'He put a smile on everyone's faces': 9-year-old pooch dies after fighting with a porcupine, leaving owner devastated

As per Chester's owner Miranda DeGennaro, there were more than 20 quills inside and outside him, with some very close to his heart

'He put a smile on everyone's faces': 9-year-old pooch dies after fighting with a porcupine, leaving owner devastated
Nine-year-old Chester died after getting into a fight with a porcupine (Miranda DeGennaro/Facebook)
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Warning: Graphic content, readers’ discretion advised

SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY: A week after a voilent fight with a porcupine, a Sussex County family is devastated with the loss of their family dog, Chester, who was 9 years old and was of a pitbull-mix breed. Chester was impaled with quills inside and outside his body. The unfortunate incident took place on early September 2, when he got into a fight with the porcupine on the deck of the family’s home in Montague. 

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Chester was ailing ever since with quills in his face, chest, and stomach. “They said at the animal hospital they have never seen quills that bad in their entire life,” Chester’s owner, Miranda DeGennaro, 22, said Tuesday, September 13, according to New York Post. “We saw him running and barking, so we ran down the deck, but it was too late,” she said. 

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A GoFundMe page was set up by a family friend to help with the dog’s medical bills before the pooch underwent surgery and died over the weekend. In the posting, Chester was referred to as “a very energetic boy" who put a smile on everyone's faces. “Well, this past week, he decided to take on a porquipine; needless to say, it didn't end well. Chester ended up having an emergency sleepover at Newton Vet, where they successfully removed the quills from his face and mouth. However there were well over 20 quills stuck in his chest/abdomen. They removed as many as possible, but the fear now is that the remaining quills will begin to migrate into his body rather than out,’’ said the post, which had raised nearly $6,000 for the dog. 

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The veterinarians were mostly concerned with the the quills they couldn’t see, the quills Chester swallowed during the encounter. “The quills don’t really show up in CAT scans and x-rays, the damage is what shows up,” DeGennaro said. The quills they couldn’t see were the ones Chester swallowed during the encounter. 

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DeGennaro, initially, took her dog to a veterinarian in Newton who removed 20 quills from the exterior of the animal. They recommended taking Chester to Oradell Animal Hospital in Bergen County, where surgeries are performed. Ahe said. “When Oradell did his surgery, they found (a needle) in his pericardium, which is the sac around your heart. So, the quills were everywhere — around his heart, his lungs, his esophagus and in his digestive system.” She agreed to do the surgery, even after she said the hospital asked for a $12,000 down payment. The concern was that the needles near the dog’s heart would pierce the organ.

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DeGennaro said that she didn’t have the down payment, but the hospital agreed to do the surgery to save the dog’s life, telling her she would be responsible for the bill at another time. “He really did need the surgery and obviously we all thought he was going to live. It was really important for him to get the surgery,” she said. However, Chester dog died and now the owner, a housekeeper, is stuck with veterinary bills more than $19,500, the outlet said. “I really thought he was going to make it,” DeGennaro said. “I’m devastated.”

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