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Take Me Home Pet Rescue: All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We had recently rescued a German shepherd from an area of Dallas that is known for the dumping of dogs, dead or alive, called Dowdy Ferry Road. Most of our dogs are rescued directly from this area and are usually in pretty bad shape. Hero was probably one of the worst cases of neglect I have ever seen. He was all skin and bones, covered in sarcoptic mange and missing a lot of hair and had many open sores all over his body. He truly resembled a walking corpse. We applied the $1,000 towards the balance of Hero's medical care and training program.

We were very concerned that we would not be able to raise the funds needed to complete Hero's care. Take Me Home Pet Rescue usually takes in some of the most severe cases of abuse and neglect right off the streets of South Dallas. We are so relieved to have the Petfinder Foundation grant so that we could focus on Hero's physical and metal health and not worry about having enough funding to care for him.

How many pets did this grant help?

In this case only one. But one really BIG one!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

One recent hot Texas summer day, Hero was left for dead in the hellhole of South Dallas called Dowdy Ferry Road. Dowdy Ferry Rd. is located in an area known as the dumping ground for dead, injured, tortured, sick and unwanted dogs. (Many of our rescued dogs come from this area.) Hero was covered in mange and at least 25 lbs. underweight. His body resembled a corpse as he teetered on the roadside trying to maintain his balance. He was literally starving to death and this day might have been his last. But it wasn’t.

One of our local rescuers, Marina, who is a hero in her own right to the unwanted dogs in Dallas, was on her usual route canvassing the area for newly dumped dogs. This pitiful German shepherd immediately caught her eye and she stopped to assist. She could see his bones protruding from under his skin where large patches of fur were missing. Open and oozing wounds spread across his skinny body.

He gently accepted food from Marina’s hand and she easily led him to her car, where he climbed in. Marina immediately starting sending photos of Hero out to her rescue contacts to see if someone could help. When we saw Hero’s photographs and the obviously horrendous shape he was in, we could not turn our backs on him. So the pitiful, sickly shepherd became a Take Me Home Pet Rescue dog. Of course, the name Hero fit him perfectly, as he really needed a hero to get him though this next stage of his life.

During his first veterinary exam, Hero was calm but frightened. No one had ever looked at him that closely before. He had likely never received vaccines or any type of medical care in his life. The vet looked at Hero’s teeth and determined his was approximately 3 years old. For the first three years of this dog’s life, he has suffered at the hands of people. Hero was diagnosed with sarcoptic mange with secondary skin infections and required a long list of medications. Medicated shampoo baths were prescribed every third day for two weeks.

Once Hero’s body began to heal and he began to gain some weight, we had him neutered. Hip x-rays and bloodwork were taken during surgery and we learned that his hips are in good alignment and of no concern. However, as expected, Hero is heartworm-positive.

During the first two weeks of his recovery, Hero was cared for at our adoption center in Richardson. He learned to trust the volunteers and walk on a leash, and easily mastered the commands “sit” and “down.” He also learned he no longer had to gobble his food because there would always be more. As Hero began to feel better, we started walking him around the neighborhood behind our adoption center. He has come across many people, yard workers, loud lawnmowers, builders, dogs barking from behind their fence lines, loose cats and loose Chihuahuas, as well as the local wildlife. We are so proud of Hero that he chooses to ignore strangers and has only been tempted to chase one cotton-tailed rabbit.

During the time Hero has been with us, he has developed a habit of chasing his tail. It is our veterinarian’s opinion that he probably started chasing his tail as a result of the intense and severe itching that goes along with sarcoptic mange. Over time, though, this “spinning” has become more severe. We are desperate to have Hero transferred to a board-and-train program where he can be in the safe hands of an expert trainer.

Take Me Home Pet Rescue is thankful for the Petfinder Foundation grant which provided the rest of the funds needed to help Hero through training and heartworm treatment. Hero is almost 100 lbs. now and never had any formal training. He has almost completed training and will be ready to move to a foster or forever home so that heartworm treatment can be started.

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