He was almost unrecognizable from when he was first found dumped from someone’s car on a desolate block in the Gowanus on Easter Sunday. Back then, Walter, a neglected and malnourished 3-month-old pit bull mix, was suffering from mange, a gnarly parasitic skin disease that left him furless and debilitated from secondary infections.
His rescuers — a group of Brooklyn-based bartender-slash-artists who received overwhelming support when they began fundraising for his care on Facebook — took him back to the vet yesterday for the first time since his two-week intensive care stay. Walter received a clean bill of health.
“It’s so profound to see the difference,” said Brett Levitzke, medical director of the Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group. “When he came in, he was critical. ... When he was finally able to stand, the first thing he did was wag his tail. He holds no grudge.”
Walter’s hair is growing back, though his paws are still swollen. His caretakers no longer have to wear “Walter clothes” for when “he would ooze on you,” said one of his caretakers, Shawna Wright, 32.
Putting out word of his plight has “been really positive, not only to help his care,” said Wright, a bartender and grad student.
Walter’s new owners raised more than his nearly $10,000 worth of medical bills. They are donating the rest to VERG, which is starting a fund in Walter’s name to treat abused animals, Levitzke said.