R. King / The Bulletin

Published Aug 2, 2013 at 05:00AM

Chance, the pit bull mix discovered severely injured last week near Terrebonne, continues his slow recovery in the care of the veterinarians and nurses at BrightSide Animal Center in Redmond.

“It's still day by day,” said BrightSide Executive Director Chris Bauersfeld. “It's going to be a really long haul, it takes a really long time for wounds like these to heal. They're really ugly and we'll probably do some skin grafts in another three to four months.”

Chance stopped breathing last Friday while anesthetized for a procedure to remove more dead skin from his wounds, Bauersfeld said.

“It scared everybody,” she said. “It took us a while to bring him back.”

It could take up to a year for Chance, a 3- to 5-year-old pit bull mix, to fully recover. He'll need several more procedures and constant medical attention while his wounds heal.

Chance was found Monday, July 22, on Smith Rock Way after having apparently jumped from a moving vehicle the Saturday prior. Because of the extent of Chance's injuries, Bauersfeld initially believed he'd been intentionally dragged behind a moving vehicle.

Deschutes County Sheriff's Lt. Scott Beard said that detectives determined the incident was accidental and decided not to press charges.

“A thorough investigation showed that the dog did jump out of the vehicle,” Beard said. “We determined that the owners did immediately start attempting to locate the dog. Accidents like this do happen.”

Bauersfeld said she has been in contact with his original owners, who will likely surrender Chance to BrightSide permanently, partially because of their inability to pay for his costly medical procedures, but also because they do not have the time to commit to his constant care.

She said she agrees with the Sheriff's Office determination that the incident was an accident, but maintains that, based on his injuries, Chance was dragged after exiting the vehicle.

“It has been horrific for the owners,” Bauersfeld said. “He wasn't apparently cleared from the vehicle after he jumped and was definitely caught and dragged underneath, though we don't know for how far.”

Though accidents like this aren't uncommon, they're easily preventable.

“This is a really good time to impress upon people how important it is to properly secure a dog inside a vehicle,” Bauersfeld said. “I know a lot of people around here like to let their dogs ride in the bed of the pickup, and not only can it get extremely hot back there, it's very dangerous.”

Treatment for Chance's extensive injuries will be both lengthy and costly. The veterinarian at BrightSide spends at least an hour changing his bandages every other day, and can spend up to five hours working on him on days his wounds require medical procedures.

“We appreciate all the donations so much and have enough to cover about six months of his treatment and recovery,” Bauersfeld said. “We've received donations from all over the world and almost all 50 states.”

All donations made in Chance's name have been put into a separate account dedicated to his recovery, Bauersfeld said.

The employees at BrightSide will continue to post updates on the clinic's website at www.brightsideanimals.org.

“He has his own page and we will do our best to update it,” Bauersfeld said. “Though for the next few months there might not be a lot of change, as these types of injuries take a long time to heal.”

Massages to raise money for Chance

• Licensed massage therapist Deborah Fitzwater of Bend will be offering massages, by donation, to help pay for Chance's surgeries and recovery, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 7.

• Fitzwater is charging $1 per minute, with a 10-minute minimum, for a chair massage at her studio, 224 S.E. Miller Ave., Bend.

• Though Fitzwater has set a rate for massages, she will accept any additional donations.