Almost all DCHS and Wildlife Center services are by appointment only. If you found a lost animal, need to surrender a pet, found wildlife in need of help, or require another service, please call before coming to the shelter.

Jan 7, 2022

Help Farley Heal


A small puppy needed your help. Your overwhelming support provided crucial surgery to repair his back legs after they were badly injured.


Farley had his first physical therapy session on January 20th at HEAL Integrative Veterinary Center. Afterwards, Dr. Lara Day, Farley's physical therapist and owner of HEAL Integrative, said:

"Farley is ready to work on some gentle weight-bearing exercises to remind him his back legs DO work and to help the bones heal. We have to make sure his muscles, especially his quadriceps, stay in good condition as they can shorten too much and stay contracted. Farley loved his treats and hugs and wanted to nap at the end!"

Since our last update, DCHS veterinarians were able to remove the bandage from his right hind leg. As they had expected, physical therapy and time did indeed bring down the inflammation.

Farley continues to make great strides in his recovery - literally! He returned to HEAL Integrative for his next physical therapy session on January 25th. Staff there said they saw "such an improvement in a short time."

He's had physical therapy sessions at HEAL Integrative once a week for the last several weeks, and in between sessions, DCHS staff and his foster family perform additional physical therapy exercises.

There has been one unfortunate setback in Farley's recovery.

At his last checkup, MVS veterinarians found that Farley's right knee is looking great, and his left knee is doing well overall! However, they discovered his left knee had some healing complications that are not uncommon in these types of injuries. Farley may always have a slightly unusual gait, but he is still able to use his left leg. And even with these minor complications, his progress has been amazing given the severity of his initial injuries.

His foster family says he continues to trot around, run after the kids, and climb up on the bed. He's also handled the stairs in their home just fine.

Watch Farley go!


DCHS veterinarians were able to remove the bandage on Farley's left hind leg, just two days after orthopedic veterinarians at Madison Veterinary Specialists performed surgery on his back legs. Farley’s right leg remained wrapped due to inflammation and fluid buildup. Veterinary staff remained in contact with the MVS surgeon who performed Farley's surgery to ensure his healing continues to progress as desired. And it has, with the bandage being removed from the right leg on January 22.

After his surgery, DCHS staff performed some physical therapy with Farley, working on his range of motion in his legs. Soon after, his foster parent could set him down so he can walk to relieve himself. And days before starting his physical therapy with HEAL Integrative Veterinary Center in Madison, Farley started putting weight on his left leg.

Farley has been receiving physical therapy at HEAL Integrative Veterinary Center for the past few weeks. Doctors there say he is progressing well.

Watch to see how Farley's progressing:

UPDATE 4: Farley is healing at a foster home after the successful surgery on his back legs. He starts physical therapy on Thursday, January 20, with specialists at HEAL Integrative Veterinary Center in Madison. We will keep you posted on his progress!


UPDATE 3: Farley is resting comfortably at Madison Veterinary Specialists after having surgery on his back legs.


UPDATE 2: Farley's surgery is finished. Staff at Madison Veterinary Specialists say the surgery went well. Farley suffered very complete fractures -- four pieces on his right leg and three on his left. Doctors say the pieces came together well on both legs, but Farley will need physical therapy to maintain mobility in his joints. Thank you again everyone for all of your support!


UPDATE 1: We are so overwhelmed by the generosity of our community. Thank you so much to everyone who donated to help get Farley the help he needs! Farley's surgery started shortly after 8 am today. Thank you to Madison Veterinary Specialists for helping fix Farley's leg injuries. We will continue to keep everyone updated as information becomes available. Thank you again for all of your support!

You can Help Farley Heal!

Last Thursday morning, a man spotted a puppy laying alongside Buckeye Road. When he approached, he noticed that the puppy couldn’t stand or walk. He gently picked up the pup, put him in the front seat of his truck, and drove him straight to Dane County Humane Society.

The 4-month-old puppy we’ve named Farley was in bad shape. He had suffered head trauma to the front of his mouth and nose, which tore his gums above his upper incisors. As our Animal Medical Services team examined him further, they found the pup had also suffered injuries to both of his back legs, leaving him unable to walk. We suspect Farley was probably hit by a car.

The tear in Farley’s gums was so severe that when his mouth opened, his bone and tooth roots of his upper jaw were exposed. One of our veterinarians performed emergency surgery on Thursday to fix it, but the damage to the bone around the incisors and the incisors themselves was so bad, she was forced to remove all of his upper incisors, including two adult incisors that hadn’t erupted yet. Luckily, the loss of teeth is not expected to affect Farley long-term.

His leg injuries, however, could lead to severe issues for Farley as he gets older unless he undergoes surgery soon. Farley, a pit bull mix, suffered fractures to the growth plates of both femurs involving the knee joint. Currently, he cannot walk with his hind legs at all, and he cannot comfortably bend his knees so he keeps them extended out in front or to the side.

“If he does not have surgery, the chance of him returning to normal function even after the bone has healed is highly unlikely, and attempts to correct the problem later would be exceedingly difficult,” says Dr. Melinda Wright, one of DCHS’s veterinarians. Farley’s leg injuries also put him at increased risk of developing arthritis. Surgically returning the bones to their normal position will minimize the risk of arthritis long term, but the repairs must happen quickly, she adds.

Our veterinarians have reached out to the local orthopedic specialists at Madison Veterinary Specialists for help treating Farley’s femurs and his knees in both legs. They have booked a consultation and scheduled the surgery for this Thursday. MVS provides nonprofit shelters and rescues with discounted care, but these specialty surgeries will still be costly.

Until his surgery, DCHS will keep Farley comfortable with pain medications. Because Farley cannot walk, he must be closely monitored to ensure he is comfortable and moved to different positions so he does not develop sores. He is carried outside to relieve himself, but he has had accidents that need to be cleaned up right away to keep his skin healthy. Dr. Wright cared for Farley at her home over the weekend with the help of her family. “Puppies his age are in an important window of socialization,” says Dr. Wright, so she and her family also have been showering Farley with lots of love and attention.

Please help us raise $5,000 to cover Farley’s surgeries and follow-up care!

You can also mail or drop off your donation at Dane County Humane Society’s main shelter (5132 Voges Road, Madison, WI 53718), with “Farley” in the subject line.

Any additional funds from Farley’s surgery and follow-up care will be used to continue the work our Animal Medical Services does every day to provide high quality medical care to thousands of companion animals each year.

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