Badly Injured Dog Rescued After Being Buried Alive in Hawaii

A badly injured dog was rescued after being buried alive on an Oahu, Hawaii, beach by her owner, who was armed with a machete.

Animal rescuers were called after the terrified dog was found on a West Oahu beach. She was swollen, severely dehydrated, covered in sores and missing most of her fur when she was found, PAWS of Hawaii wrote on its Facebook page.

“Someone had just buried her and they had a machete, so who knows what was next,” said PAWS of Hawaii, which named the dog Leialoha, the Hawaiian word for “beloved child.” The animal rescue group responded to the call and found Leialoha with fresh knife cuts to her paws.  

“The man who buried her, we were led to believe, had started to cut her,” PAWS executive director Ku’ulei Durand told NAVC.

The rescued pup was in terrible condition. “She resisted [human help] the first day,” Durand said. “I went there the second day to bathe her and she just bled from every inch of her body. She is missing most of her fur and was sunburned. But I also believe she was burnt from the heat of the hot sand where she was buried. Her legs were so swollen and her skin felt cooked.”

A Local Veterinarian Provides Medical Care “We received a phone call from Paws of Hawaii saying they were bringing in a dog that was buried alive in the sand,” Dr. Kelly Dowdall-Garberson told NAVC.  

Dowdall-Garberson is the owner of Aloha Affordable Veterinary Services in Aiea, Hawaii. “Leialoha came in about 1.5 hours later. Upon presentation, she was depressed and severely dehydrated. She was covered in sand. She had severe cellulitis and edema of her limbs and was unable to stand.  

She was severely sunburned with multiple lacerations on her legs. She also had chronic scales and crusts.”

Durand told local news outlets that they believe Leialoha’s owner planned to kill her. “He felt he was ending her suffering by trying to end her life, instead of getting her the help she needed,” Durand said. “Her skin, if you were able to smell her, is rancid because she has so many open sores that are infected.”

“After an initial assessment and exam that showed she was stable, we performed a CBC/Chem, E. canis antibody test, parvo antigen test and heartworm antigen test,” Dowdall-Garberson says. “Her initial treatment included a subcutaneous fluid bolus, Convenia, Cerenia and B vitamins. Dowdall-Garberson’s team also also began gently bathing her to remove as much sand as possible.  

“We applied coconut oil/SSD ointment to her skin,” Dowdall-Garberson told NAVC. After several hours, Leialoha began eating and drinking. Once Leialoha was stabilized, Dowdall-Garberson says she was placed with a foster family, who are caring for her with SSD ointment and probiotics. 

“Leialoha has returned every 2 days for reassessment and a CBC/Chem,” says Dowdall-Garberson. “Her anemia, thrombocytopenia, leukocytosis, neutrophilia, hypoproteinemia, hyperglobulinemia, and hypoglycemia are normalizing.  

She is now receiving daily probiotics, BID application of coconut oil/SSD ointment, twice weekly baths of Malaket shampoo, Metronidazole and Enrofloxacin. She has also been treated with Interceptor Plus and Credelio.”

Dowdall-Garberson, whose clinic partners with several animal rescue organizations on Oahu to provide low-cost veterinary services to animals in their care, happily reports that “Leialoha makes daily strides at home with her foster family — eating treats, seeking affection, wagging her tail and gaining weight.”  

Donations for Leialoha’s continued care can be made through PAWS of Hawaii.

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