A few months ago, I got a call from a very concerned gentleman from the Salem County Department of Health and Human Services in regards to a dog that was in serious need of help.
In responding to the needs of an elderly citizen, they had come across an old dog tied up in the backyard that was underweight and suffering from conjunctivitis and poor coat condition. It was the end of December, temperatures were below freezing every night, and this senior dog, in his compromised physical condition, was not in shape to face the elements ahead in the long winter months.
The owner, unable to care for the dog herself, had been depending on the younger occupants of the house to take responsibility for him; unfortunately, that wasn’t happening. Thanks to the very caring people at SCDHHS, his plight was brought to our attention, and through a cooperative effort we were able to rescue ‘Rascal’ and get him into the shelter.
He was a big yellow Lab mix. And in spite of his skinniness, he still weighed in at 80 pounds. Being a large dog and at the ripe old age of 9 years, we knew we had some work to do to get him into shape for adoption. Two days after his arrival at the shelter, we put him into a foster home to make him more comfortable and hopefully speed up his recovery.
Getting weight on him and addressing his eye problem turned out to be just part of the health challenge he was facing. He also was dealing with an upper respiratory infection that had turned into pneumonia as well as a urinary tract infection. The urinary tract infection was easy to deal with and cleared up quickly. Pneumonia is a more serious issue. As well as requiring a long recovery, it was effecting his appetite and making it more difficult to get his weight up to par.
Thankfully, he is sweet, mellow and loves anybody and everybody that will give him attention. He even loved the cats and dogs that were part of his temporary foster home. The family that cared for him during his recovery absolutely adored him and found it difficult to part with him when the time came for his adoption; but finally, 11 weeks later, he was ready to roll.
Last week, a couple and their two teenagers came to the shelter looking for a new best friend. They had lost their Lab a little while ago and were ready to welcome a new family member. Although Rascal was still in his foster home, our office manager, after talking to the family, thought Rascal might be a good fit. A family meet was scheduled and a few days later, Rascal’s wait for a good home was over.
Rascal’s story is a great example of how fortunes can change for a pet when people pull together to help bring about change. He had the aid of workers from the health department, the animal control officer, our staff and veterinarians and, of course, his foster family to help him along on his journey. If only all homeless pets could be so lucky.
Shelter Needs: Purina Kitten Chow, Canned Cat Food, Large Dog Chews, Pellet Litter, Liquid Hand Soap, Isopropyl Alcohol, Paper Towels, Gift Cards from Grocery & Pet Supply Stores.
DOGS OF THE WEEK
Bella is a very sweet, 2 1/2-year-old pit mix. She loves meeting new people and is extremely affectionate. She has the most beautiful and expressive face! She is housebroken, well-mannered, and very lovable.
Blanche is a sweet, shy, lovable girl who thinks she is a lap dog. She loves affection and attention.
Mercury is a very sweet and affectionate 2-year-old boy. He likes to go outside for walks or play time, and likes toys. He tested well with other dogs and even knows how to smile!
Rhonda is a sweet, 7-year-old boxer mix. She is well-mannered and on the quiet side. Once Rhonda gets to know you, she is very loving and affectionate.
Randall is a great young dog. He is a one-year chow mix that is friendly, well-mannered and VERY handsome. In his kennel he is always wagging his tail in hopes someone will give him the attention he craves.
Harmony is a sweet, 9-month-old boxer mix with loads of love to give.
Jax is a happy and active boy looking for a home that will help him to be the best dog he can be! He is a 5-year-old lab.
CATS OF THE WEEK
Lucinda ... will your forever find you today? Wonderful 12-year-old girl who’s daddy died and she ended up in the shelter. Lucinda is in foster so set up a meet to see her.
Annie Oakley is a very sweet and vocal 2-year-old cat in need of a home. She loves attention and always being by your side. If you want a sweet companion for life, come meet this cutie!
Phil is a handsome 2-year-old boy in need of a forever home. He is a very sweet boy with the cutest chubby cheeks! He will come right up to you and expect many pets!
Puddy Cat is a distinguished gentleman looking for love! At 10-year-old he is over the kitten chaos and prefers a relaxed environments that can shower him with affection.
Bluebell is a very soft and sweet 2-year-old cat in need of a home. She is an affectionate girl who loves attention and being loved.