Dec 18, 2008

On Helping Abused, Abandoned, and Neglected Pets

I have been a volunteer with Planned Pethood for several years now, in both a foster and adoptive role. I have seen some dogs suffering from serious abuse and neglect, but I doubt I have seen a dog as miserable as Mistletoe, pictured on your left. I should add that I took the picture a day after giving her a bath and scrubbing dead flesh, scabs, and foul-smelling greasy cheese-like gunk from her scalp.

Most of this dog's hair has been scratched and bitten off in her efforts to relieve the maddening itching that tormented her. Mistletoe's owners, you see, could not bother with such matters as veterinary care for the mite infestation that caused her skin conditions, and as a result she also has festering sores on her skin. It is difficult to determine her breed, given the serious nature of her problems, but I suspect she's some sort of spaniel-terrier mix.

Oh, before I forget: the dog has serious tartar on her teeth, ear infections in both ears, and acts as if she has been beaten regularly. You know that look, right? Head down, tail between legs, flinching when a hand comes near.

When I saw this poor wretch yesterday, I have to admit that the following selfish thought popped into my head: "Walk out the door. Now." I thought that this stinking, pus-encrusted pooch was beyond salvation, and I was not sure that I was up for weeks of rehabilitative care and socializing a neglected animal.

Yet when this dog - this smelly, friendless, scarred dog - looked up at me, I knew there was no way I could turn my back on her. Heck - even the animal hospital where she was dumped off didn't want to deal with her, at least until I opened my wallet and yanked out the debit card. Bingo - nothing gets action like cash, right? I'm not going to call out this particular vet, since it is not their job to treat every mangy dog that gets dumped on them, but let's just say that care comes at a cost, and it was $156 for the initial visit and prescriptions.

Que será, será, eh? Animal hospitals are business first, just like any other enterprise, and there are hundreds of dogs like Mistletoe just in Northwest Ohio.

So I bring you the story of Mistletoe not to trumpet my own dubious claims to virtuousness, but instead to highlight the plight of abandoned, abused, and neglected animals. You see, the world is filled with idiots who think nothing of allowing their pets to suffer. Moreover, given the lousy state of the economy, perhaps Mistletoe's previous owners simply could not afford basic veterinary care (though the fact that she ended up in a rather posh animal care center makes me doubt poverty as a cause of this dog's condition).

Yet in spite of all this maltreatment, Mistletoe is a docile and affectionate dog, at least when she ventures out of the corner in which she has been hiding. She gets along well with the other dogs, and appears to understand the basics of being housebroken. Unfortunately, I do not know when she will be available for adoption, as she is probably looking at many weeks of restorative care.

No, I penned this post as a request for donations to help Planned Pethood continue saving pets like Mistletoe. Any amount you give can help the group continue to save abused, abandoned, and neglected pets, and frankly - the population of animals in need is only going to increase as the economy sputters along. Follow this link to donate to Planned Pethood, and thank you for taking the time to read this post.


ProfessorSeal said...

Someone needs to get their fu*#ing ass kicked over this one - that is about as plain as I can put it. Maybe let Mr. Blonde have a few minutes with the previous people who had this dog - can't call them owners, since they clearly did nothing.

People who know me know that I generally have a cherub-like demeanor, but when it comes to kids and animals I'm a grizzly bear, and this kind of thing chokes me up, disgusts me, and makes me want to kick someone's ass.

Mad Jack said...

Ok Mike. Merry Christmas. You spent $156 just for openers, so that's what I'm giving to Planned Pethood.

I'll skip the kind words of thanks to you for your generous spirit and well placed kindness to animals figuring that you'd rather have the donation.

historymike said...

Agreed, Prof. This stuff can make my blood boil, too.

historymike said...

You are a good man, MadJack.

Lisa Renee said...

That was an awesome thing to do MadJack, and of course Mike as you can expect, reading that story made me cry.

It reminded me of when I used to foster pets and the story of one cat in particular that someone threw battery acid on or the one who was thrown into a wall and then shoved into a mailbox. Thankfully after months of care, both had a happy ending and I hope Mistletoe does too...

Molly said...

Oooooh I had to walk away for a minute after reading this post so I wouldn't come back and name this vet's office. We rarely take dogs there for quite a few reasons, and I personally try to avoid them at all costs. I will do whatever it takes to make sure we never vet dogs there again. It's bad enough whoever had her before allowed her to get in this shape. That people who are supposed to care for animals turned her over to you without treating her was disgusting, especially when she was sitting there digging and scratching the whole time. That they refused to remedy that until you paid is beyond contempt.
You and Mrs History Mike ;) are good people. We can't tell you enough how much we appreciate everything you do for these dogs.

Molly said...

Moreover, given the lousy state of the economy, perhaps Mistletoe's previous owners simply could not afford basic veterinary care (though the fact that she ended up in a rather posh animal care center makes me doubt poverty as a cause of this dog's condition).<<

Also just to be clear as to their responsibility in this, she was found as a stray by a former PPI volunteer. She was left there to be vetted under Planned Pethood's acct. That means the standard package of spay, tests and shots. It also means treating any illnesses. If there was some breakdown in communication over what needed to be done, they still clearly knew the dog needed medical care and they certainly knew they'd get paid.

Anonymous said...

PPI left this vet for the same reasons that Mike listed. Then they got a cooridinator and things shaped up and the bad attitude changed. Now it's back at the expense of the dogs already in bad condition. Mike please send me the invoice so PPI can reimburse you for the care of Mistletoe the vet extorted from you. Love to you & "the MRS". --Nikki @ PPI

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

I saw this pup on petfinder and had a feeling that you were fostering her. My heart melted upon seeing her picture, but I feel even better knowing that she is in your care. I am certain that in about six weeks her real personality will begin to shine through. I know this because you fostered our Schnoodle, Dr. Bombay, and we couldn't be happier. He is happy, healthy and very spoiled! He has added a dimension to our lives that we didn't think was possible. Indeed, it would not be possible without fosters like you--good people who are willing to make the effort to make a difference. Keep up the good work; we need more good Karma in this world to make up for all the bad!