The little guy and his sister could not move. Their flesh was swollen with the infection of a severe case of mange. They were so emaciated that their waists were almost as thin as their backbones. And, as a final insult, they were left on the side of a road when they seemed to be taking their last breaths.
But never discount the kind acts of a stranger. A passerby saw one of the puppies standing near the side of the road and stopped to help. The little boy puppy was standing but did not have the energy to move any further. His little sister was a few feet away lying down and wasn’t able to move at all. The kind stranger gently picked them up and they were brought to safety at Clarke County Animal Shelter on 10/25/09.
Jenny Wright, Shelter Manager and Animal Control Officer, said, “ I took the puppies into the Veterinarian’s office and asked if there was anything we could do to save them.”
The two boxer puppies were in terrible shape due to infections, starvation, and open sores. They were immediately started on an intensive treatment plan. Unfortunately, for the little girl, it came too late. She died at the shelter that next weekend.
Her brother managed to struggle through the first few days. He was so thin that he couldn’t stand and the staff had to hand feed him. All his hair fell out from the skin infection. He continued on the intensive treatment plan, with the staff at the shelter giving him all the care and attention he needed. Would it be enough to help him survive? Could he regain his strength in time to help fight off the infection? Everyone hoped for the best.
Soon the staff could see an improvement in the little guy. “We had to rebuild the puppy from the inside out.”, said Jenny. His immune system slowly recovered. He slowly gained weight. The swelling slowly went down. His hair started growing back. It took six long intensive months of care to bring this little puppy back. But they were able to do it.
“What happened to him?”, I asked hesitantly. They had gotten him healthy and his personality blossomed under their watchful care. Jenny beamed as she told me, “He was adopted by a very good family on March 17th!” I got a little teary eyed when she told me.
This was a happy ending for our puppy, but not such a good ending for his little sister. Sometimes Animal Control is able to help in time, and sometimes they are not.
Caring for animals is an important responsibility. If you are unable to take care of your pet, you can take them to the Animal Shelter. For a small fee they will accept your pet and try to find it a good home. You can leave information about your pet’s personality that will help it get adopted into its forever family. Does it get along with other cats or dogs? Is it crate trained? Does it like to take long walks? Does it get nervous around young children? All of the information you can share with the shelter will help in finding it the right home.
The shelter is open Monday through Saturday, 8am-4pm. It is located behind the Clarke County High School at 225 Ramsburg Lane. Clarke County residents can adopt a pet for a $10 fee, which includes neutering.
How long does the shelter keep the animals? It tries to keep them as long as possible. They have a Lab/Pit Bull mix named Smooch which they have had for almost a year. Smooch is very friendly and likes to play hard so Smooch would not be a good fit for a home with smaller dogs. But Jenny says Smooch has a wonderful personality and they are confident someone will adopt Smooch soon!
Donations are gladly accepted. Feel free to pick up an extra item or two the next time you are out shopping and drop it off at the shelter. They need cat litter & boxes, dog and cat food, treats, beds, office supplies such as copier paper, pens, USB flash drive, index cards, and general supplies like paper towels, laundry detergent, large latex gloves, bleach, Windex, dish soap, towels, blankets, large heavy trash bags and lots of newspaper!
Thank you to our Angels in Clarke County – the stranger who stopped to help the puppies, the Veterinarian who set up the treatment plan and especially to the staff at the shelter who brought the puppy back to health with their tender loving care!