Valley Animal Center: Saving Sammy

Oct 8, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Animal Rescue Adventures

by Allix Ollivier

Allix Ollivier is an Outreach Associate at Valley Animal Center in Fresno, California. VAC shares their animal rescue adventures with us every month. Check out KRL’s interview with VAC to learn more about what they do.

Sammy, our sweet two-year-old Terrier/Pit Bull mix, was rescued from the CCSPCA seven months ago. The reason Sammy has been at our shelter for so long without being adopted, is that his ears chronically bleed due to a very bad ear crop. Sammy is in constant need of medical attention because of his ear issues, and that has played an adverse role in getting him adopted. This would not have been a problem, had he not gotten his ears cropped n the first place.



Ear cropping is a cosmetic procedure performed on dogs, which cuts off the floppy part of the ear and shapes the ear into a pointed tip. Some people say that ear cropping is a medically valid procedure because ear cropping can help with infections or hematomas caused when a dog shakes its head. However, many times when a dog’s ears gets cropped, they experience more infections, either from a poor crop job, like Sammy’s, or from particles entering the inner ear more easily. Also, hematomas do not need to be surgically removed. Most hematomas heal completely on their own without surgery or extensive medical care.

Unfortunately, the most common reason people crop dogs’ ears, especially Pit Bull mixes like Sammy, is to make them look tougher or to help with dog fighting. If the dogs are fighting, they crop their ears so the other dog can’t rip off an ear as easily. Many vets don’t crop dogs’ ears, even though it is still legal to do it in the United States. Because of this, most cropped ears are performed in a backyard setting. People with no professional medical experience will crop dogs’ ears either with scissors or with a soldering iron without any anesthesia while the dog is completely awake. This is procedure is extremely painful for the dog, and can also cause a lot of long term issues if performed poorly, as in poor Sammy’s case.


Sammy at a Grizzlies Game

Sammy now has tissue damage where his ears were cropped, leaving the area black and completely dead. He also frequently shakes his head because his ears are often infected. Even though Sammy’s procedure was performed a long time ago, Sammy is still facing complications from his butchered procedure. Because of cases just like Sammy, we do not condone ear cropping at the Valley Animal Center. If his ears weren’t so poorly cropped, and needed frequent medical attention, he could be in a loving home today!

Sammy is such a sweet and loving boy, and definitely one of our volunteer favorites. He is great with kids and adults. Sammy has gone out to many of our Outreach events and makes new friends wherever he goes. Sammy would be an amazing addition to any family that would be willing to take care of his medical condition. If you are interested in making Sammy a part of your family, you can stop by our Dog Adoption Center any time we are open (seven days a week from 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).

Until Sammy finds a forever home, we’ll continue to care for him at the Valley Animal Center. In order to care for lovable dogs like Sammy, and also the kitty cuties we have at our center, we appreciate any and all donations. Contributors like you help support the cats and dogs cared for at our facility until they find their forever homes. As always, the Valley Animal Center is grateful and appreciative of any and all donations.

Keep up with VAC’s animal rescue adventures here at KRL, and learn more about adopting from them, volunteering, and donating to VAC on their website If you advertise with KRL you can designate 10% of your ad fees to go to VAC.

Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue.

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