|Animal cruelty continues to exist Meet “Michelle” – Poster-Dog for No-Kill Rescue
BRADENTON – Animal Cruelty exists in Manatee County. However, according to Moon Racer No-Kill Animal Rescue, Inc., through the efforts of government agencies, rescue groups, animal activists, private and public shelters, volunteers and individuals, some animals are being saved from abuse and death.
Manatee County is the first county in Florida to set a goal of 90% no-kill. While not yet met, agencies and individuals are working hard to reach that goal. Every dog or cat saved through adoption or fostering is another effort toward achieving a no-kill reality within a 12-month consecutive period.
This is the story of a two-year old pit bull terrier named “Michelle” that was saved by a no-kill rescue. Lisa Williams, owner of Moon Racer No-Kill Animal Rescue, Inc., stated, “’Michelle’ exemplifies the no-kill effort and should be the ‘poster-dog’ bringing the message to the public that animal abuse or neglect cannot be tolerated.”
On Aug 25, 2013, “Michelle” was confiscated by Manatee County Animal Services in response to a telephone report of animal cruelty. On Aug 26, 2013, she was examined, given required basic vaccinations, and placed in a shelter kennel.
Two volunteers with the Picture Them Adopted program were scheduled to photograph shelter dogs on Aug 28, 2013. Fortunately, “Michelle” was the first dog on that day’s photo list. When the volunteers arrived at “Michelle’s” kennel they found an extremely thin, sick animal that had difficulty standing. They assisted her to an outside area where she was barely able to walk. When further checked, the volunteers noted that “Michelle’s” under body was covered with open, infected sores and was oozing pus and blood. It appeared she had recently given birth. The volunteers notified a shelter staff member who assisted them with placing “Michelle” into an interior kennel where blankets were provided for her comfort.
Because of “Michelle’s” poor condition, the volunteers contacted Lisa Williams of Moon Racer Rescue requesting she retrieve the dog and transport her for emergency veterinarian care. Williams picked up “Michelle” at 8:00 a.m. on Aug 29th and immediately presented her at the Animal Medical Center of Bradenton where she was placed in the care of Dr. Michael C. Fleck, DVM. According to the Picture Them Adopted volunteers, “the infection of her mammary glands had spread into her right front shoulder and she was so emaciated that her head appeared larger than normal for her starved body. Her ribs were grossly defined through her torso skin. She was weak, and the weight of the infected substance in her body was affecting her ability to stand.”
Dr. Fleck cleared his schedule, his staff prepared for surgery, and “Michelle” was given a mastectomy to remove the infected mammary glands, spayed and placed on appropriate medication. It was discovered during surgery that although she had recently given birth, she was pregnant again. “Michelle” responded well and remained under Fleck’s care until she was cleared for Williams to take her home. A foster home was located and within five days she gained more than nine pounds. Today she weighs near her normal weight of 65 pounds, is a sweet, loving, gentle dog, and is in good health. She remains in foster care, but needs a family that will continue to love her and provide her with the care she deserves in a “forever” home. Williams, stated, “She is a beautiful dog ready to give her new family everything a perfect dog can provide.”
Williams added, “The individual who Michelle was confiscated from received a citation for animal cruelty and fined a paltry $300. It is not known if this person has been banned from ever owning another dog, but given this history, certainly should be. Far too many animals – especially dogs – may be suffering a fate even worse than “Michelle.”
In this case it was only through the quick action of the Picture Them Adopted program volunteers, Lisa Williams, Dr. Michael Fleck, and a group of people who rallied and contributed funds for the surgery, that “Michelle” is alive today.
The public needs to understand the history of today’s companion and service animals.
“Dogs have lived with human beings for thousands, maybe hundreds of
thousands of years. Through the artificial selection of domestication,
they have evolved to be sensitive to just those things that importantly
make up our cognition, including, critically, attention to others.” Horowitz,
Alexandra. 2009. ‘Inside of a Dog, What Dogs See, Smell, and Know.’
Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, NY, pg. 6.
Over time we humans have altered dogs’ appearance to suit our needs and desires, taught them to sit/stay, and expected them to do our bidding. In return, they give us unquestionable devotion, act as therapy and service animals, heroically find human beings in times of tragedy, work for us in all sorts of situations, and provide us with companionship. It only seems reasonable that the least we can do is make sure they are cared for, are healthy, well fed, given a decent place to live, and never, ever abused or neglected in any way. Dogs and cats are totally dependent upon us for their welfare. Is it too much to ask that we respond in kind?
“The greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
MOON RACER NO-KILL ANIMAL RESCUE, INC.
–Develop more serious legislation that will increase fines and continue to pursue making animal cruelty a felony with commensurate jail sentences.
–Prohibit serious offenders of animal cruelty and neglect from ever acquiring or keeping another animal.
–Pass legislation that will require any breeder to be licensed. Dogs and cats are required to be licensed; why not breeders?—Pass legislation that limits the number of animals that can be produced or sold within a given time frame by professional and/or privately licensed breeders. Example: Fish catches are limited in numbers and only during certain times of the year as well as other species, why not cats and dogs?
–Pass legislation that will require pet stores/businesses to ONLY sell/deal with verified shelter/rescue group pets – similar to the California model. The goal will be to wipe out so-called “Backyard Breeders.”
–Strive to improve the status of dogs and cats in our society. These animals are considered “property” and property with little value to many people, except, perhaps, for breeding. The mindset should be that dogs and cats don’t have owners; they have families because they are an important part of a human’s life.
Lisa Williams of Moon Racer No-Kill Animal Rescue and groups of dedicated animal activists are completely and totally dedicated to saving the lives of helpless, injured, abused, and neglected animals. Williams currently oversees nearly 22 animals in foster care throughout the area and, at any given time, six to ten dogs or cats under her watchful eye in her home. In addition, she owns and operates an Animal Day Care Center in Bradenton, and works nearly full-time on Anna Maria Island. Visit her rescue booth at Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton during the Canine Christmas event on Nov 16, or contact her if you can help.
TO HELP OR TO ADOPT OR FOSTER A PET, CONTACT LISA WILLIAMS, MOON RACER
NO-KILL ANIMAL RESCUE, INC. AT 941-345-2441 OR EMAIL AT ISLANDLISA44@AOL.COM.