The Portage County Animal Protective League is seeking donations to pay for medical care for three pets found in bad shape over the Labor Day weekend.
A beagle mix with a badly injured leg was found in the area of Knapp Road and S.R. 14 in Edinburg last Saturday afternoon after he was apparently hit by a vehicle. Later that night, a Great Dane puppy was found in the Rhodes Road area of Kent, also possibly hit by a car.
On Monday, a woman walking past an apartment dumpster in Ravenna heard a kitten crying. The woman opened a trash bag filled with beer cans and found a tiny kitten covered in fleas and beer, weak and emaciated.
Chalan Lowry, executive director of the PAPL, said the agency's staff named the beagle mix Henry. His front leg had breaks in two places, and since the PAPL can't afford the $5,000 cost of surgery to repair the fracture, the decision was made to amputate his leg. Henry initially wore a splint and the surgery was put off until Friday to give his owners a chance to come forward to claim him..
"But at this point, he's an unowned animal," Lowry said. "He's ours."
The Great Dane, named Spencer by PAPL staff, had a hip injury, and x-rays showed that the ball of his hip was broken off. The dog already has undergone surgery. He is recovering at the PAPL.
Lowry estimates the two procedures will cost the agency nearly $2,000. In addition, there are costs associated with the feeding, vaccination and neutering of both dogs.
"That hits our wallet," she said.
Once the kitten, named Annie Oakley, was at the shelter, PAPL staff noticed that she had a head tilt, which may indicate a neurological problem or ear infection. The cat also had tapeworms, was dehydrated and in poor health. A veterinarian determined that she was eight weeks old, and she was given fluids, flea medication, a de-worming medication, a bath, food and lots of love.
"We are not sure why someone would have thrown her out like garbage," Lowry said. But we are so thankful someone heard her cries. Her hours inside that bag were numbered."
Annie is in "one of our best foster homes," and is playing with other pets in the home while undergoing treatment and getting the nutrition she needs.
Lowry said not only was the holiday weekend an unusually busy one for the PAPL, but is part of a busy year overall for injured and sick animals coming to the shelter. Henry's surgery marks the 12th amputation the PAPL has had to do this year, and other injuries and illnesses also are on the increase, with about a dozen animals undergoing lengthy treatment for heartworm. Usually, there are only one or two cases of amputation or heartworm in a year.
"We rely on the community to step up and help us, so that we can help them," Lowry said.
If medical treatment goes well and the dog owners do not come forward, all will be available for adoption in the weeks ahead. If the dog owners come forward, they will be billed for the treatment their dogs underwent, but because of that expense, it is rare for owners to stop forward.
"We'd love to say, 'Here, take them,' but we can't afford to eat that cost," she said. "We'd like to think that if their pet was hit by a car, they would take them to the vet and pay the bill."
The PAPL is the only shelter that takes cats, and always is full, with 130 cats now in the shelter.
To make a donation or for more information, call the Portage Animal Protective League at 330-296-4022, visit portageapl.org/Donate_Online or follow the PAPL's facebook page.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or
Facebook: Diane Smith, Record-Courier