2 emaciated dogs given 2nd chance, new homes

Will, an emaciated dog that was found as a stray and taken to the Lucas County Dog Warden’s Office, weighs 29 pounds. He’s now living in a foster home.
Will, an emaciated dog that was found as a stray and taken to the Lucas County Dog Warden’s Office, weighs 29 pounds. He’s now living in a foster home.

Two emaciated dogs have arrived at the Lucas County Dog Warden’s office in two weeks looking as if they had missed more than a few good meals.

Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle.
Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle.

The “pit bull”-type dogs have been transferred to the Lucas County Pit Crew, where they will spend the next four to six weeks packing on the pounds and learning they won’t ever have to worry about the source of their next meal, said Jean Keating, founder and executive director of the nonprofit group.

Both dogs weigh about half of what they should, said the Pit Crew’s veterinarian, Dr. Gary Thompson of the West Suburban Animal Hospital in Sylvania Township.

The first dog, now called Jessie, was picked up March 4 by a deputy dog warden after a citizen’s report. She was found on Kelsey Avenue near Broadway at about 2 p.m. She weighed 33 pounds at intake.

A little more than 24 hours later, a second dog in even worse shape was turned in as a stray.

The 29-pound dog, now called Will, was named by Lucas County Dog Warden Operations Manager Laura Simmons because despite his condition, he seemed to have a will to live. He was found on Cleveland Street near Summit Street.

“Both were willing to eat and drink on their own, so we gave them a chance,” Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle said.

Will, who is estimated at 1½ to 3 years old, was transferred to the Pit Crew on March 11 and Jessie, estimated at 3 to 5 years old, was transferred on March 8. The dogs are doing well in foster homes, although they are both very weak, Ms. Keating said.

Seeing a dog in these dogs’ condition is heartbreaking, Dr. Thompson, Ms. Lyle, and Ms. Keating agreed.

“There are a number of places people can turn dogs in if they cannot keep them, including us and the Toledo Area Humane Society,” Ms. Lyle said. “Humane Ohio also has a pet food bank for owners who cannot afford to feed their pets for a time. If someone sees a dog in bad condition, they need to contact the humane society so they can look into the situation.”

Animal cruelty charges are not being pursued regarding these dogs, she said.

“As with most dogs that come in here, we have no idea how they came to be in the condition they are in,” she said. “There is no dog owner to report to the humane society for pursuing abandonment, neglect, or cruelty charges, so they have not been contacted.”

Dr. Thompson said it’s important that the dogs be fed frequent small meals.

“Their stomach can’t handle too much too quickly,” Dr. Thompson said.

Jessie is also being treated for kennel cough and Will for parasites. Both dogs should be fine once those conditions are cleared and they gain some weight, he said.

The Pit Crew has 20 dogs in foster homes and is in need of donations, Ms. Keating said. Tax-deductible donations toward both dogs’ medical care can be sent to Lucas County Pit Crew, P.O. Box 351222, Toledo, 43635 or online at lucascountypitcrew.com.

Contact Tanya Irwin at: tirwin@theblade.com or 419-724-6066.