Some intake coordinators went to aCC before xmas to pull 1 small dog. A foster family had stepped up and we could place during their time off from work over the holidays. We jumped at the chance and headed down. All the other foster families were full and we could only pull one. We knew this.
Typcially when we head to ACC, we walk the rows, we greet each dog- give them a treat and gage them. We remember who stood out in our minds and then we revisit. This night was quite different. We started walking the rows and our typically emotionless coordinator stood widemouth and speechless at what she saw before her. She had the other coordinator come over and both stood there just watching as what was before them. They read the cage card and saw that the two dogs infront of them were owner give ups the day before. The good news- because they were owner give ups- the two dogs didn't have to wait the stray hold and could leave immedately. The bad news- the dogs were noted at 18 years and 10 years....often there are mistakes when noting the ages- but it was still a concern.
We knew we could only take one, but how do you determine which dog to go and which to stay. After roughly 6 hours debating, calling the board, calling vets and groomers and talking with the onsite head vet- we took both. We knew that it was going to be expensive and we knew there was a good chance one might die, but sometimes in rescue- it's not about finding the perfect family as it is making sure the dog is safe, comfortable and cared for.
We named the pair: JAckFrost and Chestnut. AFter further evaluation- we deteremined that Jackfrost is probably 8-10years old and Chestnut is probably 2-4 years old. Chestnut has an adorable underbite and while she was matted- she wasn't anything near as bad as her brother. It appeared that chestnut had never been on a leash and she had anxiety in her crate- literally chewing on the bars at ACC.
JackFrost was shut down- his little tiny frame was supporting so much weight from mats, we couldn't even get a good look at his face. Let alone love him or touch him. As we debated in the hallways, volunteers came up to us and burst out crying over the horrific nature of JackFrost.
He was heavily mattted, a mat this bad he had to of been caged in a small pen his entire life. Mats grew under his feet and he walks funny, he's a little bowlegged from his legs sticking out from the mats and there were feces all on his hind legs that the mats grew around and through. His teeth were horrible and he had a heart murmur... All signs were against him.
The first thing that was done fore both of them was medical groom. It took hours and extended into days with Jackfrost. While he was great being groomed- the sissors can only cut through so much mat before they overheat and because the mats were so severe, they had to cut very very close to the skin and thus had to be extra delicate. Chestnut was a bit more rough in her groom and after all the mats were cut off and she was thoughly washed- we called a truce and she left a little ragged looking but happy as a clam.
When JF was picked up- we didn't recognaize him, besides his tongue falling out of his mouth. Because of the severity of his murmur he wasn't put under for anything and was just groomed...off his 7lb frame- they took off roughly 4lbs of mats. 2lbs came off his head alone and we think the weight was actually more. JF was put on medication for tooth decay to see if it was linked to his murmur. After going back, we decided that his teeth would only get worse and tooth decay would lead to organ failure- so him being put under and having his teeth cleaned and pulled was needed. On a risk- we put him under and had him cleaned up and microchipped. He survived and is thriving in foster home.
Both are still looking for their forever homes.