Every day I receive many e-mails with requests for dogs or cats needing help. These requests go out to rescuers in the immediate area of the animal, and sometimes all over the country, asking for anyone who can help. Sometimes a rescue group will be able to assist with one of the requests. Other times, no help can be found and the dog or cat is killed. I get very frustrated with the people who say that this country does not have a pet overpopulation problem. It is worse in certain areas than others, but for the United States overall, it is still a very real issue. I would love to see us become a no-kill nation that can provide good homes for every dog and cat that is born, but right now we aren't there yet.
Tonight I received a request to help this dog.
He was found on a highway median, feeding on a deer carcass. The person who found him knew he was in danger when he started dragging a deer leg across the highway in front of oncoming traffic. She was able to catch him and take him to an area shelter. This is what he had wrapped around his neck:
He had no tags, and no microchip, so no way to identify his owner. He was tested for heartworms and tested positive. Heartworms are transmitted to dogs by a mosquito bite, and if not caught and treated, can cause congestive heart failure. They are prevalent in this area of the country but can easily be prevented by a monthly heartworm preventative chewable tablet that can be purchased from a veterinarian. It appears whomever owned this dog did not have him on preventative, and now he will require an expensive and somewhat dangerous treatment to remove the heartworms. The shelter where he was taken advised the rescuer who brought him in that because he tested positive, he would be euthanized. So the rescuer has sent out an e-mail to every rescuer she knows, and asked them to send it out to every rescuer they know. It will end up on various yahoo groups e-mail lists and Facebook and other social media sites - all to try to find someone to save this dog.
I don't know if he'll be saved or not. I'll try to find out and let you know, but the sad truth is that there are many more dogs like him out there. I receive multiple requests like this one every single day, for dogs with medical issues, dogs with disabilities, dogs that are perfectly healthy and their owners just don't want them anymore, all out of time and options. There are not enough foster homes, not enough money, and not enough adopters to save them all - not yet. But we're working on it, one dog (and cat) at a time! So to all rescuers out there, and all volunteers, adopters, and donors, please, keep up the good work!