Injured puppy’s rescue a team effort
Community: Family, RCMP and rescue group helps dog get veterinary care
Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018 06:00 am
A Shepherd cross puppy was given a second chance at life when several people came to his rescue after he was found injured on the side of a road.
Karen Rider discovered the puppy in the Eden Valley Reserve, unable to walk, last month and brought him home where her family cared for him. After a few days they realized Harry – the name they gave him – was in worse shape than first thought.
“The legs seemed broken,” said Rider’s daughter-in-law Carly TwoYoungMen, adding he wasn’t able to use his back legs. “We felt bad for it so I called in (to Pound Rescue, a no-kill animal rescue organization in Okotoks) to take the dog.”
The weather conditions at the time were too treacherous for both Rider’s family and the rescue organization to get the pup, so the Turner Valley RCMP were called in to help.
“I called the Turner Valley detachment and within half an hour they set off to get the dog and drove straight to the Highview Animal Clinic,” said Gabriele Barrie, Pound Rescue founder. “The fact that the RCMP drove out in this weather and got this dog was just phenomenal. It was -30 (Celsius) out there and they definitely saved its life. It’s so great that these people phoned and helped get this dog into safety.”
Turner Valley RCMP Cpl. Steven Sigvaldason said he didn’t hesitate when Barrie called asking for help.
“It’s not really a typical police matter, but if you have the time and somebody asks you to go and help with something like that why wouldn’t you?” he said. “I don’t think anybody likes to see an animal in distress.”
Sigvaldason and Const. Shawn Poohachoff drove through the treacherous conditions to Rider’s Eden Valley home and brought the pup to Highview Animal Clinic in High River.
“We had wrapped it in a blanket and put it in the back seat,” he said. “It didn’t make a peep. It sat there staring at us. Its hind legs weren’t working at all.”
When Harry arrived at the clinic, Dr. Krista Gavel examined him and determined his back was injured, but not broken.
“We don’t know exactly what happened to him,” she said. “We think he was hit by a car or had a garage door close on him.”
Gavel said Harry had a bad case of worms and was emaciated as a result. She said worms are common in puppies that haven’t received veterinary care.
Harry remained under the clinic’s care for a week, during which time his tail was amputated due to frostbite and his belly was also treated for frostbite. He underwent physiotherapy to gain use of his legs.
“He’s doing pretty well,” Gavel said last weekend. “He’s shown quite a bit of recovery over the last week. He’s putting some weight on and eating a lot.
“The chances are really good.”
Harry was released into the care of Pound Rescue on Saturday.
Barrie, who is caring for Harry, said he’s improving and there is hope, but that he still can’t walk and doesn’t have proper bowel or bladder control.
She added that she hopes his neurological problems will resolve.
“So, of course he is a ton of work for me, so naturally, as I am his foster home, I get attached,” she said. “Yet, if the outcome is good, it will be all worth it. Should the outcome be sad, at least, we know we tried. Right now, there is a chance.”
In the meantime, Barrie said she is working to keep Harry as happy as a puppy in these conditions can be.
Sigvaldason, who has two rescue dogs of his own, said if Harry pulls through he doesn’t expect him to have any trouble finding a home.
“I’m sure there won’t be a shortage of people wanting to adopt it,” he said. “I would love to have it, but if it went to someone else it wouldn’t matter.”
Harry’s veterinary bill totals $1,149.38, which includes the clinic’s rescue discount. Anyone wanting to help Pound Rescue cover the cost of Harry’s veterinary bill can email Gabriele Barrie at email@example.com