2012-02-01 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

It’s time for an episode of “Dogdom’s Queen for a Day.” Our applause meter will determine which pooch’s hard luck story conjures the most sympathy. Unlike the poor women who won on the ghastly precursor to reality TV, the reigning pup won’t be getting a new Maytag to wash away his troubles, nor will he have to weep across the stage with his robe, crown and rose bouquet. Instead, he, as well as the runners-up, will get a “new leash on life.” Actually, our three canine “Queen for a Day” contestants are male.

You’re lucky if you are too young to remember Queen for a Day, the demeaning 1945-1964 radio turned television show that forced poverty-stricken housewives to spill their guts in public about their financial woes in order to win a few appliances or a new set of flatware. Even as a kid, I thought the show was degrading and bizarre; and knew come the next morn, little had changed for these desperate women- except they had now humiliated themselves on national TV.

Bingo, chained to the W.V. fire debris for more than a year. Bingo, chained to the W.V. fire debris for more than a year. When you are involved with shelter rescue a long time, you are never shocked at how many pets are mistreated or left to fend for themselves. However, you still come across cases that stop you in your tracks. How can people be so ignorant and callous?

Our three canine contestants on “Dogdom’s Queen for a Day” are recent entries in the “whenever you think you’ve seen the worst” file. We have two common denominators: all three dogs are already getting help, and all three continue to love everyone despite their abusive start. Please decide which one should wear the coveted crown:

Contestant #1- Bingo Boy. Marion County Animal Rescue League posted that friends had come upon a West Virginia house that burned down over a year ago. The people moved out but never took their dog. He had been chained outside to the debris and nail-covered boards with no shelter for the duration. The neighbors had been feeding him, thinking the owners would come back for him. That week the property was to be sold at the courthouse, and this extremely friendly Saint Bernard mix in miniature would be homeless. He would be sent to the local animal control with virtually no chance of being adopted there, so he would be put to sleep. Scrolling down were photos of Bingo tethered to the debris in the snow. That’s all it took. Saturday evening we picked him up in Connecticut, the last stop on a rescue transport. As we tucked Bingo in at Last Hope in Wantagh, we promised him, he would never be cold or neglected again.

Timothy, the crooked-leg Lhasa Timothy, the crooked-leg Lhasa Contestant #2- Timothy. This Lhasa pup seems less than two years old. He has multiple injuries most likely from being hit by a car, but then he was found on Sunrise Highway again. Why? You may recall reading about Timothy named for “Tiny Tim” of Dickens fame in “Pets” 12/29/11. Timothy has since moved from Babylon Shelter to Last Hope where he’s in a wonderful foster home awaiting surgery.

Hector, the gunshot wound Havanese Hector, the gunshot wound Havanese Supposedly a Good Samaritan found Timothy on Sunrise in Lindenhurst and took him to the emergency hospital. Although his left hind leg is rotated completely around, Timothy plays vigorously. He uses his leg like a crutch. The skin is scraped off his foot which will ulcerate and remain vulnerable to infections, if ignored. He has no feeling in his paw. Presently his foot is bandaged and he wears a special bootie when outdoors. Timothy has leg and pelvis fractures that healed by themselves in a crooked way. His muscles have atrophied, and the twisted leg has neurological damage. Orthopedic repair would require several surgeries with no guarantee of success, possibly a fused ankle. There’s a chance that after physical therapy, he would still have to wear a brace for the rest of his life. Another option is to amputate the leg. That is what we are going to do. He will get along just fine. Ask my cat Veto, if you can stop him when he zooms by. He had the same hind leg amputated 14 years ago by the same skilled surgeon.

Contestant #3- Hector. This tiny, sweet Havanese also appeared on the WV rescue radar screen. I noticed this cutie because he looked so much like our Timothy. Hector was only about a year old, yet his mouth was so smelly that he was in the back of a rural shelter marked for euthanasia figuring extensive dental care would make him unadoptable. Year old dogs tend not to have dental problems. Something was fishy. Happy Whiskers, a local WV rescue, pulled him anyway and a quick trip to the vet prior to transport told them that he had a fractured jaw possibly from being hit by a car that had healed improperly

(similar to Timothy’s leg). No x-rays were taken at that time. When Happy

Whiskers (donation hint…www.happywhiskers.org) took Hector to their own vet for his neuter, x-rays showed that the fracture was from a gunshot to the lower jaw with a large portion of the bone missing and bullet fragments still lodged in the jaw and soft tissue. Later the orthopedic specialist who did Hector’s extensive and expensive repair felt the wound was from a .22 caliber gun about a month prior. Imagine how much pain Hector endured.

Sadly these rural rescues are accustomed to coming across dogs that have been shot and left to die. I ask you- how could any human being shoot Benji? Camera men, please roll the applause meter!

Babylon Town Shelter Adoptables

(631-643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: This week our poster pups want to drive home the point that Craig’s List is NOT the responsible way to rehome your pets. Craig’s List is useful for lost and found but not safe as a source of new homes. This adorable, bonded

Puggle #12-60 and Samoyed #12-

61 pair were abandoned and tied up with a bag of food. Their collar tags revealed that their original owner gave them to someone who responded on Craig’s List about a month ago. The Samoyed was an angel when we used the rake on him, but we have miles to rake before we sleep.

Male: “Luigi” plus two more Cockapoos; buff Cocker Spaniel; “Otis”

Brindle Pit; “J. Crew” the tuxedo kitten whose sweater comes home with him.

Female: “Sage” Jack Russell; “Hope” Shepherd mix.

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