Poor little Homer came to us on August 15; he had been abandoned.
At first glance he was a walking nightmare. Horribly matted, bald spots, nasty teeth, nails so long he could barely walk, a tumor and let's not forget all the fleas who had taken residence under those horrid mats. Of course he was not neutered. And he smelled as bad as he looked. Not something you wanted to scoop up and cuddle — until you looked in his eyes and saw the beautiful forgiving spirit.
Homer, a Shih Tzu mix, is estimated to be 8 to 9 years old. Volunteers spent hours on him trying to remove painful mats. He didn't get nippy or grumpy; all he wanted was belly rubs. This speaks to the character of this beautiful little dog. After all that humans have done to him; he still trusts us not to hurt him and simply wants to be loved. And some would say "Oh, he's just a dog."
Hair of the Dog in Carmel volunteered grooming and bathing. He looks like a completely different dog. He is now at Chesterfield Animal Hospital where they are beginning to access all his health issues after years of neglect. He needs to have a tumor removed and numerous teeth extracted.
Some might say there's too much wrong; the veterinary bill will be huge. It's best to let him go. You could save lots of other animals with the money you will spend on him.
Yes, some might say that. Or you might say, that after all this sweet little dog has been through at the hands of humans, he deserves all that we can give him as long as it is in his best interests. He is our redemption. How we treat him is a mirror of our humanity. This beautiful little spirit matters.
There is absolutely no excuse for the plight many animals in our community find themselves in. If Homer's owners could not afford his care they could have come to the Animal Protection League, the Madison County Humane Society or Friends for Paws. We all would have helped. Just ask.
I wonder how many people saw Homer before he came to us and turned their heads — because he smelled, because he was filthy and covered in fleas or because they did not want to be bothered.
We are going to try and save little Homer so he can be loved and spoiled for the rest of the years he has left. If you would like to help Homer you can send checks to Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson, IN, 46016, or pay online at www.inapl.org or our Facebook page: Animal Protection League of Indiana.
Homer will be available for adoption once he is healthy. If you have room in your home and your heart please consider fostering or adopting a shelter animal. It is estimated that in the United States alone 10 million animals are euthanized a year simply because they have nowhere to go. We are better than this — or at least we should be. Adopt a shelter animal. Save a life.
Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 356-0900 or at email@example.com.