Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Charlie's Story

Here's the first ad for Charlie:!/photo.php?fbid=628749243809891&set=a.291258054225680.77631.194613727223447&type=1&theater

"This poor boy was found in a dumpster. He has an injured paw & some small scrapes. He'll be getting some tlc here at the PD until morning when we contact animal control."

I expressed some interest about his age and personality Sunday, 7-7-2013.  He looked adorable, and really hoping for a family to love on him.  I was placed in contact with a representative from the County Humane Society.  The CHS volunteer explained some about the dog, and that it would receive a vet check prior to adoption.  Monday morning, I was told he was going to be adopted, and would have a new home.  This was good news, so I pressed on with my day. 

Mid-afternoon Monday, I received the following information from the CHSociety rep:
His leg may be broken which means they may not want him. We can't afford to have it fixed
Thinking that was a little odd, I asked about him again.  In that discussion, I was told:
Will give vaccine and worm in morning then take to Vet for HW test and rabies shot.
And give first month of prevention and cap star for any fleas.
Well, that makes more sense.  I called Animal Control and asked about "Sarge" (his name they gave him at the time).  The AC worker explained he was still holding the one leg up, and wouldn't walk on it, and while they didn't want him to suffer too long, they'd hold him for me until Tuesday morning when I could get there.  I asked if anyone from CHS had been to see the dog.  The worker said, "I don't know what she's told you, but nobody's been in there all day but us." 
More interesting and odd. I told CHS rep, "I will be there tomorrow to meet and greet, and see what he's like."  CHS rep then claimed "I never asked about his personality before, why does it matter now."  I had to point the rep to the exact place in that link above where I had directly asked about his age and temperament.  From there, it became quite apparent CHS rep wanted no more to do with the dog, or with me.  She was angry I couldn't immediately arrive at the shelter, and claimed she had no communication with anyone else about this particular dog  (a lie because another person had contacted her directly about this dog specifically to help me get to know him).
Tuesday morning, I told CHS rep I was on my way to see the dog.   She replied:
I did not give my word on anything. If you have a question for Humane Society please call the office. Do not contact me again
I was furious.  This meant, nobody again had checked on the dog's condition.  This is supposed to be a Humane Society.  Seemed pretty inhumane to me.
I went to see "Sarge".  He laid down almost the entire time I was there, and certainly didn't put any weight on that front left leg.  I wiggled it and bent it, and he never reacted in pain.  His tail wagged the entire time I was visiting with him.  I decided then to take him with me.  AC worker "Joe" was having a snuggly "quiet time whisper" with "Sarge" before helping me load him in the truck.  I was touched that the AC worker thought so much of this dog.

I took "Sarge" to my horse vet, and Dr. Sarah was amazing.  His paw injury isn't a broken leg.  It's in fact nerve damage.  Whoever dumped him in the dumpster caused a torn nerve in his leg.  He has no feeling at all in it, and isn't able to use it.  This means he needs to learn to walk without it, and at some later time, it may need amputated.  "Sarge" tested Heartworm negative, and spent the afternoon at the vet to receive vaccinations, a medicated bath, and some quiet time while I frantically prepared the house for a new family member.  It became apparent to R and I part way through the day, he isn't "Sarge" - he's "Charlie".  He just seems to be a Charlie. 

When I picked him up from the vet, the groomer Laura explained to me, "He's quite bright, you know?  But he's been abused."  She reported he walks just fine on 3 legs, and when he doesn't, it's because he's scared.  She also reported he's housebroke, and whimpered to go outside twice that afternoon.  He's got the basic obedience down, will come, sit, and lay down on command. 

I have found Charlie to be a delight in the house.  MacKenzie still has some adjusting to do, and a few nasty attempted attacks that I need to correct for.  But Allie and the others are doing great with him.  He's 55#, a big boy in my house, and his tail would do damage if I had breakables in his path.  He laid on the floor by my side of the bed all night, woke up once to lick my hand, and laid back down.  We're still working on some scared-issues, and teaching him to walk across the kitchen tile floor to go outside.  He hops around just great, and goes up & down stairs as well. 

Charlie could've very well been euthanized for a leg that wasn't broken had this situation been handled any worse than it was.  People that are supposed to have the rescue best interests at heart don't.  I'm "Outing" this whole situation for readers that live local to me.  I also think it's a good lesson that just because someone works with a rescue, doesn't mean they like the animals.  Sometimes, their best ideas end up clouding their sense of reality.  I'm trying to get in touch with the CHS adminstrator/director to explain what happened here, and how one of their own said they'd care for Charlie and did nothing.  That's just not "Humane" at all.


Karen Burch said...

So glad you could rescue Charlie. What kind of dog is he?

SunnySD said...

What a messed up situation - good for you, and good for AC, but inhumane society kind of covers it for CHS. Glad to hear that Charlie is settling in well with your four-footed ones!

My Mother-in-law has a three-legged (huge, not fat, just huge) cat that gets around just fine. He even climbs trees, so I'm guessing that Charlie will adapt just fine :)