A dog in the window
As so often happens, the neighbours came to the rescue. They suspected the animals might be in trouble, but the truth was even worse than they thought. The border collie cross, suffering from severe allergies, had lost most of its fur. All three animals were tortured with fleas. The home was filthy and they were left to scavenge for what food they could find in the garbage.
Fortunately, neighbours called the London Humane Society and we sent out an investigation team. They heard the dog barking for attention, but couldn’t enter the residence without a warrant. Instead they left formal written notice that abandoned animals had been discovered on the property and that action would be taken within 24 hours if the owner didn’t respond.
Those 24 hours came and went without contact, though neighbours saw someone enter the house, remove the notice, and leave again without giving the animals food or water. When the deadline passed, investigators obtained an OSPCA search warrant and placed the animals in our care, where we could see the sad reality of their suffering. The border collie cross had fur missing on her back, chest, tail and legs, along with poor body condition, fleas and an ear infection. All three were ravenous when we gave them food.
Eventually the owner contacted us, and was charged and prosecuted for animal cruelty.
The good news is that the dog, re- named Sunny, recovered her fur, strength and trust, and is now living on a farm with a loving owner and many animal companions.
The cats are also safely in forever homes. The bad news is that we see this sort of thing happening more and more in our region. We don’t know how people can abandon animals to fend for themselves, but we do know that we could not have investigated this situation – and perhaps not saved these animals – without generous contributions from our donors.
The London Humane Society is not a government service. We enforce the OSPCA Act and sections of the Criminal Code that are relevant to animal cruelty, but we are funded exclusively by donations. Without your help, we cannot act on behalf of animals like Sunny or the many others that are suffering in our community. As we look toward another cold winter, please consider a gift to the London Humane Society and the animals we support – let’s continue to make a difference together!
Trooper wasn’t alone, he was living with people he trusted and loved, but he was being neglected.
Trooper is a young eight-month-old husky cross. He suffered at least six weeks with a fractured leg. There was swelling and he wasn’t able to put any weight on his leg. The leg started to heal, but because it was never treated, it became malformed. Trooper received no medical care and had to endure every day with this extremely painful injury. It was clear to neighbours something was wrong with Trooper and that he wasn’t getting better. They wondered if Trooper was receiving any medical care. They began to doubt he was. They worried if Trooper was in pain and suffering. While neighbours watched with growing concerns, Trooper’s family knew something had happened. Why didn’t they get help for this injured puppy?
We don’t have the answer to that question but once the call was made to the London Humane Society, our agent went to investigate. In the face of scrutiny, the owners decided to surrender Trooper to the London Humane Society for immediate medical care. The veterinarian made the grim assessment that the leg on this young underweight puppy would have to be amputated. With the growth plate damaged, the leg much shorter than the others and severe muscle atrophy, it was the best decision for Trooper. This was a sad and preventable situation. After a lengthy hour and a half surgery, Trooper’s leg was amputated. The next step: rehabilitation. Trooper recovered with his great spirit, energy and loving nature.
Within a short time, the London Humane Society found Trooper a new forever home with a family where he’s now the center of attention. But the neglect that caused this type of suffering is not an uncommon situation for the London Humane Society to handle. For many, the unsettling local economy is making pet ownership increasingly less affordable. Several times a week, we see pet owners surrendering their pets. And this is happening at an increasing rate. The increase over last year alone is 65 per cent. It’s a startling fact and reality that demands immediate attention on a daily basis at the London Humane Society.
The London Humane Society is here to find new forever homes. It’s the essence of what we are about. Your support is critical to the London Humane Society, so we can continue to give animals required medical care and bring families and pets together. Our caring knows no boundaries. Please help.
Give, so we can continue to help animals in need.
Give, so we can help the next Trooper.
Something was wrong...
London Humane Society employees never know exactly what to expect when they show up for work, and one morning last August staff members arrived to the sound of quiet distressed whimpering outside the shelter.
They followed the sound and were surprised to find a large female dog, alone and abandoned standing expectantly at the gate of a dog run, waiting for someone to come for her.
Touched by her great size and earnest eyes, staff immediately brought her into the shelter. They named her McPhee, after the magical fantasy character Nanny McPhee.
McPhee bore resemblance to the Newfoundland breed. She was gentle, but she was also nervous, and obviously suffering emotional distress after either a long, frightening night in a strange place or watching her owner disappear in the dawn light. No matter when she was abandoned, McPhee’s devotion to her family had been betrayed, and since she didn’t arrive with any health records or history, her treatment and adoption could be complicated.
A veterinarian’s examination revealed that while McPhee had a poor diet, she did not have any underlying health problems or cause for further medical investigation. She was given all of her vaccinations, and with encouragement from staff, began to show her very loving nature.
Still, her refusal to eat gave away McPhee’s continued dismay.
McPhee was mourning the loss of her family and home. After she was found trembling in her cage, she was moved into the office so she could be closer to people and feel safer. Within days, she developed kennel cough, which is similar to a human cold. Stressed animals have a compromised immune system, as humans do, and her traumatic abandonment had made her susceptible to this common canine ailment. The kennel cough tightened its grip on McPhee and brought on a severe sinus infection that affected her nasal passages and eyes, and made her alarmingly lethargic. A supersized dog bed became her favourite spot in the office.
McPhee was a good patient when it came to receiving special care for her eyes and nose, although she liked to test our ability to deliver her multiple medications. Eventually she started to get better, but she maintained a strong stance on what she would or would not eat.
Thankfully, she is now back to her regular diet, and her energy has returned – her wagging tail is a warm greeting for visitors to the shelter!
McPhee is a big girl with an even bigger heart. Despite what happened to her, she has a lot of love left to give, and we’re confident that she’ll soon find a forever home where she will get the attention and affection she deserves.
McPhee was adopted not long after this story was written, but we have many cats, dogs, and other wonderful pets looking for new families. Contact us today to find out how you can adopt one of them and change two lives for the better!
Alone and abandoned in our community
A mother and her 7 newborn puppies were found alone and living under an outdoor deck. Without assistance from the London Humane Society, the new mother would not be able to locate adequate food and nutrition to sustain herself or her puppies. They would die. The new mother, a shepherd retriever cross, was a friendly and loving dog who quickly endeared herself to London Humane Society staff. It was heartbreaking to know that this loving dog was left alone with new life on its way.
We named her “Momma” and recognized her fatigue. Immediately we provided a special diet of essential nutrients for both her nursing pups and herself. Without proper diet, the puppies would not develop properly and could die. The puppies were shy, terrified of loud noises and needed immediate treatment for flea infestation. It was clear that Momma and her puppies needed a special space that was quiet and separated from busy shelter areas and so a room was transformed into Momma’s nursery.
Keeping the nursery clean was a challenge but critical to ensure a healthy outcome for the newborn puppies. Momma was suffering with a gastrointestinal infection and the medication relief was not immediate but her health did return. We suspect that Momma had been exposed to a poor diet after she had been abandoned.
Our Investigations Department located the owner during this time who surrendered ownership to the London Humane Society. Beneath the adorable images of these puppies were 7 sets of new life that needed medical attention to ensure 7 healthy lives. It is a reality that many puppies suffer needless death due to lack of veterinary attention. We provided medication, vaccines and veterinary care to these puppies and their Momma. As weeks went by, they developed into healthy, playful puppies, fully weaned and adjusted to a new diet. Eventually, Momma and the energetic puppies were moved up for adoption. Happily, we can report that the playful puppies and Momma have all found new forever homes.
One unspayed dog such as Momma can be responsible for 67,000 puppies over six years. That is why the London Humane Society spays and neuters every dog and cat we adopt into the community. Without the care and compassion that the London Humane Society provides, animals such as Momma and her puppies would face certain death.
Gunshot Wounds, Hurting and Abandoned...
It started with a phone call our Investigators didn’t expect. The arrival of the Retriever cross from Middlesex County was an emotional moment charged by urgency and concern, as we witnessed the heartbreaking look of pain and distress on his face.
He was in shock with brutally inflicted gunshot wounds, whimpering and unable to walk. His condition spurred immediate action by the veterinary staff at the London Humane Society. Our veterinary technician gently transported him inside with his head on her shoulder. It was a gut-wrenching sight on a late September afternoon but everyone was ready to do what they could to help.
Immediate concerns for his health were his survival and loss of limb: he had been shot twice in his front leg. Undoubtedly, his abandonment after being wounded and then his instinctive reaction to travel for help worsened the situation. Swelling disguised the wound’s severity placed right at his elbow. After x-rays, he was heavily medicated and on cage rest to accelerate the healing. His great spirit kept everyone hoping for the best. In the following days, this trying and sorrowful situation escalated as his pain was difficult to relieve. A pain patch along with injected pain medication failed to provide complete relief.
Finally, after several days, he started to show signs of recovery. He was eager to get out of his cage and his appetite returned. The tenacious veterinary and animal care staff were rewarded for their efforts with Clifford’s happy disposition. This large red dog had patience, friendliness and an eagerness to please – just like his namesake from the children’s stories. A month after the attack, the swelling reduced and the veterinarian recommended that the bullets stay in place. They weren’t posing a risk and surgery could produce complications. More rest was ordered but the looming prospect of amputation was eliminated. It was a sharp contrast to the original prognosis and welcome news for all. His stamina prevailed to improve his strength and wellness. Determination to use his wounded leg helped overcome his weakness and gain full mobility. He constantly tested his agility with animal health staff and was moved up for adoption.
Now, Clifford is with his new family who love him very much. “His leg is doing well. We are taking it easy, but does he ever love to run! He has picked up a few new tricks – he even does ‘shake a paw’,” says his new mom. “When he sleeps he lies down and crosses his front paws – always left over right. The children at my granddaughter’s school know him as Clifford the Big Red Dog.”
Without support services in place like the London Humane Society, there would have been a very different outcome for Clifford.