Posts Tagged ‘humane society’

miracle-dogOne of her rescuers dubbed the stray dog in the photo, “Miracle.” ¬†She had a raging case of mange, and was afflicted by heart worms, dehydration and starvation. After she finally was coaxed into the back seat of a car, the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana in Miller Beach took her in. Donations arrived from people saddened by her condition and hopeful for her future. She was only a year old.

After weeks of vet care, affectionate attention and sessions with an animal behaviorist, Miracle had to be euthanized.

“I hated making this decision,” said Frieda, the shelter manager. But she felt obligated. The more Miracle’s health improved, the more unpredictably aggressive she became.

The first time she lunged at a shelter worker, she latched onto his beard as he reached to leash her. “She’d be wagging her tail at you, and then if you moved the wrong way, she’d come at you,” Freida said.

Freida wasn’t ready to give up. Maybe the constant commotion from all those barking dogs was the problem. She brought Miracle up to the front of the shelter, where she could lounge quietly behind the counter near the entrance. An animal behaviorist was brought in to work with her.

Three more attempts to bite followed. She began jumping up on the counter, alarming staff and visitors.

The decision was made when Miracle clamped down on the arm of Sandy, an employee, as Sandy bent down to the floor to pick up something. Sandy had worked with Miracle more than anyone, yet this time the bite left bruises.

None of those donations were wasted. They allowed Miracle to be given every chance to recover her health and to demonstrate she could safely be adopted.

Meanwhile, a Rottweiler was brought in with a badly broken front leg. It had to be amputated. But he’s healing and has already been adopted. The miracle is that the shelter sees far more happy endings than not.



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The domiracle-dogg pictured here had huddled in the doorway of a public building. She had a raging case of mange. Her boniness indicated she hadn’t eaten well for some time. She barked at anyone who approached her, but wagged the tip of her tail at the same time. Clearly, she needed help.

Two women from the building came out to see what they could do. Tiffany kept refilling a small plastic bowl of water, which the dog lapped up immediately. McKenya had some dog treats, which also were eagerly accepted. By now, the dog would sit in front of whoever offered her food or water and wag her tail. But given her skin condition, none of us felt it was safe to pet her.

After 20 minutes, we managed to coax her into the back seat of my car. By now, McKenya had dubbed her “Miracle.” She’s at the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana in the Miller neighborhood of Gary. A treatable autoimmune deficiency aggravated the mange, which (fortunately for the back seat of my car) was the non-contagious kind. She also has been diagnosed with heart worms. It’s treatable, but adds to her medical expenses. A couple of people have contributed to the cost of Miracle’s care, but more donations of any size would be mighty welcome.





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TeddySamson, the dog in the picture, seemed to have the qualities I wanted in a dog. When his kennel attendant brought him to a visiting room to meet me, all he wanted was to climb into her lap and smother her face with sloppy dog kisses. He was calm, friendly, submissive and affectionate. He’d done well with other dogs in play groups.

That was critical, because I board dogs for my pet-sitting customers in my home, cage-free. They have the run of the house and the back yard. I book dogs from only one customer at a time, which generally means only one dog, although one customer does board two dogs here.

I was set to bring Samson home. I’d even picked out a new name for him, since the name Samson didn’t fit his smallish size and eager-to-please demeanor. He would be called Teddy because, like a teddy bear, he was a cuddler. But the night before, I did some research on pit bulls, and was sorry I did.

Many of the websites about them are rife with hysteria and fear. Having known half a dozen pit bulls belonging to friends, neighbors and customers, I knew they were not the demon dogs they’d been made out to be.

But even the reliable sources of information issued a caution about leaving a pit bull unsupervised with another dog. A friendly pit bull might not start a fight, but that wouldn’t matter. Once started, the pit bull would not back down or stop.

There was no way to justify taking even a remotely small risk with my customers’ pets. Reluctantly, I had to pass on Samson or any other pit bull.

Samson is a terrific dog who’s been at the Humane Society Calumet in Munster, Indiana since June 2015. He arrived as a skinny stray. Now he’s a neutered male, 2 years old, about 35 pounds. Someone will be very lucky to get him.




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