Shelly, a long-time resident of Tangipahoa parish, was running some errands last Saturday afternoon, when she accidentally changed her normal driving route and turned down an unfamiliar road. However, Shelly's wrong turn became the turning point in one neglected dog's life. As Shelly turned the corner, She saw the outline of an animal who was standing in the middle of the road. As Shelly got closer, she saw that the animal appeared to be a small dog, who seemed to be too weak to move. The tiny dog had a frayed collar and rope around his neck. He was hairless except for a little patch of hair on his forehead. He was wobbly and could barely keep his balance.
Shelly stopped her car and approached the tiny dog, who collapsed in her arms. Shelly placed the semi-conscious dog in the back of her car and searched for an open veterinary clinic. Luckily, Shelly remembered that the Metairie Smail Animal Clinic had staff on call in case of emergencies.
Shelly raced over to the clinic to try and save the life of her new canine friend.
Once admitted into the clinic, the little exhausted dog, now named "Hammond," after the city where he was found, began his long road to recovery. Little Hammond was suffering from parasitic infection, mange, and malnutrition.
"Over the years, we have seen hundreds, probably thousands of cases like Hammond, but all of them remain special and all of these victims of abuse and/or neglect deserve our attention. One problem is the prohibitive cost of treating these wonderful creatures. It often costs hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to treat these victims of abuse. However, we hope to use little Hammond's story to illustrate the larger picture that thousands of animals are being neglected, abandoned, and/or criminally abused in our region every year. In fact, many of our parishes still do not have animal control services or even a humane society to deal with these issues," says Jeff Dorson, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, which is based out of New Orleans.
"That is why we are starting a statewide Animal Abuse and Recovery Fund, for victims of abuse and neglect. We hope to create an emergency fund of $10,000 by the end of the year, so that we can step in and provide needed medical care for the little Hammond's of the world," adds Dorson. "We also hope to continue to establish satellite chapters of our group in areas that currently do not have humane societies. We hope to start chapters in East Feliciana and St. James Parishes within the next few weeks and continue to build from there," adds Dorson. The group presently has chapters in Acadia, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Lincoln, and Calcasieu parishes.
The Humane Society of Louisiana is a licensed private investigation agency. The group's primary focus is to prevent and solve crimes involving animals. The Humane Society of Louisiana also recently formed The Rapid Response Animal Abuse Team, which is comprised more than 200 individuals around Louisiana and neighboring states. Members of the group are deployed to crime scenes to help collect evidence and work with law enforcement agencies in responding to animal abuse complaints. Many of the group's criminal cases are analyzed over the Internet. To register to join The Rapid Resonse Animal Abuse Team, please visit the group's website at www.humanela.org
Donations may be sent to the Humane Society of Louisiana, P.O. box[masked], New Orleans, La 70174. All contributions are tax-deductible. To make a donation on-line, please visit the group's website at www.humanela.org
Update: Hammond continues to recover quickly and has gained several pounds within the last few days. Hammond was also the surprise guest of honor at the Humane Society of Louisiana' recent pet fashion show. Hammond wore a Saint's pull-over sweater, to protect his hairless body.
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