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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Handicap pup gets second chance through local efforts

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Photo by George Anderson, Staff Hayden Sando, center, says good-bye to Slicer, a great pyrenees puppy he helped rescue after finding it had been struck by a car. Also pictured is Tena Petix, left, Kennett Humane Officer, and Erica Brown, of Secondhand Snoots Rescue, right.
In the world today when so many bad things seem to happen for no apparent reason, it's always a breath of fresh air to read about a story with a happy ending. Such is the story of Slicer, a young puppy that was rescued by a small boy by the name of Hayden Sando. A puppy who now has a chance to heal and find a forever home, thanks to the efforts of some dedicated volunteers and the folks at Secondhand Snoots Rescue, an animal rescue group out of Gurnee, Ill.

According to Tena Petix, humane officer for the city, Slicer's journey began on a Sunday evening when young Sando was on his way to church at Slicer Street Church of Christ. He noticed that there was a young dog by the side of the road that had apparently been hit by a car. Thinking quickly, Sando went inside the church and informed Officer Marc Blankenship, a member of his church as well as the DARE officer in the city, of the situation. Blankenship, in turn, contacted Petix regarding the animal.

"We immediately came out. She'd been hit by a car and she had two fractures to the leg which at the time we didn't realize, we thought the problem was just the breaks. She was taken to Dr. [Billy] Embry (veterinarian with Ken-Mo Veterinary Clinic) here in Kennett. You could tell that she was healing from that [but] we noticed something just wasn't right. He referred me up to his dad, [Dr.] William Embry, at Malden and we did x rays and they thought that maybe she had Patellar Luxation which is where the kneecaps aren't attached," she said, adding, "But it ended up that wasn't the case." She noted that after the diagnosis, the Humane Department brought her back to Kennett and took her to Dr. Everett Mobley (veterinarian with Kennett Veterinary Clinic) and he did some more expensive x rays and then he consulted with a doctor out of Cape [Girardeau] that was an orthopedic veterinarian. The diagnosis: no kneecaps.

During this time, a search for a rescue had been launched.

Petix noted that the bones in one leg is so deformed to the point that surgery is not a consideration. The other leg possibly could be operated on but the surgery is very expensive, in the neighborhood of $5,000 to $7,000.

She added that wheels are an option where a wheelchair is actually fitted to the dog.

"Dr. Mobley had checked in on that and we were going to see if we could get a rescue to step up and take her. We were going to see if we couldn't at least get her he wheels until we could either find a private adopter or let her live at the Humane Department," Petix added.

During this time, Slicer had been a foster dog of Jade and George Anderson, who have helped the Humane Department out in the past. Slicer resided with them for the past few months while the department searched for a rescue that would take her.

When asked how Secondhand Snoots Rescue became aware of Slicer's plight, Petix noted that volunteer and animal lover, Kayla Gozell, helps to coordinate the rescues with the different agencies. She had been in touch with those rescues who handle handicapped dogs as well as posting on Facebook. A time could not be decided upon for transport, so the President and Co-Founder of the rescue, Erica Brown, decided to drive down and pick up Slicer herself.

Petix noted that the article which was initially written about the incident went viral. She added that the department had received donations from the Virgin Islands, Canada, and Oregon.

"It's been not one person but it's been everybody, starting with Hayden and all of it," she said.

Before Slicer could be transported she had to get a health certificate showing an update on her shots from Dr. Embry which would also allow her to be transported over state lines. The Sandos donated the money for the certificate.

Everything was finally in order for the transport when the Browns rolled into Kennett on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. On hand to bid Slicer farewell on her journey were her foster parents, members from the Sando family as well as many of the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this day happen.

When asked what the plans for Slicer were when she arrives at her destination, Brown noted that she would be going to their canine rehabilitation facility where she would undergo water therapy and other exercises that would help keep her muscles strong.

"She will be evaluated by our vet and we'll come up with a plan for her which, initially, my guess is that we're going to get her into a wheelchair cart. If she is eligible and qualifies for surgery, it can't happen until she's full grown. Initially, my best guess is she'll go into a wheelchair. She's going to get a lot of rehab and therapy that will help keep her muscles strong because, otherwise, everything will deteriorate. Surgery would be pointless because she wouldn't be able to walk anyway because she'd be so weak. So, we want to stay ahead of the game and then adopt her out. If I were to find an adopter sooner than later for her that would be an appropriate home and could work with her medical needs, then she could go to a home. She could, in theory, go to an adopted home tomorrow and the rescue would continue to support her needs."

Slicer, a young dog on her way to a happier tomorrow because of one small boy and countless volunteers who gave of their time to help.

For those who would like to continue helping Slicer, please send donations to P.O. Box 7798, Gurnee, Ill., 60031. For those who wish to support the Kennett Humane Shelter, send donations to 200 East Second Street, Kennett, Mo., 63857. Donations are always put to good use. There are also accounts set up at Ken-Mo Veterinarian Clinic as well as Kennett Veterinary Clinic for the animals' care.

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