Foster or adoptive home urgently needed for starved dog

Georgie, warm and safe in his kennel

The shelter where I used to volunteer is desperately seeking sanctuary for a dog abandoned there over the weekend. He was left in the shelter’s overnight “drop box” as animals are as often as several times a week. They’re discovered and attended to first thing in the morning when staff arrives.

But rarely is a dog found in a condition as dire as this. So I’m asking that anyone in the general vicinity of northern New Mexico, with the desire and resources to help, to please come forward. Or to pass this along to someone who might be able to provide long-term or temporary rescue.

Shelter staff has christened him Georgie and believe he may be a ShepherdGreat DaneSharpei mix. It’s impossible to determine on looks alone, especially with his weight at 52 pounds — a little more than half what it should be. Aside from his grim physical state, a spotty history can only be pieced together from the circumstances surrounding his surrender.

Usually, injured or unwell stray animals are brought to the shelter during daytime hours. If found at night and left in the drop box, the vast majority of people leave information about where and how the animal was found, along with a contact number. If one is concerned enough to pick up a struggling stray cat or dog, one nearly always wants news of the animal’s prognosis and outcome.

The shelter’s overnight drop box

No information, contact or otherwise, was left with Georgie. The most likely scenario is that owners who’d neglected him for months finally decided to surrender him. So in the middle of the night, when they wouldn’t have to face another living soul, they did just that. Speculation, of course; there may be much more to the story.

Lesions suggest Georgie’s “bed” of many months has been little more than a cement slab (or comparable surface). He’s not received medical care in at least as long — he’s heartworm positive and at this point, his body is still too weak to begin treatment. But Nina Stively, EVHS’s Community Outreach Manager, describes the most heartbreaking aspect of his situation — a phenomenon known as owner searching:

“He pulls and paces and looks at each passerby with excitement, and then disappointment. He doesn’t realize that the best thing that could have happened to him was for him to end up here, he just wants to go back to the person who starved him, neglected him and left him in a dark cabinet at an animal shelter in the middle of the night without so much as a name for us to call him.”

Last week on Facebook an acquaintance of mine posted a quote. I see it every so often and it never ceases to make me bristle: “In a perfect world every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog.”

Every home having a dog is no more perfect than every home having a gumball machine or a rocket ship. Some people don’t like gumball machines. And some people have neither the desire nor the wherewithal to maintain a rocket ship. Not everyone has the gas money to fuel it nor the skills to drive (pilot?) it. See where I’m going with this?

I suppose the first half of the maxim is fine. Every dog deserves a home, and in a perfect world, those dogs who have homes would be cherished and cared for and adored. They wouldn’t be there because some family decided it’s the “thing to do” or the Joneses have one. Nor would they be there as an accessory or a Christmas morning photo or an attempt to teach kids responsibility.

“In a perfect world, humans would understand that bringing home an animal is a serious commitment, and comprehensive humane education would begin early to ensure every dog has the care, attention, exercise, and companionship needed for a happy and fulfilled life.” I know, not as catchy. But this is a blog, not a bumper sticker factory.

I digress. Georgie needs the perfect home. Or at least the perfect foster home. In a less-than-perfect world, let’s see that he gets one.

If you can provide foster care or adoption for Georgie, contact Espanola Valley Humane Society at 505.753.8662.

Georgie’s weakened body

UPDATE: 1.23.13

Georgie is leaving for All Aboard Animal Rescue in Fort Collins, CO, today! He’ll be in a foster home until he is well enough for adoption and will undergo heartworm treatment when his body is strong enough. Hooray, Georgie!