The sky was the limit when it came to the collaborative efforts to save Sky, a senior Bluetick Coonhound. While the saga of Sky has many twists and turns, in the end, compassion prevails. Fair warning: you might need a tissue or two.
In late summer, Tucker County Animal Control in West Virginia stumbled upon three dogs chained outside to dog boxes. One of these dogs was Sky. Since the dogs were receiving food and water, the owners were meeting the minimum standards, so Animal Control could not pull the dogs. The only alternative was to have the dogs voluntarily surrendered. The dogs’ owner died in December of 2011, but the family was reluctant to give up the dogs. Finally (and fortunately), after some some gentle persuading, in October the three dogs were relinquished to the Tucker County Animal Shelter run by Cathy Parsons.
As it turned out, all three dogs had medical issues, making it unlikely that they would have survived the winter chained outside and without vet care. Sky was in the worst condition. Tests indicated that she had severe hip dysplasia in both hips, and arthritis in one hip. It was clear that Sky was in pain, and the vet thought Sky had, at best, only a year or two left. So on Friday, October 19th, Cathy and the vet made the very difficult decision to euthanize Sky. Since Cathy, against all odds, operates her shelter as no-kill, she was so distraught about Sky that she could not sleep at all that night.
But on Saturday morning, Cathy got a call from the vet: “I just couldn’t put her down yet. She’s the sweetest hound I’ve ever dealt with. Can you try to find her a rescue by Monday?” Meanwhile, the vet kept Sky comfortable and provided her with pain medication. In Sky’s condition, she isn’t very adoptable, so finding a rescue for her would be next to impossible. But everyone agreed that Sky deserved to have another chance to see how good a dog’s life could be. For more photos of Sky, click here.
Cathy immediately contacted RADAR, and we immediately contacted Cindy Olweiler, who operates Angels Among Us Animal Sanctuary in Pennsylvania. As soon as Cindy heard the details of Sky’s situation, she agreed to take her into the organization’s hospice care program as one of their Resident Angels. Cindy said, “I want to make her comfortable on a big, fluffy bed, give her lots of healthy food, and a loving environment. I want to give her the opportunity to know some love, and to know that she matters to someone.” By Monday, with Sky safe, she returned to the shelter to get lots of TLC while she awaited her transport to Cindy on November 3rd.
Then, along comes Hurricane Sandy, which brought a paralyzing blizzard to Tucker County! With many downed trees and wires, the shelter had no power (and was told it could be two weeks until power is restored). With two buildings (one for cats and one for dogs), but only one generator, Sky and another vulnerable dog, were kept in the cat building that had the generator. While Sky’s transport had to be postponed, thank goodness Sky and the other two dogs were still not chained outside during the blizzard. In her condition, Sky would have never survived, and would have suffered a terrible death.
RADAR has committed to covering $139 of Sky’s vet care costs.
UPDATE! All funds for Sky have been raised! Thank you!
If you would like to help us have the ability to help other dogs, please visit our Donations page.
Thank you to the following contributors, who have given specifically to Sky:
Ginnie Mashburn; Amy & Jim Riley, in memory of Sabrina
Added on November 4, 2012.