Kentucky 7 Rescue
written by Connie Versagi
If they say when it rains, it pours; then ATRA started the New Year in the middle of a monsoon in Kentucky, and it’s raining Airedales!
A woman who had seen an ad in a newspaper for Airedale pups, had gone to see them, then contacted a local groomer/trainer to inquire about being able to get one of these dogs trained she was interested in buying. Luckily the person she contacted was an ATRA volunteer. This is where the downpour starts, at a puppy mill in Kentucky. The mill was owned by an elderly gentleman who upon being contacted said he was willing to surrender four males. His puppy mill operation had gotten to be more than he could handle.
Upon arrival a small kennel was found, housing eight Airedales. The runs were small, no food, no clean water available. The water that was there, outside of the dogs’ reach in a trough was slime covered. It was obvious these dogs had little human contact, no grooming, and there had been a fight that day among the dogs. They all needed to get to a better situation. With some fast talking, the owner was convinced that giving seven of the dogs to ATRA was really the best. Five females and two males were surrendered. Remarkably, they even got him to surrender a female who was obviously going to have pups soon, though he really wanted to sell the pups himself.
Then came the business of capturing seven nearly feral dogs, who had no idea their lives were about to significantly change for the better. An Airedale rodeo of sorts ensued. Eventually two vehicles pulled away, with seven dogs loaded inside, and another puppy mill put out of business.
The dogs needed names, since they had none, and were given names going through the alphabet, A through G; Angel, Bart, Carl, Darla, Ellie, Fran and Gretta. Once gotten to safety, the arduous task of vet checks and grooming began. The sound of running water and the hum of clippers was heard late into the evening as what was planned to be a good size rescue of four dogs they hoped would be found in passable condition turned into a monumental task.
Angel was the name given to the obviously pregnant female. Ultrasound and X-ray revealed she is carrying at least nine pups, due in about three weeks. She, like the others, is now safe at a kennel, receiving excellent care, awaiting the birth of the pups. Pups who will mercifully never see the conditions their mom endured.
All of the dogs have tested positive so far for hook and whip worms. But thankfully all are clear for heart worm. They all will need to be spayed and neutered. Then will come obedience training and house breaking to make them suitable family companions. In the meantime, the kennel charges will be mounting and there will be needed follow-up vet care. One poor baby has a mouth abscess from a wound, and one has ear problems severe enough she can’t shake her head or maintain good balance when she walks.
One of the males, Bart, has been fondly nicknamed Barffy. This boy has been bringing up PVC pipe, wood shavings, bone fragments. One very sick guy. Obviously used to living on whatever he could find. Ellie is very shy and introverted. She’s too frightened to eat and just curls up in the corner, not sure what exactly is happening. Volunteers are working hard to show her how to love and trust for the first time in her life.
One male was left behind with the elderly man. ATRA will pick him up in a day or two. The transport capabilities on the first trip and a show of aggression on the dog’s part made it necessary to leave him behind temporarily.
These dogs range in age from nine months to four years old. Sadly, their weights range from a mere 33 to 50 pounds. Their young lives have been dismal. These dogs will require lots of care over the upcoming weeks to get healthy enough to look down the road at happy futures. Together we can and will make this happen.
This monumental start to 2006 needs continued generosity from our contributors. Your donations make it possible to give these dogs a bright future.
Make a Donation for Airedales like these rescued in Kentucky
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