- Story of a Pet Store Puppy-

If you have ever considered buying a puppy from a pet store, you need to read Sherman's Story. Sherman's story is just one example of the countless stories of puppies from pet stores who are unhealthy due to illness, injury, or genetics due to poor care, genetically compromised parents, and/or unhealthy breeding conditions from birth. Pet store puppies typically come from puppy mills or sub-par breeders as no reputable, responsible breeder would ever sell their puppies to a puppy broker or pet store.
The content you are about to read may be sensitive to some viewers. It is recommended that younger readers, please, skip this page. This story details heartbreaking content, and includes explicit photos of the work done to save Sherman's life.
  Sherman the miracle pet store puppy I adopted and how we saved his life...
I lost Sherman on April 20, 2000, he was 13 years old.
Baby Sherman

Sherman was rescued from "PETLAND", a national pet store chain, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  He was neglected by the store employees and owners, with the exception of one very unique and caring employee. He was a special order for their client.

I worked for the vet that took care of the pet shops puppies at the time. When puppies come in sick, they are normally not treated, but put in a isolation room and sent back, dead or alive, to the broker for a refund or replacement. Needless to say, he was not scheduled to be seen by us.  The vets are only brought healthy/sellable puppies, nothing that will cost any of the pet shop's profits.

Sherman was put in isolation room, where he was left to either recover on his own, or die, but an employee felt sorry for him. She decided to administer SubQ fluids to maintain his fluid levels. Then his health started to snowball, and the girl brought him in against the Petland owner's wishes. Sherman came in with Parvo virus. He was so sick and weak. He weighed 2.2 pounds at 9 weeks old. The average weight for this type of dog would have been 12 to 17 pounds at 9 weeks.

We could not help but notice a huge lump covering his whole upper torso. We sedated him, and started to shave this area. It literally came off in my hands... He looked like he had been skinned alive. He was debrided (See photo at right), which is the cleaning of the dead areas. We then put him on IV antibiotics, fluids, and saline bandages. He had a faragastomy tube put into his stomach, so he could be fed through the tube. I made up a protein liquid diet, and fed him small feedings about 8 times a day.

Sherman was in bandages for 4 months, that were changed every 6 hours.  This was to remove gangrenous tissue, and start scar tissue to form. He was paralyzed from the use of ALL of his limbs. Sherman was basically a vegetable during this time.

Sherman Debrided
Sherman waits calmly during one of many bandage changes. He was a trooper.

I did physical therapy on Sherman for about 30 days before seeing results. He could only hold up his head for seconds. Many times I wanted to call it quits, but his will to go on, made me give my heart to him. I had no life for a total of 9 months. He went to work with me, he slept on my stomach in a chair and I wouldn't leave him till my husband, Rob, came home to watch him.

I owe a personal "thank you", to my darling husband, for his understanding during this time. I had many hospitals donate bandages, saline wraps, and protein diets. I would, also, like to take the opportunity to say a special "THANK YOU" to those people and places who were so generous, and cared enough to help me provide a second chance at a life for this little one. I would  like to specifically mention Dr. Hilton Becker...a prominent plastic surgeon in Boca Raton, Florida, along with Dr. Joe Guirato, in Palm Beach Gardens, PGA Animal Clinic, my boss. Without them, Sherman's story would have ended cold,  lonely, and without ever knowing that humans are capable of love.

Dr. Becker heard of Sherman, and did many surgeries along with my boss...skin stretching, grafts, implants...to get him to actually grow his hide back. He underwent 14 operations by Dr's. Joseph Giurato & Hilton Becker THUS giving "Sherman" a chance to live a normal life.

Petland actually tried to get him back. I went to their store, and stood outside with Sherman in my arms, explaining to everyone who would listen about pet shops and the horrors. Petland signed, and gave me all paperwork, only to shut me up.

He was adopted into our family, where he lived a happy life, playing with the other dogs, and getting all kinds of love & attention. He was the joy of my life. He even would say "mamma". After 13 years of a wonderful life, sadly, Sherman passed away. He will be missed by all of his friends, family, and his playmates. See you at the bridge my friend.

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