12 degrees. No blanket. No food. No water – unless a frozen block of ice counts. Just a thin plywood box for protection from the howling wind. For a day? For a week? For a month? For years? How long did Pearl and Gladys endure and survive these conditions? For some questions, we may be better off not knowing the answers.
What we do know is that Gladys, 11 years old, and Pearl, 3 years old, did endure and they did SURVIVE! On December 28, 2017, while trying to execute a warrant at a home in the town of Wallkill, NY, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department heard the dogs crying for help. What the deputies found were two emaciated dogs in metal pens – without water, food or anything to provide warmth and protection from the cold.
That is when we received the phone call from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department asking if we could help. It was not a question of could we or should we – or even could we afford emergency medical care if it was needed. It was a simple “Just get them to us!” response.
We immediately called the Animal Control Officer out on the scene to assess what we needed to do to get ready for their arrival. Did we need to head straight to our veterinarian or to the emergency veterinarian hospital? Were they stable? Were they able to walk? Staff at Pets Alive immediately went into triage mode so they could quickly assess their immediate needs when they arrived.
Arriving in patrol cars, Gladys had to be carried out of the car; she did not want to leave the warm blankets the officers had wrapped her in and the warmth of the heated patrol car. Her core temperature was down to 99.7 degrees (normal temperature for a dog is 102.5 degrees) and she weighed in at just 44 lbs. At some point she may have been partially frozen to the ground or the “blanket” the officers had found in the wooden box she was living in; she had missing fur that revealed a few layers of skin on her legs.
Pearl was in slightly better shape and walked into Pets Alive on her own, even if she was unsure of what happening. She could sense she was finally going to be warm and cared for the way she should have been. Pearl’s temperature was elevated at 104.1 degrees (103.5 degrees is considered a fever) and she weighed in at 65 lbs. Normal weight for a dog her size is about 80 pounds. The deputies asked our team to check her back paw that appeared to have been frozen to the ground when they found her. Luckily her paw looked to be okay with no permanent damage.
Both girls tested positive for Lyme disease. Gladys tested positive for Enrilichia Canis while Pearl tested positive for anaplasmosis. These are all tick-borne diseases that can be debilitating if left untreated. Pearl and Gladys will be on antibiotics for a month to treat these diseases. They both will also need to be spayed and Gladys will require extensive dental work once her health improves. The girls also had a heavy burden of whipworms, requiring deworming – possibly the first one they ever have received. Upon doing further blood work and urine analysis, it was found that Pearl’s fever was due to a severe urinary tract infection, which requires an additional antibiotic and further blood and urine lab work.
Pearl and Gladys are SAFE and WARM and are receiving 4 meals a day at Pets Alive so they can safely gain weight. Their physical and emotional needs are being met by interaction with the staff as we ready them for adoption. And we are happy to report their abuser has plead GUILTY to animal cruelty charges! He will be sentenced in February.
“Just get them to us!” Because you have stood with us, this is our only response when we get a call like this one for help. We know you, our supporters and friends, will join us in our response of “Just get them to us!” With your support: We will be their haven. We will be their shelter. We will be their protectors. We will be their hope. We will be their champions! And we will find them their “happily ever after’s” in warm, loving homes.
Won’t you share the love and kindly make a donation to our medical fund via our Giving Grid to help care for Pearl and Gladys as they heal from their abuse? Any size gift will help. Thank you once again for being our partner in rescue.