Sweet Violet was a five-pound white Maltese mix, a ball of energy wrapped up in a small package. But her pretty, curly white fur and bouncy personality weren't enough to prevent her owner from making a terrible decision: to give Violet a makeover and dye her hair with a product meant for humans. The experiment went wrong, and Violet was dumped on the streets, severely injured and alone.
Pinellas County Animal Services was called in to pick up the stray dog and found Violet in horrible condition. She had been dyed purple with chemical coloring dye that is safe for use on people, but not on animals. Violet had extreme burns over her whole body, and one of her eyes was swollen completely shut; her life was in danger.
The animal shelter went into immediate action to save her. "We gave fluids, pain meds and we gently washed as much of the chemical dye off as we could. We bandaged her up," the shelter wrote on Facebook. "Then we waited. Violet went home with our veterinarian and we waited."
Violet survived the night, but the next day rescuers had a chance to assess the full extent of her injuries. They feared for her life all over again. "We began the arduous process of shaving off her hair to really measure the damage — [and] to our horror her skin began to slough off," the shelter wrote. "Good thing Violet was peacefully anesthetized. It was so much worse than we initially thought — how would this little dog make it through?!"
It was Violet, the little fighter, who gave them a reason to keep hope. Day by day, Violet kept on going, surviving through every treatment she had to endure to live. According to the shelter, for three months, the shelter and Violet went through "pain medication, antibiotics, IV fluids, honey treatments, scab removal, anesthetizing, bandage changes, sleepless nights, worrying, hope, worrying, hope and finally the silver lining."
That silver lining was a bark, or as the shelter called it, a "little noise." Then Violet began to rebound, and she let everyone around her know it! But then she found her voice and she never, ever, EVER stopped. She began to walk the halls, visiting each office requesting treats or hugs or gentle pats, always in the lead with our veterinarian in tow," the shelter wrote.
Finally, the big day came for Violet to have her bandages taken off. Everyone at the shelter held their breaths in anticipation, and fear: "Did she have permanent blindness? Would there be infection? Would her hair ever grow back? Was there anything we were missing? When the final bandages came off we breathed a collective sigh of relief – Violet was beautiful," said the shelter.
Best of all, shortly after her recovery, Violet found a new home with owners who make sure she never suffers a day again for the rest of her life. The shelter asks people never to use chemical dyes on dogs. "Only use products specifically meant for pets or you could be putting your pet’s life on the line," the shelter warns.
Thanks to the compassionate rescuers at the Pinellas County Animal Shelter, Violet now has a long, happy life ahead of her. Please share Violet's story --- and the shelter's warning --- with your friends and family on Facebook.