A rescue dog from Texas had emergency surgery at Atlantic Veterinary College in P.E.I.

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Matilda is quickly adjusting to having a missing leg. Her remaining front portion is being treated, and it’s hoped it will heal without skin grafts. – Contributed

TRURO, N.S. Matilda’s only a tiny Chihuahua, so when she was hit by a train, everyone expected the worst. She’s got a long recovery ahead, but the little dog surprised everyone by surviving the accident.

Matilda was one of 10 dogs Wee One’s Dog Rescue Society brought up from Texas, arriving in Nova Scotia on October 20. She was only in her foster home in Enfield for a couple of days when she got outside and ran off.

“She wasn’t socialized, and she was afraid of everyone,” said Cindy Harrison, president of Wee Ones. “We got in touch with Nikki at Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network, and there were sightings of Matilda, but she ran from everyone.”

She had been loose for two days when a train conductor called the rescue to say Matilda had been running on the tracks and was struck by the train. Her foster and a couple of other people went out to find her remains.

What did Harrison say?

“It was a complete shock to find her alive,” said Harrison. “She was alert, but her feet were in rough shape. They got her to the emergency hospital as quickly as they could.”

Matilda had no internal injuries, but her right front leg was severely damaged. She was taken to Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, P.E.I. On October 27, the leg was amputated.

“They were able to reconstruct the left leg,” said Harrison. “There wasn’t enough healthy skin tissue to close the wound, so it’s being treated as an open wound. If it starts healing, they will keep treating it as an open wound, but if it doesn’t, they’ll do a skin graft. It will take months to heal, but they’re pleased with how she’s doing.”

Not much is known about Matilda’s early life.

She was taken in by a rescue in Texas after she and five other Chihuahuas were thrown over a fence at someone’s home. She was very nervous and had little appetite while with the Texas rescue or during her first days in Canada.

“She’s now affectionate and enjoying the attention she’s getting at A.V.C.,” said Harrison. “Students are going in and making a fuss of her, so that’s good for her.”

Because the bills for her care will be several thousand dollars. Wee Ones is putting together fundraisers, and a GoFundMe page has been set up.

“This is huge for us,” said Harrison. “We’ve been fundraising all along, and it cost $5,000 to bring the dogs up. To date, we’ve raised about $6,000 for Matilda’s care, but we will still need about $5,000 more to have everything covered.”

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Matilda was part of the rescue’s first shipment of dogs. But Harrison, a Truro resident, has been involved with rescue groups for years. She was a director with Atlantic Canada Dachshund Rescue and has helped many groups with funds raised through Winning to Help Wieners.

“We feel we owe Matilda,” added Harrison. “If anybody survives being hit by a train, they deserve help.”

Anyone interested in helping Matilda can donate through the rescue’s website or the GoFundMe page. An online auction is being planned, and information will be available on Facebook.

The rescue can also use donations of baby gates to ensure dogs don’t get loose from foster homes in the future.

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