In 2013, upon learning about Mojo, a 3-month-old Pit Bull-Amstaff mix puppy, Joey Wagner took action to have the dog surrendered to the Baie Ste Marie Animal Society in Clare, Nova Scotia. Joey and his wife Leta founded the shelter after recognizing the need for one in their community.
An individual who acted as a good samaritan attempted to rescue the puppy from its initial abusers but was unable to do so.
However, as soon as Joey obtained custody of Mojo, he promptly took him to the veterinarian. At that time, the dog had only a few hours to survive.
“The look he gave me, I knew that he wanted to live,” he told the CBC. “So, we did everything we could.”
As per his Facebook page, Mojo was extremely dehydrated and malnourished, resulting in hair loss and severe skin irritation.
On January 31, 2013, carers wrote:
“Mojo has a confirmed case of extreme generalized demodectic mange with a deep pyoderma (skin infection of all the layers). He is septic because of all of the damage to his skin. Mo-Jo is currently hospitalized on IV fluids with dextrose to help him regain his hydration and energy. He is on IV antibiotics and a constant rate infusion of pain medications (so every drop of fluids he gets IV has a dose of pain medications in it to help control his extreme pain). His eyes were swollen almost shut and full of puss. All 4 of his paws are swollen and his skin is scabbed and it cracks and oozes puss. Despite everything stacked against him he has never once complained!”
The rehabilitation process was lengthy, and after learning about the plight of the poor puppy, numerous adoption requests were received. However, Mojo was not yet in a suitable condition to be adopted.
Getting back his mojo
The dog was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Atlantic Vet College in Charlottetown, where it stayed for a week.
“He’s been doing really well,” said his vet at the time. “It’s just like in human medicine — a lot of it comes down to the will of the patient to get better and he certainly has that in spades.”
Mojo has proven to be a resilient pup. Joey and Leta initiated a GoFundMe campaign to cover Mojo’s medical expenses, which amounted to around $4,000CAD.
The campaign was successful, with donations exceeding $7,000, and the extra funds were utilized by the Baie Ste Marie Animal Society to assist other animals in need.
“We know that he’s going to have a long recovery ahead of him. He will definitely be needing more meds and more care. Once this is done and he is a healthy pup, if there’s any left over, it will be put in the Hope for Mojo Fund and we will help others like him,” Joey stated at the time.
Reunited – for the long haul
Once Mojo had recuperated sufficiently to allow visitors, Joey visited him. The intensity of Joey’s emotional response was unforeseeable.
Mojo’s behavior indicated that he recognized the individual who had rescued him. When Mojo leaped up and licked Joey’s face, one of the veterinary personnel observed, “I’ve never seen his tail wag this much.”
Although they were aware that Mojo had a fighting spirit, his exuberance upon seeing Joey was unprecedented. After being taken in by compassionate animal lovers, Mojo adapted well to his new home.
Eventually, Joey and Leta decided to adopt Mojo, who currently has his own Facebook page where he can be observed leading a happy and thriving life nearly eight years later!