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11/20/11

The Pardoned Pooches

So I have adopted 4 dogs from the pound.  Well, technically, I am fostering 3, and if I can't find homes for them, then they are probably mine by default. 

All practically unseen. How many have done that before?   I wasn't even sure how many I had till the late night before they arrived. . . . .

Redunculous, you say?  Not ridiculous. Redunculous.
Sometimes the right thing to do doesn't make the most sense on paper. 

 But let's back up a few weeks to see how I got here.  I generally never go looking for a pet- they somehow find me-  puppy that no one wants, parvo puppy that lives but can't find a home, dog tied to the porch, kittens in a box. That sort of thing.  So I rarely go looking for a pet at the pound or animal shelter.  I don't have an issue if people want to buy a purebred dog. If that is what you want, go for it.  Purebred dogs end up in shelters too, so I always encourage people to check there first. Petfinder is great for that.  I just feel that I shouldn't buy a dog, when so many are looking for a home.

On Facebook, there are a few animal pages that I follow.  And I saw where a shelter, was constantly asking for people to adopt, foster, or pay to send dogs to rescue groups all to keep them from being euthanized.  And the pleas were never ending.  So I offered for several weeks to adopt of foster someone if they were having so much trouble.  I contacted them several times and didn't hear much back.  Two weeks ago, from this past Thursday, I called.   I explained to the shelter director that I was 5 hours away, and could only drive over on a Saturday, and left a number for someone to call me back.  Thursday and Friday, I heard nothing, so I drive over to the shelter.  Turns out, one can't adopt a dog from the shelter without contacting someone in New Jersey.  So I look around,  can't decide who to save,  fill out paperwork for 1, and drive back home. 

Monday comes around and I call back to the shelter and inquire about another little dog that was scared of her own shadow.  And I wait.  Several days go by and I hear nothing. 

Another Facebook page that I follow is one of a little dog named Hope.  Hope was a little dog down in Forsyth, that suffered a horrific case of animal cruelty back in July.  She was rescued by a couple by the name of Shane and Janet Smith.  Hope had surgery to try and repair her injuries, and while she seemed to be doing better, it wasn't meant to be. She passed away from the injuries about 3 weeks later.  Since that time,  Shane and Janet have rescued a few other dogs, all in memory of Hope.

So I read on Hope's page that Shane had gotten the City of Macon Animal Shelter to agree to pardon all the animals for a week.  (In total with a few extensions, it ended up being about 11-12 days).  No one gets put to sleep for a space and without a chance.  This had been going on for a few days, and several had gotten adopted but there were several more to go.  And the days were winding down.  Since it had been almost a week with no word from  South Carolina, I thought, "Well,  they may not need my help, but maybe here is a shelter that does even though I am not exactly close to Macon."  I am about 2 1/2- 3 hours away.

So I got in touch with the people  in charge, and told them that I thought the Pardon was a great and wanted to help anyway I could.   While it's great that any dog gets adopted from a shelter, I felt this needed to be ALL or Nothing thing.  Getting some out, leaving some behind, would not be as such a success as getting everyone out.  About 60 dogs and cats.  I didn't care who I helped as long as I helped someone out.  And if could help out more than one, that would be fine too.   While my kennels are not designed for permanent living,  they also aren't full all time either. 

So the first dog they called about was Jimmy.  Sort of a Shepherd Mix, type of a dog. Click on the photos and they should enlarge a little bit- I am fairly sure the ones I took, will. Not sure about the screen shots.

There was a picture on Facebook and you could tell that Jimmy was terrified.  Very scared, very timid. Other dogs were picking on him and he had to be separated.   A lot of people we concerned about Jimmy.  People wanted to adopt or foster Jimmy. 

 So when they called about Jimmy, I asked, "Really? Are you sure? Because I don't care who I help, and if people want Jimmy,  I'll take someone else. I just don't want to see someone left behind."   And when they explained how Jimmy was in person, I realized that he isn't your typical shelter dog.   Jimmy was brought into animal control in a trap. He's sorta feral.  While he pretty much is unadoptable in his present state, it doesn't mean that he needs to be euthanized because of it, either. 
You wouldn't want him in you house at this point.  If he thought he could get away, he would chew through your drywall, insulation, and siding to try and get out.  Or chew into your couch just to have a place to hide. You can't put a leash on him yet.  He chews through it. 

 So I agree to take and work with him.  So he was the first one.  Hopefully, he'll learn to trust people  and make fast improvement.  The is sort of the deal with the pardon- everyone gets a 2nd chance. And if Jimmy needs a little extra time to make the most of his, no problem.

I originally said I could adopt someone and foster someone.  They asked about this girl a little later.  A SharPei? Shepherd? something mix?  They said they were worried about her, as she was almost as scared as Jimmy.   I have to tell you though, I wasn't sure-  From her photo, I thought she was a lot larger than she really is. And Shepherds and Shar Peis aren't my favorite breeds. Not that there is  anything wrong with them. I see a few as patients, and they are great. 






 And I am so glad I agreed to take her too. Maybe more than Jimmy.  She has not had an easy life. She's small.   She only weighs 30 lbs.  Probably should weigh 40-45 lbs.  She is timid, but in a different way than Jimmy.  She just wants to curl up in a ball and hide.   They were dropped off at the office, Friday night.  And she curled up next to the wall, not sure what to do.  In the waiting room, there are 2 wooden chairs and a wooden bench for clients to sit on.  She crawled under the bench and hung out there. Just looking for a safe place to hide.  Her name is Ginger.

The next day, I kept looking at the list of dogs still available for adoption.  And there were lots of of black dogs, bull dog mixes, etc.  I told them I could take up to 4 if some didn't get adopted, and if it would help to just get the pardoned ones out of there.  I have a few holiday boarders, but still have some empty cages.   I can spay or neuter them,  rephotograph them,  teach them the basics of walking on a leash, and put them on petfinder.  Basically give them more time to find their home. 

So I said I want this guy if he doesn't get adopted.  

Isn't he lovely?  I said I think he has character and personality.  Yep, from that photo.  He could have been  Cujo.   I would take him if he wasn't adopted.  I nicknamed him Bert. 

Somewhere along the way,  photos,  id numbers, and names got mixed up.   Because I ended up with this"Bert", below.




Oops.  But that is fine.  I'll help which ever Bert shows up on the doorstep.  I don't care as long as they all get out and into a home or foster home. 


 The 4th dog,  I put in for, if not adopted, was this sad looking pit bull female.  I don't have her shelter photo.  Oh it was sad.  I don't know where the sad dog went, but what arrived was a spunky little female with lots of energy.  She was bluffing. I was conned, I tell ya, conned. HaHa.   She's a red color and has a little brindle to her.  I named her Rosie.  You'll see her below.

So that are the 4 dogs that arrived from the Macon pound on Friday night.  Jimmy, Ginger, Bert, and Rosie.  None of them would have made it out of the shelter if it weren't for Shane and Janet Smith.

So Saturday ,  Rosie,  Ginger, and Bert all got checked for intestinal worms, got their vaccines, checked for heartworms, and got a bath.  I am guessing they are young adults,  1 1/2- 2 years old from looking at their teeth.  Ginger's front teeth are worn down, not sure what she has been chewing on.  

They all three tested positive for heartworms.  Which was a possibility with any dog, other than a puppy.   I sort of forgot about that as the medication to get rid of heartworms isn't inexpensive.  It's possible that Jimmy has them as well. 


Here are the photos of Rosie.  She seems to be "really" interested in the cats.  Bert didn't pay as much attention to them.






Here are the photos of Bert.



 Bert was loaded with hookworms and whipworms. 


Bert also has some old scrapes and scars on his feet. 


I took a few photos of Jimmy on Saturday.


Here's a short video I shot Sunday morning of Jimmy taking a treat out of my hand.    He wouldn't do that in the afternoon. Bert was barking.  He did eat one when I left it next to him. 


and then there is Ginger.  She has an scrape over her right eye. And an entropion with her lower left eyelid. That is where the eyelid rolls inward and her eyelashes and fur are rubbing her eye. More common in dogs like SharPeis, Rottweilers, Chows, but any dog can have one, cats too.  Hers might have developed from being so underweight.  The entropion can be corrected surgically when she is spayed,  with a little eyelid tuck if needed.   She needs a lot of TLC to get her confidence back.  


Saturday Morning.



Notice that you don't see her standing in any photos.  She will get up to go outside and she does walk on a leash.  Sort of.  She like to walk behind you and over to the side where you can't see her or be real close to her.  She also seems to be a little bothered by open spaces.  I tried to get her to go for a walk in an open field and she wanted to hover around the edge next to the bushes and the trees.  She doesn't like to be picked up and she readily jumps back up into her cage.   The cage is small and  closed in on both sides, so she feels safe there I think.   

This is her after her bath.  She hasn't had many of those either, I'm guessing.  Bert on the other hand, seemed to love his bath.  


So that is how I ended up with 4 pound dogs.  All of the pardoned dogs and cats, 61 of them total, made it out to permanent homes or foster homes. Some as far away as Canada and Seattle.   Which is sort of amazing if you think about it,  as most shelters can only keep pets for a few days, due to space.  Euthanasia rates are very high- 60, 70%, even higher.   I seriously doubt these 4 would have been adopted. 

My Christmas letter to Santa this year reads like this-

Dear Santa,  
I have been very good this year. Flossing occasionally and taking my cholesterol medication.  

For Christmas this year I would like some 
1. Donut House brand coffee for the Keurig. Anything named after a doughnut has to be good. 
2. Courage for Jimmy. 
3. 6 pack abs. 
4. Confidence for Ginger. 

Love, 
Dr. Andy

PS.  and please tell Rosie that cats aren't Little Debbie Snack Cakes on Legs.



26 comments:

Carol said...

You are a good man!

Robin Andreae said...

Andy, you're a hero!

Miccosukee said...

Dr. Andy,

We need more peoples like you. I have fostered dogs and adopted from the local rescue groups. I loved them all.

The bad thing about getting old and disabled is that I had to sell my little four-acre farm and will be moving into a townhouse where no more than 2 cats or 2 dogs are allowed.

At least Miss Dottie and Mr. Piper are smaller breeds and came from breeders who didn't want them any more.

You are my hero!

ellie said...

Andy, you are one in a million. Not even my beloved Vet here comes close to you. I really hope Santa is good to you.

FMS said...

O remember seeing and sharing two of these little guys, Im soo happy to see they found there way into your heart and home:)

merrymelinda said...

Dr. Andy - I am one of the many who was involved behind the scenes with this pardon. We are so proud of what Shane and Janet have done in the face of such desperation. Out of ashes, Hope has risen. Thank you for sharing the journey so far of these four sad souls. I hope to be able to see them flourish and become the proud animals they so deserve. Without your help - that would never have happened. It is incredible how a few people can make such a huge difference. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

doglegs said...

Bless you for helping these four dogs.

HypomanicMom said...

Dear Dr. Andy -

While I'm happy that you took all 4, I'm especially glad that you took Jimmy. I did worry about him all throughout the pardon - you can see how scared he is. I hope you do keep us updated on all four of these babies - and thank you for your kindness and compassion!

quincygirl said...

Thank you Dr. Andy. you are such a hero. I hope you post the progress of your dogs. I would love to see them flourish. God Bless you Dr. Andy.

Judy said...

Dr. Andy,
You are a true Hero and have given those four pups hope. My wish for you is that Santa grants your wishes.

Judy said...

Dr. Andy,

You are truly a hero and have given those four pups hope. My wish for you is for Santa to grant your wishes.

Rita said...

I am beyond thrilled to get this update as Jimmy has been on my mind as I was wondering.... what happened to him???.... where did he go???.... how is he doing??? Its a good feeling to know they are in safe hands. Thank You. Please keep us informed on all.

SoulCrew said...

You are a Hero Dr Andy...I am in awe of all that you do.....can't wait to hear how they are doing!! Much love to you and your four legged friends xxx

titflasher said...

Love the blog, love what you do! Thank you very much. Am sharing and linking on my blog and on facebook.

NewJerseyLasagna said...

Love..Love..Love your story! Thanks for being You! ; )

NewJerseyLasagna said...

Love..Love..Love your story!
Thanks for being You! ; )

lc said...

Please keep us updated

Kathy said...

What a wonderful thing you are doing! I currently am fostering a smallish heeler mix who came to me just like Jimmy, 3 years later she is beginning to turn into a real dog! Probably if I had the right training it would help speed things up, but I can at least put a leash on her and we can leave the yard as long as Jack, my caregiver dog, is with us. No one but myself and youngest granddaughter can approach or touch her, guess she's a permanent addition to my home.

animal lover said...

Thankyou Dr. Andy
You are and Angel on earth.
Please keep us updated on the progress of these sweet babies.

cj's blog said...

Andy, This is what it's all about. Helping the animals in the best way you can - going out of your way to provide a chance for even the least likely to find a new home. This is how to be the very best veterinarian possible. Thank you so much!!!!!

no said...

Dr. Andy - you are everything a vet should be and even much more - all of your friends and patients are very lucky to be with you. If I lived there I'd be on your doorstep in a heartbeat bringing all my doggies to you for care and volunteering to help you in any way possible. Please post progress on these babies - i watched the pardon and remember the frightened one's so well. I hope all your dreams come true and Merry Christmas! Elizabeth

Catherine Brown said...

Reading your blog on Jimmy and the other pardoned dogs made my Thanksgiving weekend the best ever!! Have been following Shane and Janet and now Dr. Andy and will work even harder here in Detroit to help more of our city-dogs. Dr. Andy - you are amazing and we all wish we had more people like you in our area...!!

One of my dogs was a feral from the city and I would drive him in the car a couple times a day which he hated and flailed about but within a couple of weeks the drive would southe and settle him down. He now is a fun-loving but cautious guy!

Mayra J. said...

I read the blog and was overwhelmed! But when I read your Christmas wish list I just opened up in tears! You are a wonderful human being. Lately I have met a few, like Shane and Janet!! You guys are one of a kind! Blessings to your wonderful family, Dr. Andy! My appreciation from Puerto Rico!

sherry said...

Dog Bless You, and it seems you are since you have 4 and 2 who absolutely need the love, patience and the 2nd chance you are giving them. I am so glad to know they were not abandon and will have someone to rehabilitate them, to be the dogs they can be & eventually be happy. I am sure they are happy now, they just don't really know it yet, but I have no doubt they will. I look forward to the updates!!
Sherry

sherry said...

Dog Bless You, and it seems you are since you have 4 and 2 who absolutely need the love, patience and the 2nd chance you are giving them. I am so glad to know they were not abandon and will have someone to rehabilitate them, to be the dogs they can be & eventually be happy. I am sure they are happy now, they just don't really know it yet, but I have no doubt they will. I look forward to the updates!!
Sherry

Erica Lea said...

I'm catching up on my blog reading, so just now seeing this. Those dogs knew were meant to find you (and probably vice versa). You are a special soul, Dr. Andy.

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