Quill is a sweet, handsome lad of barely two years old, who has endured a very difficult life in the short time he’s been in this world. In rescue, we see all sorts of sad and infuriating stories, but occasionally some stand out above the rest – Quill’s story is one of those.

We were contacted by a county shelter in western NC about a young Aussie mix who wasn’t doing very well – he was very shy, and wasn’t being a very good boy at the pound. Nonetheless, we sent over a volunteer to check him out, and what we learned horrified us. Turns out, Quill was found running loose near his owner’s property, where there were multiple other deceased animals. We don’t know the full story, but we do know that those animals were found dead in their cages, while Quill was running loose. Upon meeting him, our volunteer immediately realized that something was very wrong with Quill – his back legs didn’t work “right” and he could not sit or lay down comfortably. We authorized the volunteer to pull Quill as soon as the shelter would allow, and had him rushed into the vet for evaluation – fearing this poor pup had been hit by a car or endured some other trauma.

Well, two weeks and two veterinarians later, we still don’t really know what’s wrong with Quill. We do know, after multiple x-rays, that there is nothing structurally wrong with Quill, despite all appearances. The veterinarians suspect that he has sustained some sort of neurological damage that is causing the lack of mobility in his hind legs, however what the cause of that damage is remains a mystery. On top of his leg problems, Quill is also partially blind in at least one eye (possibly both), has a broken lower molar that will need to be surgically extracted. He’s also emaciated and at least 10-15 pounds underweight, but that’s the “easiest” of his health problems right now.

Aside from his health issues, Quill also has some behavioral quirks that any prospective adopter will need to consider seriously. He has a bit of separation anxiety, though it’s not so bad that his foster parents can’t leave him for a few hours when necessary. However, Quill absolutely hates crates, and managed to break and escape two different crates in his first 24 hours in foster. We can’t say that we really blame him, and if we’re honest, his ability to escape a cage is likely the only reason he is still alive. Quill can also climb low fences, so he will need a very securely fenced yard – preferably a privacy fence – and cannot be left outside for extended periods of time. Since Quill is a young pup with all the energy you can expect from an adolescent Aussie mix, ensuring that he gets the necessary amount of exercise despite his mobility issues will be something that any adopter will need to keep in mind.

Now that we’ve got the disclaimers out of the way, we are happy to tell you that Quill is possibly the sweetest dog in the entire world. His foster parents are veterans when it comes to fostering all sorts of personalities, and they just adore this pup. He is very friendly, a master cuddle bug, almost completely housetrained, non-destructive, and both dog and cat friendly. He can be a little pushy with small dogs or young puppies, and likes to push buttons with the grumpy senior dog in the household, but he is very respectful of his foster siblings as a whole. Quill loves to romp and wrestle with his young Aussie, border collie, bull terrier, and giant muttdog friends, but he has to be monitored for his own safety, since his disabilities put him at a major disadvantage with the large energetic dogs he lives with. Lastly, Quill has shown zero aggression with cats, though if they run outside he will chase after them curiously. Quill has not been tested with small children yet, but he has loved every adult human he has met (and the feeling has been mutual!).

So, what’s ahead for Quill? In the coming weeks, he is scheduled for a visit with the canine ophthalmologist to further investigate his vision issues, and he also has an appointment to be neutered and have his broken molar removed. Due to the precarious location of his broken molar, there is the possibility that removing it could break his jaw – however, the tooth absolutely must be removed, so we will hope for the best and cross that bridge if needed when we get there. Tentatively, we expect Quill to have a clean bill of health at the end of August.

If you think you may be interested in making Quill a part of your family, please review our adoption procedures, and get an application on file with us as soon as possible. Not ready to adopt? Please consider donating to help cover his veterinary costs – Quill has required multiple vet visits, radiographs, bloodwork, and specialist appointments. We are a small rescue, and while we will do whatever it takes to ensure that Quill is a happy, healthy boy, we can always use help with large vet costs that the standard adoption fees do not cover.

We will continue to post updates on Quill as they become available.