EDMONTON -- An Edmonton dog named Terra is on the road to recovery after she was found near death six weeks ago.

Animal Control Peace Officer Isaac Firt got a call about the dog on Christmas Eve. He describes his meeting with Terra as one of the worst things he's ever witnessed on the job.

"When I first arrived, I saw a man holding a limp dog," said Firt.

"The dog couldn’t lift her head and she was foaming at the mouth. Her eyes were blinking but really slowly."

"The man handed me the dog who felt very cold to the touch. I could feel her rib bones through my gloves."


Animal Control Peace Officer Isaac Firt and Terra after her surgeries. (Source: Animal Care and Control)

Terra couldn't stand when she was rescued. She was emaciated and severely anemic and needed emergency surgery to survive the night.

After the surgery, she was transferred to the city's Animal Care and Control Centre, under the care of Registered Veterinary Technologist Supervisor Karen Melnyk.

"When Terra first came to us, she was near death," said Melnyk. "She weighed only 10.7 kg and couldn’t even stand. But the way she looked at you and wagged her tail told us that she wasn’t ready to give up. We all decided we were going to do whatever it took to save her life."

Melnyk's team worked around the clock turning Terra so she wouldn't develop sores on her body. They made sure she ate properly, and gave her plenty of love.

After a week, the shepherd cross was finally able to put weight on her legs. She underwent another surgery for a serious infection in her uterus.

"We all knew this could have very well been her last hours," said Melnyk. "But, she pulled through and we were all thrilled to see her open her eyes."

Now Terra weighs more than 21 kg. She can be seen dancing through the halls at ACCC with her tail wagging, and the team says she is on her way to being a healthy, six-year-old dog.

Once she is back to health, she will be put up for adoption through a rescue group.

Charges have been laid against her former owner under the Animal Protection Act.

If you see an animal in distress, call 311.