In the late summer of 2013, DPRPA received a phone call from a man who wanted to give away the dog he loved so much. He explained that she had demodectic mange since a pup and the first owner could not manage it. He took her but found out that he could not manage it financiallly and needed to rehome her. He said she had some mange on her back, but mostly on her feet, and he wanted to help her before it got too bad.
The photos he sent of her showed her tied to a tree and she looked very bad with mange infecting her back, legs, chest, feet and face. He claimed it wasn't that bad; she was just muddy.
One our our Board members, Sherrie Robinson, who lived in the area went to see her and said she was a very pleasant, obedient dog who was indeed very dirty and severely infected with mange. She was tied outside because the owners thought the fresh air would help heal her skin. In addition, she kept getting into fights with their Rottweiler and she never won, which unfortunately left her quite dog aggressive.
After many phone calls over many weeks, the owner was ready to release her, but it had to be immediately. Jen Imhoff got the call while at a family reunion and, much to the disappointment of her relatives, left immediately to finally rescue Sadie from her situation.
When she met the owners at a park, Sadie was tied to the back of the financially-strained owner's new truck. After complaining about the long drive, the paperwork was complete and he handed her off in an emotional moment and said, "She is my baby. Are you gonna take care of her?" After seeing her, all Jen could say was, "I can't do any worse."
When Sadie arrived at Jen's house for fostering, she was able to see her in better light and it was horrifying. Her slender dobie toes were hairless, crusty, swollen, bleeding and looked more like sausages. Ultimately, she had the worst mange Jen has ever cared for.
The next morning, Sadie was exhausted but insisted on picking up tennis balls. She would try to lie down but could barely bend her swollen ankles so she was forced to lie an a very awkward position with her front legs spread straight out. But she always had her cherished tennis ball with her.
The pads of her feet were raw and infected and frequently bled.
Her face was heartbreaking. Her eyes were swollen and crusty and the left one was full of green discharge. Her fur was coarse, and her skin was crusty and smelly. She was a black and tan Doberman with very little tan markings visible and had only about 50% of her fur.
She immediately went to our veterinarian, Dr. Keim, who was shocked, as was anybody who saw her that day. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the worst), Sadie was considered a 9! She lay on the table with no energy while she was examined.
We realized she had a long road ahead of her. Dr. Keim was worried about Sadie's immune system and kept her for a couple days for observation, blood work, and medicated baths. She immediately began her medications: Ivermectin and antibiotics (6 weeks worth). Pet tabs and fatty acid supplement were also provided.
Then we added relaxation, space, freedom, attention, love, face rubs, playing (in Sadie's case it is all about the tennis ball, Frisbee and her cherished pet piggy), as well as some basic training.
After many months, Sadie is fully recovered and normal except for some scar tissue and sensitivity to the pads of her feet.
Sadie's story demonstrates the importance and valuable work of a rescue and where your generous donations go.