Franklin the dog's life saved through tri-state generosity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Franklin the dog's life saved through tri-state generosity

Franklin is on the road to recovery after his final of two surgeries Franklin is on the road to recovery after his final of two surgeries

One might call it a Christmas miracle for one abandoned Boston Terrier named Franklin.

Last month, workers found the dog outside a business in the west end of Dubuque: cold, injured and on the verge of death. Soon after the dog's discovery, Landa Penisten's husband entered the building.

"My husband was doing some business there, and when he got there, he walked in, and everybody said, 'Hey, you want a dog?' And, he said, the little Boston Terrier peeked his head up," Penisten said.

She has taken the dog, whom she and her husband named Franklin, under her wing.

Franklin came into the Penistens' life with no collar or back story, but with one blind eye, a broken toe and a raging dental infection that had torn its way through his throat.

"Franklin's neck was torn apart, so we knew we probably had to have stitches and would look like Frankenstein, so Frankenstein just developed into Franklin, then," Penisten said.

Thanks to antibiotics, no neck stitches were needed.

An outpouring of donations, prompted by a Facebook page Penisten set up, covered Franklin's more than $1,000 in medical fees, with more than $1,000 leftover.

"The remaining or the excess amount of money is going to go into what we call an angel fund," Penisten said.

The fund will help animals at the Family Pet Hospital in Platteville - where Franklin has been treated - whose owners can't afford care.

Wednesday, Franklin successfully underwent the final of two surgeries, performed by veterinarian Dr. Mackenzie Hellert.

Wednesday's was a dental surgery, she said, to remove his rotted teeth and clean the others. The first surgery was a neutering and administering of vaccines.

"I do think he's around nine years old," Hellert said. "Barring any cancer or unforeseen circumstances, there's no reason he can't live another four or five years."

At the Dubuque Regional Humane Society, president and CEO Jane McCall said some animal neglect, such as that which happened to Franklin, can be avoided. This is especially important to consider around this gift-giving time.

"If you're going to surprise someone with a pet, then we really strongly encourage you to give a gift card, and we do offer gift cards, and that way they can come in," McCall said. "The animal that you bond with might not be the same animal that they bond with."

As for Franklin, Penisten is only a foster mom. The dog is looking for a permanent home.

Hellert said he's a, "Wonderful, wonderful pet. He's one of the sweetest dogs we've had in here in awhile."

When it comes time to part, Penisten said, "It's going to be very hard to say goodbye."

That's why she's screening potential owners to make sure Franklin will have a safe and loving home.

Anybody interested in donating to the angel fund or giving Franklin a home can check out the Free Franklin Facebook page HERE.

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