Eyes gouged out, miniature pinscher survives to see that humans can have a good side, too
Found inside a trash bag that was hurled out of a car — with BB’s under his skin and his eyeballs apparently gouged out – a miniature pinscher even some veterinarians thought would be better off dead has surprised everyone.
And touched them, too, it seems — enough to spark $17,000 in donations.
A story about Andre — a tiny dog who now bears the name of a giant — appeared in the Arizona Republic Sunday, and started out this way:
To get through the beginning, you need to know how it ends.
The beginning was Jan. 3, when Cedric Conwright, while on his afternoon walk in Tolleson, saw a car pull to the side of the road, and something thrown from its window just before it drove away.
Inside, he found a small dog in bad shape. He picked him up and took him home, and was surprised to see it could stand and drink.
Two days later, Conwright took the dog to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in hopes of getting it medical help. They gave some thought to euthanizing the dog, estimated to be about four years old, but instead performed surgery, removing what was left of his eyes.
After two weeks, animal control started seeking a rescue group willling to take him in as a foster.
Among those responding was the Feathers Foundation, a Paradise Valley non-profit group associated with the Circle L Animal Sanctuary. The foundation raises money for the care of injured and neglected animals.
When Susy Hopkins, a Feathers Foundation member picked him up, he was thin as a rail and had green fluid leaking from his eyes sockets and down his face.
She stopped at McDowell Mountain Animal Hospital in Scottsdale, where a vet gave Andre — the name she’d given him — an examination. The vet recommended euthanasia.
Hopkins said no, and asked the vet’s office to do what they could. In addition to infected eyes, Andre was anemic and had diabetes, and under his skin were what appeared to be BB’s from a pellet gun.
Over the next few days, Andre started appearing more lively, and his rescuers went to work trying to raise money for the medical care he had gotten and would need.
Deborah Wilson, a Scottsdale gynecologist who runs the Circle L Sanctuary, set up a page for Andre on FirstGiving.com, a website where non-profits can seek donations for their causes.
While she’s posted several pleas over the years, she says she’s never seen the kind of outpouring of support there was for Andre — about $13,000.
Rescuers also set up a fundraiser at a downtown Scottsdale pizza restaurant; more than 250 people showed up and about $3,500 was raised. Feathers Foundation has announced that any excess funds will go to other animals in need.
There’s something about Andre that brings out the best in people, said Hopkins.
“People just wanted to see Andre, to hold him, to hug him,” she said. “And no matter how many people wanted to pet him, Andre never resisted. He was so calm, so gentle. It made me wonder even more why someone would treat him so badly.”
On Feb. 11, a home was found for Andre. Sandy Powers saw his story on TV. “It was love at first sight,” Powers said. “I had never adopted a rescue dog before, but I knew I wanted to care for this one.”
Andre has joined Powers’ other dog, K-Bela, a 90-pound Rottweiler mix she inherited from her brother-in-law.
Being without sight, he treads carefully, and follows voices, and once he finds a human, he’ll lean against them. “When I talk or sing a little, he stays right with me on my heels,” said Powers.
While he’s back on antibiotics for his eye infection, and getting continued treatment for diabetes, Powers hopes he will be well enough for a picnic arranged for his fans. (More information about that can be found on his Facebook page.)
As the Republic reported, the small dog’s impact has been huge.
Andre is still tiny, weighing about 9 pounds. An underdog, to be sure. But one person gave him a chance, and then another, and then another. Word got around, and soon hundreds of people were donating thousands of dollars. And instead of being a dog that cost $5,000 to save, he became a dog that raised $12,000 extra for injured and abused animals down the line.
“It’s amazing how a tiny little spirit can touch so many hearts,” Powers said.
(Photo: Pat Shannahan / the Arizona Republic)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
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