Starting in late February 2022, Queensland and New South Wales in Australia have faced severe flooding. Tens of thousands of homes flooded, and many humans and animals were harmed in the process. One dog in particular is lucky to be alive after the trauma she endured.
A Bull Mastiff mix named Winnie got caught in the floodwaters and ended up in a tree high above the ground. She was so tangled that she couldn’t even move. Her life will never be the same after the event, but animal lovers are working hard to rehabilitate her and show her love.
Tangled Upside Down
Poor Winnie must’ve gotten washed away from her family during the flood. When the waters subsided, she was stuck in a tree five meters above the ground. Her back leg was hooked to the tree, so there was no way for the pup to escape even if she tried.
“All the circulation went from her leg into her front limbs. So limbs were swollen, head was swollen,” said veterinarian Geoff Wilson.
At first, rescuers weren’t sure what Winnie was. One firefighter described her as “black, sludgy, and oil-covered.” Once they realized she was a dog that had survived the flood, they jumped into action.
Fire and Rescue NSW team members borrowed a kayak so they could paddle toward Winnie and the tree. They were cautious as they cut her out of the branches and lowered her down. At the time, she was in rough shape. She was likely hanging there for at least two days.
Winnie’s Second Chance at Life
Winnie lost so much circulation in her back leg that it became gangrenous. Vets realized that nothing could be done to save it, so they decided to amputate. Despite the extreme procedure, Winnie was happy and healthy after her vet visit. She’s a gentle giant who has the sweetest eyes.
“It’s those stories that get you through the sad ones,” Dr. Wilson said. “You’ve got to develop a Teflon coat that emotionally you don’t let much get through, but occasionally a case will get through which just rips your heart and Winnie was one of those.”
Winnie has reunited with her family, and she’s doing well. Her family is grateful to Fire and Rescue NSW for saving her life and helping her regain her strength. Many dogs wouldn’t have survived such a horrific situation, so it’s a miracle Winnie is alive and well!