You might remember the story about a 2-year-old pit bull who was left on a sweltering rooftop in Reading, Pennsylvania during July's heat wave. This dog's foot pads had completely burned off from their contact with the hot roof during his 10 hours left there, and the dog's nipples were also burned, likely from laying down on the roof to avoid contact on his feet.
A veterinarian at the Wyomissing Animal Hospital said these were the worst burns he'd seen in 25 years.
For the first time ever, thanks to a Spring Township veterinarian, Boyd Wagner, stem cells were used to regrow the dog's foot pads on August 4th. The dog has been nicknamed Bernie, according to Chris Shaughness, spokesperson for the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.
Although stem cell research for animals is not a new idea, this was the first time another animal's stem cells have been programmed to grow into specialized types of cells, Wagner told the press in this article.
Law enforcement officials are still searching for the abuser who left the dog on the roof. In the meantime, said Shaughness, Bernie is staying at Animal Rescue League's boarding kennel while recovering from his foot pad surgery. They're hoping to place Bernie in a foster home until he's fully recovered, then will look into adopting him into a forever home.
Only time will tell if this procedure was successful, but this was Bernie's only chance at having his foot pads back.
If you have any information about this crime, contact:
Sheriff Eric J. Weaknecht
Berks County Courthouse
633 Court Street, 3rd Floor
Reading, PA 19601
Phone: (610) 478.6240 x3207
Thanks for reading! Please help us spread the word about animals in need by joining the Hearts for Hopefuls Facebook page. Feel free to email me with local topic ideas, and also be sure to join my animal welfare Facebook fan page!