Small in stature, but mighty in spirit resonates throughout Milis’ incredible journey of survival. Milis suffered horrific injuries resulting in a severely broken body, yet his spirit was never broken.

On April 16, 2018, a woman witnessed a small dog being struck by a car. Afterward, the scared, injured dog ran. Knowing in her heart the dog would only survive if found; she was determined to locate the injured dog. After tirelessly searching, she located Milis, a one-year-old basenji-corgi mix in shock and cowering under the brush of an embankment. The small, terrified dog could not stand, was losing a lot of blood and unknowingly at the time, had internal bleeding.  She rushed Milis to Memphis Veterinary Hospital. Milis began vomiting bone fragments after receiving hydomorphone for pain.  X-rays revealed bone fragments within Milis’ stomach and colon and fractures of the left humeral and right radius/ulna, the results of being hit by the car. Milis was rushed into emergency surgery where his broken bones were repaired and set, and his internal bleeding was stopped.

ISF Grantee MilisPAWS New England immediately took Milis into their rescue to ensure he would receive the care he needed. Milis’ broken body was also dehydrated and starving, possibly from living on the streets for a while before the injury occurred. He was anemic from the massive blood loss and his liver enzymes were elevated, suspect to secondary blunt force trauma. Medical care, necessary to give him a chance of survival, were in the thousands. PAWS New England did not know how they would pay Milis’ medical costs, but they knew they had to save him. Having received an ISF Emergency Medical Grant in the past, they reached out once again to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation and Milis was awarded a Grant to assist with his medical expenses.

This fearful, shy, 13-pound shell of a dog had casts placed on his front legs, one which went above his shoulder, making it extremely difficult for him to move. Milis was placed on crate rest in a foster home.  He passed the bones within his abdomen with much discomfort and the bleeding thankfully stopped. He also began to eat well. In foster care, not only was Milis’ body able to heal, he also began to emotionally heal, learning to trust and let people love him. According to his foster, Felicia, within one day Milis began to wag his tail when she would walk in the room to take him outside to stretch. Within a few days, Milis transformed from a scared, fearful dog to a happy, bright -eyed dog with spirit. Felicia told ISF, “Not only was it amazing to see his resilience but to witness the love he wanted to give.” The casts on his front legs may have interfered with his movement, but it did not interfere with his love of life as he tried to “romp around on his casts, basking in his new- found life.”

On May 8, 2018, Milis’ casts were removed. He endured physical therapy and successfully recovered from his injuries sustained from the car accident. On June 21st, Milis was neutered, received his rabies vaccination and was tested for heartworm which was negative.

Milis was subjected to the worst of what humans can do and endured such pain from injuries which left him unable to walk, yet he is such an inspiration. He brought such joy to his foster mom as she watched his broken body heal and witnessed his transformation into an affectionate friend. This small dog, with a mighty spirit, had an indomitable will to survive and he did.

Milis’ journey will continue as the search is on for his forever family. Until then, Milis is living the life with his foster mom.

ISF Grantee Milis

Written by Theresa Blangiforti

Edited by Bob Stone

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