2011-12-28 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

This weeks “Pets, Pets, Pets” includes two news briefs, a Babylon Shelter wish-list and a pet plea as the final “Pets” column of 2011:

** Both “Dana” and “Bindi” the West Virginia dogs featured here last week were taken in by Last Hope Animal Rescue in Wantagh and adopted by loving families before Christmas. Starved Dana had been abandoned in the Appalachians and then tied outdoors to a tiny wooden box that provided no shelter from the frigid temperatures, while Bindi was a discarded puppy added to the rescue transport at the last moment when her tentative adoptive home in Virginia fell through. This Christmas miracle couldn’t have happened without the local WV animal welfare groups that take these dogs out of harm’s way in poor rural areas and the many volunteer drivers of the multi-leg transports that deliver these desperate dogs to rescues as far north as Massachusetts.


TIMOTHY TIMOTHY ** Almost Home Animal Rescue which operates an outreach program striving to improve the quality of life for chained Pit Bulls in Wyandanch invites you to a Model Train Show fundraiser on Sat. Jan. 15, 2012 from 12 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. However, donations to Almost Home will be accepted. TMB Train Club’s exhibit of O gauge model railroad is at 1110A Rt. 109, Lindenhurst, behind the Inter-County Bakers building, and next to Cablevision. Almost Home (almosthomeli.org) will have foster dogs and cats on display at the event.

** Kind folks often ask what items they can donate to animal shelters. Besides donations of canned pet food, treats, blankets and towels, Babylon Town Shelter (51 Lamar St. W. Babylon) has a special request for two “furniture” gifts. The shelter dogs love to sleep on Kuranda beds that are comfy, washable and elevated off the concrete floor. The dog cots come in various sizes ranging from $52 to $92 in price, and can be purchased and shipped directly to the shelter via Petfinder. Babylon Shelter is “Petfinder NY275.” Information about ordering a Kuranda bed is at the bottom of the Babylon Shelter homepage.

** The second furniture gift is for the feral cat colonies that Babylon Shelter (631-643-9270) helps oversee. More outdoor cat shelters are needed. Styrofoam coolers can be converted into winter refuges. All About Spay/Neuter in Massapequa (www.allaboutspayneuter.com/shelters. html) has a display of cat shelters that can be homemade or purchased, and then donated to Babylon Shelter.

** The last pet plea of the year is for a crippled Babylon Shelter Lhasa Apso mix named “ Timothy” as in “ Tiny Tim” of Dickens’ fame. Right now everything is in the thinking out loud stage because we are still gathering information from orthopedic specialists about what can be done for him. Not sure yet whether we are looking for a permanent or foster home; temporary fix or a series of operations; a fundraiser, the generosity of a pet special needs foundation or even a local philanthropist.

Supposedly a Good Samaritan found Timothy on Sunrise Highway in Lindenhurst and took him to the emergency hospital. This Lhasa boy is peppy and hairy, so at first you don’t notice his leg. Although his left hind leg is rotated completely around, Timothy runs and plays vigorously. He uses his leg like a crutch. The skin is abraded off his foot which will ulcerate and remain vulnerable to infections, if ignored.

So far, Timothy has had x-rays at two hospitals. He has old leg and pelvis fractures that healed by themselves in a crooked way. “Old” can mean several months old, and this would preclude Timothy’s injuries from being hit by a car before being rescued off Sunrise. The muscles have atrophied, and the twisted leg may also have neurological damage. One option is to amputate the leg. Orthopedic surgeons tend to use that as a last resort. Moreover, Lhasas have elongated backs so the lack of rear support minus one limb may bring problems as he ages.

Right now Timothy, who is only between one and two years old, is wearing a bandagetype splint and an E collar to protect the raw skin on his twisted foot. He may be able to manage this way short term or indefinitely. Meanwhile we are waiting for a cost estimate from the specialist. Orthopedic surgery like this is beyond the budget of a Town shelter. Timothy may need to be adopted by a private rescue where perhaps a designated fund, a Chip In account or a special benefit can help finance his recovery. When Last Hope took a Chihuahua from the Babylon Shelter that needed complex leg/hip surgery, we held “Pesos for Paco” at a Mexican restaurant. But Timothy is a Lhasa, and his breed originates from Tibet. What do we do this time? Do we ask the Dalai Lama for advice about Timothy? Please contact me at the paper with any suggestions you might have to help this little fellow. Happy New Year!

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