By Pamela Mcloughlin, New Haven Register
The pit bull/terrier mix, who captured the hearts of the public after suffering severe burns, then endured weeks of treatment and hospitalization, is looking for a new home.
Animal Control Officer Rick George is ready to put Ginger out for adoption to the right family, following three months of psychological rehab at the shelter.
Ginger became a kennel resident when the dog’s owner asked if the kennel could take her because the owner was changing her living situation.
George didn’t hesitate.
“There was a lot of love and money invested in her,” he said.
The community rallied around Ginger after she was picked up by animal control on July 11 in the Devon section, suffering from severe injuries.
Ginger, who was burned on 30 percent of her body, including her head, shoulders and front paws, was treated at Milford Animal Hospital where she underwent hydrotherapy treatments.
George said at the time that it looked like a chemical agent had been thrown on the dog, and it was the quickest and worst case of abuse he had every seen. He still has pictures of an injured Ginger on his work computer and winces at the sight of her raw skin.
Donations poured in and $10,000 was raised to help the injured pet. Money that remained after paying for her care went into a fund to help other abused or injured animals at the shelter. Police are still investigating, but haven’t made an arrest in the case. The owner was ruled out as a suspect.
Ginger, who was still nursing puppies when she was found injured, was returned to her owner in Stratford, where she stayed for several months before the owner sent her to the shelter. The puppies in the owner’s care were just old enough to be weaned.
Now, Ginger’s physically healed, her shiny coat is more clove than ginger, but she has “issues” and needs the right home.
“Anybody can adjust to a dog with no challenges and it takes a special person to adopt a dog who does (have challenges). ... That’s how you separate the dog lovers from the dog fanciers,” George said.
Ginger, who has been working on socialization skills with shelter animal caregiver Cindy Schultz, is lovable, energetic, but shy and possessive of her space at the kennel, George said.
She needs a “unique” home, he said, where there is patience and an understanding of what she’s been through. So far, she hasn’t shown any signs of nippiness. George said he’s not sure what her personality was like before the incident.
Her new owners must be mature, responsible people with a stable environment, free of children and preferably with property on which Ginger can play, George said. Prospective owners will be closely screened.
“She has the right after what she’s been through to enjoy her last years without any pushing, hanging ons or prodding or anything else,” George said. “When she’s out playing, she’s a love.”
On a recent romp outside the shelter with Schultz, Ginger licked her face excitedly and jumped in her lap when Schultz sat down.
The owner noticed the dog missing July 9 and told investigators she was about to take the dog and the pups to the veterinarian, and tied Ginger to a fence for about 20 minutes when the dog vanished. George thinks the dog was snatched because it was unlikely she would leave her pups.
Anyone with the qualifications outlined by George can call the shelter at 203-783-3380 or stop by to fill out an application.