After the hearing on Friday, I went out to the shelter to see Shadow. I noticed he was limping badly, and hardly able to put weight on his rear right leg. The staff did not seem to know what was wrong or what might have happened. In addition, he smelled like a trash heap. Not a dirty dog smell, but more like something rotting. Although in obvious pain, all he wanted to do was snuggle with me, lay on me, next to me, and get pet and love.

I left a note about it with VCAS staff and hoped it would be addressed the next day. Shadow’s attorney, Gannon Johnson, went out to see him the next day to see him and assess the situation. His limp was worse, and he wasn’t putting weight on that leg at all. Along with that, he had a horrible rash on his chest and on his underbelly near what used to be his scrotum. Although in obvious distress, he was again loving and sweet, only wanting to sit as close as possible with her and get petted. Gannon was told that the vet would not be in until Tuesday! This was obviously not something that could wait until Tuesday, the boy was in need of medical care immediately. So Gannon started calling veterinary hospitals to see if she could get Shadow looked at. She was finally able to get him in to see her own personal vet, but was told they would have to fit him in, as they were also booked solid. After speaking to Animal Control officers in charge that day, they agreed to have one of their officers transport Shadow to the vet and back to the shelter. Gannon followed in her own car.

At the vet, Shadow was his usual happy and loving self, giving kisses to vet techs and vet, and wanting to sit in Gannon’s lap the entire time. Just a big love, as always.

This is what the vet found: He has a yeast infection in his ears, a bacterial infection on his skin, and dermatitis all over. This is most likely why he smelled so bad! The reason he was limping is because he itched so badly on his foot that he essentially chewed a hold in the pad of his paw (which is now infected)! Shadow was a complete love and so well behaved but he was clearly in pain. The vet said she would normally prescribe pain meds but since no one watches him consistently she didn’t want to.

My question is, how did staff let this go so long? I’ll tell you why, it’s because Shadow doesn’t get daily interaction. He doesn’t get walked every day, he doesn’t get play time out of his kennel, he doesn’t get the love and attention from a person who in interacting with him that would notice the beginning of a problem! Some days I can bet he just gets fed and that’s it. I’m appalled to say the least.

Bottom line is, Gannon paid Shadow’s vet bill from her own pocket. I want to reimburse her. The bill was almost $400! Can you help me please?

Gannon’s last remark before we hung up, brought me to tears. She said when animal control put him into the truck to take him back to the shelter, he was crying to Gannon, he didn’t want to leave her and go back there. This boy and his predicament, break my heart into a million pieces…..

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