Every day they come through our doors - on leashes, in carriers, on pieces of rope, in laundry baskets, wrapped in blankets ... whatever the finder has to get an animal off the streets and into the shelter.
Sometimes the animals are wagging their tails, sometimes they're growling or hissing and sometimes they are quiet and still because they have no idea what's going on. They are often small and fluffy, sometimes big and blocky. They may have long hair or short hair, brown eyes or green eyes. They may weigh a couple of ounces or they may weigh a 150 pounds.
We never know what will come in the door next, we just know that it will be a pet in need; maybe just to be reunited with an owner, or maybe a whole new start in life.
Last Thursday, the Millville animal control officer brought us one of those animals that is in such need that it tears your heart out. The ACO had received a distressed call from one of our younger citizens after she had come home to find the dog in her yard. Given the dog's condition, we can certainly see why she was upset.
He has a horrendous case of demodex mange, which has resulted in a serious skin infection. His infection is so bad that the lower joints of his front legs are swollen up like baseballs and looked as if they were deformed. He can only walk a short way before having to lay down. He cannot support himself properly to go to the bathroom because of it. His temperature was 104 degrees. His skin has developed open wounds from the oozing infection. He has a urine burn the size of a softball on his belly.
Here's the good news; his mange is not the contagious type and it is treatable, his coat with its unique speckling will be beautiful when he's cured, and given his personality he's just a diamond in the rough that needs some intensive TLC to get him through all this. The veterinarians have put him on pain medication, antibiotics and a medicated bath regimen to get him started on his road to recovery.