Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Future for Hope, the starving dog, uncertain

From Corning Observer

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress may be judged by the way its animals are treated," quoted Debbie Eaglebarger of Mahatma Ghandi's famous words.
Eaglebarger, caretaker at the Corning Animal Shelter and founder of Second Chance Pet Rescue, said those words as she looked at Hope, a pit bull terrier that came into the shelter on Monday, weak on her feet, and starving to death.
Although Eaglebarger and the volunteers at the shelter wanted to heap food into Hope's dish, they couldn't.
"It would be too much of a shock to her system. Too much food with lack of food leads to vomiting and diarrhea," Eaglebarger explained.
Hope will have to be fed a tiny amount of food every hour so her system can absorb protein and return her strength.
"That's every hour, even at night. Is it too late for her? Maybe. She will be going to a foster home who can give her the tender loving care she deserves," the caregiver explained.
But, foster homes are few and far between.
"What happens to the seven puppies who need to go to foster care instead of being in a shelter environment where they run the risk of disease, sickness, and even death? They now run the risk of potential sickness and death."
Hope is going to require a lot of care, but her willingness to trust people gives her a gold star.
"When the shelter cat rubbed up against her throughout her intake process with nary an antagonistic move she received another gold star. Do we kill a dog because it is going to take months to bring her to an adoptable level? I don't know," Eaglebarger laments.
She suggests Corning put aside the question on how the nation is doing and ask ourselves locally, "how do we fare in the greatness of city?"
Those at the animal shelter remember Truly, who came into the shelter two years ago in very much the same condition.
"It was a year before she was adopted. Her first month required a diet that cost us approximately $250 a week," Eaglebarger stated. "We need the communities help."
Anyone who would like to help in sponsoring Hope in her new foster home where she will require a very special diet and dedication, please send donations to Second Chance Pet Rescue with a memo stating HOPE.
The money will go to her special dietary needs and visits to the vet, according to the shelter caretaker.
There seems to be no end to the number of dumped animals entering the shelter.
"Puppies are being left behind at gas stations out of sight in a box, puppies in a taped up box set on the railroad tracks, puppies and dogs left on the side of the road to fend for themselves, dogs chained to the shelter gate. This is not a new phenomenon, it's been going on for the last 12 months in epidemic proportions," Eaglebarger said.
She is hoping the residents of Corning will take note of this problem and do all they can to support the shelter efforts by spaying and neutering their pets and keeping them secured, licensed and well kept.
"How do we fare as a nation? Not very good. How do we fare as a city? Abysmal," Eaglebarger states.

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