“Sweetie” – Sweet hearted girl, Sweetie enjoyed some petting while getting her photo taken on Monday. You can see the healing exit wound of the gun shot on her neck, just below her jaw. Sweetie is still having to choke down her food, but is eating and drinking, which is a great big leaping step on her road to recovery.
By Anna McNeill
Early last week, Animal Control Officer and Shelter Director, Rudi Hicks got the call of a dog in dire need of saving.
Hicks arrived to find a dog so near death that she was prepared to help the dog and quickly end its misery.
As Hicks walked up to the blood covered near corpse of a dog, the little girls tail started up with a dull and weak, “thump, thump,” and Hicks knew that the dog wasn’t ready to go.
“I couldn’t put her down after that,” Hicks said.
So Hicks scooped up the injured little girl, who was frozen by being out in the negative degree temperatures and surely had quite a bit of blood loss due to her gruesome injury, and loaded her into the Animal Control truck and whisked the dog away to the Clare Animal Hospital (CAH).
Sweetie is still a bit timid, but her tail wont stop a thumping as soon as she sees a new friend enter her room. Her doe eyes look up at you with much attention and love.
The little girl, who one of the office staff and I decided to call Sweetie for the time being, was cleaned up and it was discovered that she had been shot through the throat.
The staff of the CAH got the dog warmed up and stitched up her open wounds on her neck and a few days later she was transported to the Clare County Animal Shelter (CCAS) where she is recovering.
Shelter kennel workers, staff and volunteers have fallen for Sweetie’s big doe eyes and loving personality.
Sweetie’s main caregiver, kennel worker and vet tech at CAH, Karen Noggle, has been watching over Sweetie and making sure that she is getting the proper hydration and food she can get into the little dog.
Karen was scared that with the injury to the dogs throat that blood and whatever food and liquid they could get down her would be going into her lungs, but was pleased to see no signs of labored breathing after feedings and drinks.
Sweetie had lost a bit of weight, currently at only 35 lbs., and Karen guessed that she hadn’t eaten a good meal in almost a week due to her injury.
Last Friday, the staff was ecstatic that little Sweetie ate almost an entire chicken strip after Karen shredded it into tiny pieces.
Sweetie still has to choke down her food due to the healing wound, and even though she has gone through being shot and left out in the freezing cold by a human, her tail just starts going as soon as anyone walks over to her kennel. She loves being petted and as soon as the door to her kennel is opened, she is ready to follow you around and be your silent shadow.
Sweetie still has a lot of healing and rehabilitating before she can be adopted out to a family, but after all she has been through, she is making great strides. This is the side of her neck/throat area the the bullet entered from. There is still a lot of swelling around her mouth, but she is able to choke down food and water.
Karen is pretty sure that Sweetie will never bark again, because the bullet passed right through her voice box.
Currently Sweetie will be kept as a patient at the CCAS to make sure that her wounds heal up well and that she gets back to a good health. Once she is healthy, strong, and able to eat on her own and the shelter staff thinks she is ready, Sweetie will go up for adoption.
If you would like to help Sweetie, pet ID # 007D15, out, the shelter would greatly appreciate any and all donations to help pay for the medical expenses that helped save Sweetie’s life.
You can stop by the shelter, which is located on Hazel Drive, just off of Cranberry Lake Road past the Clare County Airport in Harrison, you can donate money to various businesses that have the shelter’s locked donation boxes near the cash registers, or you can send you donation to P.O. Box 438, Harrison, MI 48625. If sending a check, please be sure to put “Sweetie” in the memo line so that the money can go directly to her needs.
The shelter volunteers will also be accepting donations for Sweetie at Saturday’s adoption event, Jan. 17 at Clare’s Family Farm and Home from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Please DO NOT give donations to anyone collecting for the shelter unless it is at the volunteer run adoption event and the money goes into one of the shelters LOCKED donation boxes.
For more information on donating, any questions about the shelter and its animals, or to get directions, you can give the shelter a call at (989) 539‑3221.
The shelter is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the kennel area closing at 3:45 p.m.