Volunteers in Tampa, Florida are heartbroken that a dog they knew had been adopted by a felon, who gave a false address and who wanted dogs for hog hunting, has been returned to the shelter a broken dog. He is very thin, and his face is covered in scars. But worse — far worse — is what the volunteer saw in his face. She said Georgie looked “defeated. Just empty…” And now, this dog who suffered greatly the past two months, is in danger of being killed.
In March of this year, Georgie was a sweet dog who aced his temperament test at the shelter. He was adorable, with a black nose and tail and black spots on his mostly-white body. His tail wagged furiously, and he loved the volunteers. The pictures taken after his adoption, when the county sent someone to check on them, shows Georgie and Cookie, the look-alike dog adopted with him, in small crates with straw for bedding. It seems obvious that instead of living in a loving home, the dogs were to be caged and taken out only for the dangerous “sport” of hog hunting.
Both dogs were heartworm positive, but the shelter didn’t care that two heartworm positive dogs not only wouldn’t receive heartworm treatment (they don’t demand that adopted dogs receive medical care), but that their deadkly condition would be exacerbated by the running involved in hog hunting (to say nothing of the danger to the dogs). The volunteers kept looking on hog hunting sites and in the shelter kennels, waiting for the dogs to show up. They wrote:
For the last two months we have looked on every hog hunting site waiting for Georgie and Cookie to be sold, to end up back at the shelter, or in general we just looked for signs they might still be alive. As I was leaving the shelter (last week) there was a frail dog in the kennel on the end, if he hadn’t been in that specific kennel, I would have missed him. It was fate. I found myself saying “oh god please don’t be Georgie” as I stood in front of him. He looked so different that I honestly wasn’t even positive it was him. His face is covered in scars and all his ribs are showing. He was almost unrecognizable.”
The volunteers are sickened by the change in this once happy dog, and fear the worst about his adoption partner, Cookie. But the cruelties of life were not yet done with Georgie. He was spending the day in the volunteer office, greeting people and taking treats. He kissed people and was a joy, according to those who spent time with him. But at some point, something happened and Georgie bit a child on the arm.
The stories are conflicting — one says that the child ran into the area, startling Georgie, another story is that there was a ball involved. But the result is that Georgie is in quarantine. This poor dog who may have suffered greatly in the past two months was not given time to decompress and now he may pay for it with his life. No child should ever have been allowed to be around a dog newly arrived at the shelter and recently out of a nightmare situation.
The volunteers are begging for a rescue to step up and save Georgie. He needs to be in a foster home where he will have time to decompress. After what he has been through, it’s time for Georgie to finally have some love in his life.
They don’t want him to go to boarding. He needs a real home with a family to love him and train him. He needs understanding and time to recover from his ordeal. Georgie really, really needs a second chance. Please share his story. This is a dog with a heart of gold who has suffered more than any dog should.
Georgie’s original story is told in part here: “Convicted dog fighters can adopt dogs from county shelter with failed policies.” Shelter policies contribute to this kind of heartbreaking story. Allowing a 19-year-old on felony probation to adopt two sick dogs at $20 apiece with no requirement that they be treated for their deadly medical condition is not a kindness to the animals. The shelter conducts no background checks, has no contract regarding treatment or surrender of the dogs, and doesn’t keep a current list of those enjoined (forbidden) from owning dogs. Georgie and Cookie should NEVER have been adopted to this person.