Old News Archive

Dog Hell on Earth

October 14, 2006 - TRC

I need you to pass this on to any and all folks who may have larger and more elaborate facilities to rescue dogs. This one has just about done Julie and I in...you know that feeling when you kinda wish a meteor would hit you and stop all thinking process.

Now don't stop reading. everything is good now, but we do need help !

Julie got a call from a woman in Lagrange. The folks are living in conditions that would be what a ghetto in Appalachia would be...no running water, no electricity…poorest of conditions.

The woman said her friend who has mental health and behavioral challenges has "rescued" a dog from a man who was beating it. In trying to make the dog house better she reportedly put in styrofoam. The dog ate it and has, by the owners report, a resulting blockage in it‘s digestive tract...not eating, drinking and can barely stand.

Tuesday night here in Milo got below freezing. It was 8:00 p.m.. Julie and I conferred, and you know how it can be when you hear of an animal in trouble. They become like your own....so we set off for the place.

What we saw when we got there will haunt us until we can make things better there for animals. It may kill us but we will. The area in general is as bad as I've seen...these people have NOTHING. It seems all they can control in life is how many free animals they can hoard. I would guess there are 10-12 trailers involved. The two we went to that night were in unimaginable condition. Not at all suitable for man nor beast. We had asked the people to bring the dog inside...and thank goodness we did. Junk and animal waste surrounded the trailer which we entered through the door - a common bed sheet. You can imagine how cold it was in there. Multiply that by 1000 to get the idea of the impoverished conditions and filth inside.

There on a couch (?) lay a bundle with a pointed nose sticking out. The Red Doberman had been wrapped in blankets, and I swear we at first thought his eyes had been poked out...they were so sunken in his head. He didn't respond to us at all, but we did touch him to be sure he was breathing. His body temperature must have been below 85..I swear his mouth and inside his ears made my hand chill.

Our plan was to perhaps assess the situation and offer things to help, but we knew in an instant he needed to go to the vets. I had the adult there take me to show me what he had eaten. While I had the adult outside another person confided in Julie that the dog had gone two weeks without food. And the “styrofoam” he had supposedly eaten turned out to be the foam rubber inside a pillow the owner had put in the doghouse to give him warmth. The dog had eaten the only thing available.

I don't know what else was in there for pets, but we did see a black and white rat in an aquarium. The little girl said there were 40 of them but most had died because it got too cold. We are going to work on getting everything out if we can.

One of the two teenage girls grabbed the poor soul up, carried him to my van, unwrapped him and placed him on blankets in my van. That was when I saw his body for the first time and I shall never erase that sight from my head. He had no flesh on him to speak of. He was bones covered by skin. His stomach caved to the other side and every single bone, vertebra, and tendon protruded from his body. The pictures that some humane societies send to shock you into helping were nothing compared to this. This guy couldn't even stand or hold his head up. Julie cradled his head and vigorously rubbed his legs and feet to try to get some blood flowing.

Anyway...we cranked the heat up in my van to "Nuclear" and while Julie calmed and comforted "Achilles", I raced to Dover-Foxcroft. There were times we were sure he had died. But he has an incredible will to live and he made it. Ron, at Foxcroft Vets, was on call and he immediately checked him out and decided a blockage was the least of this dogs problems. He had a hard time finding a vein, finally did and started IV fluids and electrolytes and vitamins. We kept rubbing and petting, but his body didn't warm.

Since the dog was in such a compromised state Ron just made him comfy in a kennel and we left him there. As I was leaving Ron asked if I was still ACO....this was a case where charges for negligence should be filed. I said I wasn't and where this guy was in Lagrange I don't think it will be pursued.

The next morning he was still alive and blood tests were run. Achilles tested positive for Parvo...and the next day or two will determine his fate. He was able to stand today, 60 hours after he was admitted...and the next 12 should show an improvement.

Here's the next obstacle. We have saved him..now where cam we put him ? Our humble little shelter has no isolation area, and both our homes are filled to capacity, as is Katie's home, our dog foster person. When Achilles is released he certainly isn't going back to “Dog Hell“.

If there are any groups out there who know of a Doberman Rescue or someplace that can isolate a large dog with Parvo. We are treating him. He will recover. We need help !

Our money is about to run out. We have spent $500 already, and we have a few hundred more. That is the extent of our funds. We are a small, all-volunteer, no-kill, shelter run strictly by donations. We have managed to raise about $10,000 a year for medical treatment and spaying and neutering , but as you can see, this guy is going to need more care down the road. Of course, he is at the Vets and if we run out of money they can't kick him out now !!!

So that, my friends, is our dilemma....now that we've saved him...who can give him a home ?

If anyone has any suggestions my name is Valerie Robertson and my e-mail is val04463@verizon.net

Julie Gallagher, our shelter director can be reached at (207) 943-2324.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and thank-you for all you do for the earth's animals.

Thanks a bunch …Valerie

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.