Posted on September 21, 2017
9/20/17 - 9:30pm - Buddy update
Picture of Buddy being transported today.
I was able to get Buddy from the emergency vet to the where he will be staying while he heals over the next 2 weeks. Due to his healing process and privacy we will probably not allow visitors. But we will post pictures and updates a few times per week. We will not do daily posts anymore unless something new arises since there will not be a lot of changes each day. He did very well going in the crate and letting us handle him and pick him up. Still no where close to walking on a leash. We will continue to work with him and earn his trust over the next few weeks. He still has a long road of recovery but we will be with him every step of the way and we appreciate all of the support.
I just wanted to take a few minutes and try to answer some questions. I have been bombarded with questions, suggestions, comments, etc. I have received lots of private messages, emails, texts, and comments. It is hard to keep up with everything while still trying to help all of the other dogs in Catawba County that need us, support our volunteers, work full time, take care of my family and furry children/fosters, etc. So I really thank you all for being patient and understanding. It is so amazing seeing so much support for Buddy. He has got to be one of the most loved dogs we have ever helped with. I love reading all of the supportive messages and comments. It really makes my heart smile. Dog rescue is hard work but we do our best.
This post is long but hopefully will cover most of what is being brought to my attention. I know everyone has their own opinions and we all have that right. I have had 17 years of dog rescue and rehabilitation experience and also have a master's degree in human medicine. I have been the director of Hartman's Haven Dog Rescue for 8 years. Our group of volunteers and vet staff always try to make the best decidions for the dogs in our care and in this case, Buddy.
1. Can Buddy have a cheeseburger? I know how much Buddy loves his cheeseburgers and have seen some awesome pictures of Buddy with his cheeseburgers. However, we all have to remember that eating greasy fatty food several times per day for probably 8 years is not healthy and has probably contributed to him having liver disease. He is now on a supplement which will hopefully help his liver start to heal or prevent it from getting worse with full blown liver failure. Just like with people....if you eat 3 fatty greasy meals per day your liver and heart cannot keep up and your internal organs will start failing you. While he will still be able to have occasional human food we are going to have to transition him to healthy dog food or healthy human food, like chicken and vegetables, to help him heal.
2. Will Buddy let you pet him? He has been contained in a kennel and has no choice. He does not show any aggression but he does not seem like he wants to be touched. He will not walk on a leash and literally flips out when he is leashed. He flops around like a fish out of water and bites at the leash. We have to remember Buddy is a feral dog who has never allowed anyone to touch him, close but not completely. This whole experience is new to him. He is going to need rehabilitation and lots of patience and time. We have experience with feral dogs and have worked with people who are certified rehabilitators. This is not going to be an overnight process. He may come around and allow touch and love but then again he may not. He is an older dog, set in his ways, and we are not sure if he will change. Some of the feral dogs we have rescued will allow us to pet them and some will not, but we have always accommodated them the best we can.
3. Where will Buddy go when he heals? Another question that we have lots of opinions on. Some people want him back on the streets, some people want him to go to a home, and some people thought he should have been euthanized. But here is our plan. There is a super wonderful family who knows Buddy very well and has helped care for him over the years. They have a very large piece of property in their backyard that is securely fenced and Buddy will be going to live with them. They have asked that we keep their name anonymous due to the safety of their family, property, and Buddy. I respect that and hope everyone else does too. Even though there are hundreds of people who have great hearts and intentions there are still people who are cold hearted and unpredictable. We also cannot have 100's of people coming to their home wanting to pet him. They will be working on his rehabilitation and will be keeping us updated which will be passed on to the community. At this home he will have the freedom of a large amount of land that he can still roam but at the same time still be contained and safe. And if he decides he wants to become more sociable with people he will have that opportunity and if he does not well that is fine too because he will still be loved, cared for, and safe.
4. What future health care does Buddy need? He will still need to be neutered. He does have heartworms that will have to be treated. Heartworms are spread by mosquito bites and if your dog is not on heartworm prevention they could very well have heartworms too. These are deadly and cause a slow painful, suffocating death so please get your dog checked and on prevention. I would be happy to send more information to anyone that wants it. Treating heartworm disease is painful and risky as well as expensive. So best to prevent it!
5. What happened to the dogs that attacked him? This one is obviously a touchy subject and everyone has their opinion. These dogs and their family have been investigated by animal control and decisions are made by animal control. Buddy was a free roaming dog and this could have happened at any time by any dog or wild animal. These dogs were up to date on vaccines and to my understanding accidentally got loose. I also understand their fencing is not good and we are hoping that gets corrected so they do not get loose again to keep other dogs and people safe.
(((Now, my personal opinion and trying to help educate in general. I am not condoning the action of the pit bulls that attacked Buddy. I am not on their side, I am just trying to help educate. These dogs were pit bulls, yes! However, these attacks can happen with any breed!! If it were 2 labs or 2 collies that attacked Buddy would be be saying "Buddy got attacked by 2 labs!"? NO, probably not! More than likely people would say he was attacked by 2 dogs. Please don't stereotype pit bulls as an aggressive breed. It is the people that make dogs aggressive not the breed. Personally I have never been bitten by a pitbull and we have rescued many. I own 3 pitbulls. My Pitbull, Sam, is literally the sweetest and most gentle dog you could ever meet. I would leave him in a room with a bunch of kids any day and not even think twice about their safety. People have loved on my dog Sam and let him give kisses until they realize he is a pit bull and then all of a sudden they want nothing to do with him. I have been bitten by 2 Jack Russells and almost bitten by several other breeds including a hound, a lab, and a beagle. Working in the urgent care we get a lot of dog bites also including labs, hounds, and various small dogs. My personal dogs have had some serious fights with each other and we have been to the emergency vet several times for bite wounds. Dogs are also like people in the sense that they don't always get along, personalities sometimes clash, and sometimes the dog has psychiatric issues. One of our dogs kept getting in fights with our other dogs until we realized he was having severe knee pain and making him very moody. We treated the pain and the fights stopped. Dogs cannot talk, we have to watch body language and behavior and be educated on them. So please stop judging the pitbull breed.)))
But again, in this situation, our group has no control over the dogs or what happened with Buddy as animal control is in charge of this situation.
So if you have made it to the end of this post thank you for reading and hopefully everyone will continue to be understanding of the decisions we have and will continue to make. We have Buddy's best interest in mind. He is one amazing dog and we want him to be happy, healthy, and safe.