Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
By Janie Southard
Stray dog recuperates from injuries
Maybe the black dog smelled food or heard voices from the house west of Fort Recovery near the state line. Maybe the pain from his open wounds was just too much and he had to stop for while. Maybe he sensed he'd found help.
The people at the house called Mercer County Dog Warden Tom Powell on Tuesday morning and told him about the stray who'd wandered up to their door.
"When I saw the dog my first thought was he'd have to be put to sleep," Powell told the newspaper Wednesday afternoon.
But, despite the stench and obvious severity of the dog's injuries, Powell honored his arrangement with the Animal Protection League of Mercer County and called its president Katie Moorman to tell her about the injured greyhound. She directed him to the Celina Animal Hospital where the doctors would do an assessment and advise her of the options.
"Tom calls us whenever he picks up a stray with an injury or sickness. We just don't want the animal sitting in the dog pound for three days in pain or to be euthanized without a chance ... It happens a lot more than you imagine," Moorman said. "As long as we have the funds, we'll continue to help injured dogs, but we survive on donations."
With the economy as it is, those donations are getting smaller and fewer. People are counting every penny now, she said. But there was no question that the black dog would get the treatment he needed.
"We have helped lost dogs with severe injuries and the owner has come forward and paid for the treatment. Most of the time the dog is not claimed and we put it in foster care until we can find it a permanent home," Moorman said.
Named Grant by the veterinary staff, the black greyhound was sedated and underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon to clean out his many open wounds the most prominent on his back. Veterinarian Leslie Winner told Moorman the dog's injuries are "the worst I've ever seen."
"They took hundreds of maggots out of the big wound on (his shoulders). It looks like he's been on the run for a while. Those maggots didn't get there overnight," said Tim Axe, animal hospital manager. "It's just so sad ... And, think of how hot and dry it's been around here. He must have had a terrible time finding water."
Hospital staff estimate the greyhound is 3 to 5 years old.
What could have happened is anyone's guess. The doctors speculate he could have been burned or bitten in a fight with another animal. They don't believe he was hit by a car.
The dog appears to be a purebred greyhound and, curiously, no one has contacted any local law enforcement agency (including the Jay County, Ind., sheriff's office) looking for him. Speculation again, but those involved with his care think probably he was dumped somewhere out in the country. Powell picked him up inside Mercer County but very near the state line.
The greyhound is doing well at the animal hospital, where it's expected he'll be for a few days. He is eating and submitting without complaint to the frequent cleansing of his wounds, but it will be a long recovery - at least four months.
"He's such a loving dog," Axe said. "I hope Katie finds him a good foster home because he'll need a lot of specials - daily cleaning of his wounds and very clean surroundings to prevent infection."
Moorman already may have found a foster home but nothing is definite at this point. If an animal needs specials, like food, the league will pay for it as is true for continued veterinarian care. Sometimes the foster family wants to take care of the food. Each situation is unique.
"I think people aren't aware that the Animal Protection League totally pays for vet care to injured stray animals," Moorman said. "We spend thousands a year on dog injuries from gun shots, hit on the road and so forth. We want to prevent suffering but sometimes the dog is in too bad a shape and has to be euthanized."
Along with the good news that the greyhound is doing well, Powell found homes for the seven dogs that were scheduled to be put down Wednesday morning.
"It's a good ending to a lot of sad stories," Axe observed.
The black greyhound is actually the third injured dog the Animal Protection League of Mercer County has aided in two months. League President Katie Moorman said one of those dogs was a young, healthy animal who had been hit by a car.
"He had broken bones and that could mean a long life of suffering and he would be euthanized. But he was very healthy so the doctors went ahead with treatment," she said.
Later, after the dog visited Celina East Elementary School, the students put together a donation to help with his vet bill.
The Animal Protection League of Mercer County is made up of volunteers. Their funding comes from fundraisers, adoption fees and donations.
To donate, go to www.aplmercer.com where there is Pay Pal on the home page or send a donation to APL, P.O. Box 663, Celina OH 45822. Donations to cover medical bills also may be sent to Celina Animal Hospital, 7100 Havemann Road, Celina OH 45822.
"If you want to send directly to the vets' office, you can make the donation to Grant's medical bill or to the APL account in general," Moorman said.
- Janie Southard
Additional online stories for this date
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Mostly cloudy, showers