Wild turkey recovers from dog attack right before Thanksgiving

Right before Halloween, Cussworth found a turkey badly injured after it was attacked by a pit bull.

Posted: Nov 25, 2021 12:34 AM
Updated: Nov 25, 2021 9:43 AM

CHADWICKS, N.Y. -- Thanksgiving is all about being thankful and spending quality time with those who have some sort of impact on your life. For Judy Cussworth and the rest of her family, what they're most thankful is something that others put on their tables this holiday season.

"Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day and most people are thinking about eating turkey. I don't think about that because I don't eat turkey, I save them," Cussworth said.

Right before Halloween, Cussworth found a turkey badly injured after it was attacked by a pit bull. She said the turkeys were in a group, but this one sustained the greatest injuries. As a result, they had to send this turkey - or Milly, as Judy calls her - to Cornell University for treatment.

"The dog had taken a chunk out of the turkey, probably the size of a baseball," Cussworth said.

Bella Cussworth, 11, is Judy's granddaughter who's worked at the family's wildlife center her entire life. She says it was scary seeing Milly in such bad shape, but says taking care of animals when they're hurt is a reason why she wants to do this when she gets older.

"It was hard, because you never want to see a hurt animal. No animal deserves to be in this condition," Cussworth said.

After weeks of treatment, Milly finally made it back to Chadwicks. She is now with her new family until she can be released back into the wild this coming spring when her wounds completely heal.

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