If only your pet could talk. Think of the stories they would tell.
Well, we have a great story that we can tell because we lived it. This is just one of thousands of examples to show how Animal Services and the animal welfare groups work together to save animals.
Animal Services Officer Steve Bell responded to a call for an injured dog. Upon arrival to the area reported, Officer Bell located a dog with a terrible eye problem. The dog's eye was grotesquely hanging out of its socket.
Officer Bell picked the dog up and contacted Sue Kolze with Animal Network to see if there was a shadow of hope getting the dog transferred and the ability to seek medical help beyond what Animal Services would be able to provide. Officer Bell described the dog as being "very sweet" despite the injury.
Sue Kolze agreed that Animal Network would pay the medical expenses associated with the eye injury. He was transported to Beach Veterinary Clinic for evaluation and eventually surgical removal of his left eye.
Sue Kolze knew we had to find a foster for this little guy. Mary Lupi with Safe Haven transferred him after surgery and Kathy Simes, who specializes in dogs with eye problems, jumped at the chance to foster him.
On the fifth day after surgery, he got up and the old frightened and depressed "one-eyed Jack" was gone. In his place was a happy, playful pup that deserved a new name to match his new life. So now he's called Skippy.
Skippy had quite a fan club in the neighborhood, knowing who had treats with them and who would give him belly rubs. Because Skippy was given a second chance by this wonderful group of people, he was able to have a lot of "firsts" that otherwise would not have been possible. He chased a gecko, he barked, stole a paper towel tearing it into pieces, learned to sit and give his paw, lost four baby teeth, dragged his bed out of his crate and brought it next to Kathy's chair, had a few licks of ice cream with the first lick being a surprise, the second yummmmmm.
Skippy really blossomed in his foster home where he was given a whole lot of love.
While this was going on, Michelle Kastner, who has lunch frequently with Sue and others, found out about Skippy and showed an interest. Sue happened to be at Animal Services one day, the same time Kathy was there with Skippy. He was so sweet, happy and ready for a home after making a full recovery. As karma would have it, Mi
chelle contacted Kathy to meet Skippy.
Michelle made the arrangements, met Skippy and fell in love at first sight. Now Skippy has a home he can call his own. He even has his own blog site. He goes everywhere with Michelle and her husband Steve. He has even flown to Chicago. Wherever they go, Michelle brings Skippy's bed, laying it on the floor where Skippy will lay the entire time, something Kathy taught him.
Skippy is going to be certified as a therapy dog. He accompanied Michelle one day to a retirement home in Sarasota. Skippy spent the day visiting the residents and attending a few activity programs. Skippy also visited people in their bed and has been on the laps of those in wheelchairs. He works hard and seems to understand that these people need love.
One evening, Michelle met her friend who had a baby goat. Skippy loved the goat and they got along like they knew each other forever. As the joke then went on A goat and a one-eyed dog walk into a bar
You can help us continue saving the lives of injured dogs and cats by donating to Animal Network's Pet Emergency Fund at animalnetworkinc.com and clicking on the "donate" tab.
If you never have to look into the eyes of a dog or cat and make a choice, you are lucky. One day, we all would like to be lucky too.
Adopt your new fuzzy and furry family member from Manatee County Animal Services today. Don't forget about our June adoption special. We are commemorating Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. Adoption fees are only $10 for cats and since we did not want to leave the dogs out, their adoption fee is only $60; the fee includes current license certificate/tag, health check, microchip and current vaccinations.
For free and low-cost spay and neuter programs, call our information line at 941-749-3067.
Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, writes this weekly column for the Bradenton Herald.