You would think that when there was a neglected and sick dog that animal control and a vet would step in to rescue the dog from the owner and see to the dog’s health, right? Sorry, that’s not the way it always happens and it’s definitely not the way it happened in Massac County, Illinois.

Sizzle, a 2-3 yr old lab-golden mix was chained in his owner’s yard, no food or water and was in obvious distress, malnourished, emaciated and dehydrated. A delivery woman took notice and called animal control to have the poor dog rescued. This is where is starts to go seriously downhill.

A Massac County animal control officer took the call but since he didn’t feel like doing it, he passed it off to Pat Cummins, a retired nurse and shelter volunteer who lives nearby and asked her to look into the complaint.

“[He said] it was too far for him to drive out … and he didn’t want to get his truck muddy on this gravel road,” she said.

Cummins didn’t worry about any inconveniences, her concern was for the dog. She went out to the house and saw that the dog, Sizzle, was obviously sick and in need of immediate care. She took photos and went to the county police and asked for them to investigate. The called the animal control officer who finally did manage to get his lazy ass out there.

He took Cummins’ photos to a vet who handled animals for the county who if you can believe it, refused to even see the poor dog.

“He refused to see the dog because some rescue organization, and I quote him, ‘has stiffed me for $10 on a feline leukemia test and it’s not gonna happen again.”

And if you can believe it, the situation actually continues to deteriorate even more.

The animal control officer took Sizzle to the pound and said he was going to give him back to the neglectful owner, even though said owner had already relinquished the dog. He refused to give the dog to Cummins who wanted to get some help for Sizzle or anyone else.

By now Cummins had had enough. She sent emails, she showed the pictures, she got support and the county felt the heat. Hmm… sounds like another story I recently did.

Then the vet said that he was going to euthanize, kill, the dog as a stray unless Cummins could find a rescue or shelter to take the dog by the end of the day.

No problem, in steps Trisha Stilley and Companion Pet Rescue but first Sizzle had to be seen by a vet. Dr. Morris of Saline County Veterinary Clinic in Harrisburg, about 90 minutes away, took up that task and examined Sizzle. He said Sizzle was one sick dog, malnourished and infected with heartworms and a variety of intestinal parasite.

“Dr. Morris and his staff really are the heroes here,” said Trisha Stilley, president of CPR. “He’s a champion for the rescue community. He cuts his cost in half. Neutering, microchipping, vaccinations, all the medication.”

Sizzle is now recovering at Stilley’s Stiltmore Kennels in Eldorado where the next step before he can be adopted is some training.

“Right now he is as wild as a March hare,” Stilley said, laughing.

If Sizzle’s story has heroes besides Cummins, Morris and Stilley, it’s the rescue community, which rallied behind Sizzle.

But what about the villains in this story who don’t even have names, first the owner who should be charged with cruelty and neglect then the animal control officer who was so lazy he didn’t even want to do his job and the vet, so worried about being out a measly ten bucks that he’d let an animal suffer. Sadly we don’t know and can only hope they they will get their due.

But we can applaud all the heroes and just be thankful they were there to save Sizzle.

One thing I would really like you to take from this story is that sometimes we have to step up and make the choice to help. People always ask ‘what’s being done’, always expecting someone else to do something. It doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes you have to be the one to do something, to get the ball rolling. Stand up and make a difference!

Source – Chicago Tribune

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