*Leech Lake Legacy is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization

Envisioning a world where every reservation dog and cat is well cared for

Friday, July 8, 2011

Madeline, a Success Story

Saturday, May 7, 2011 was my first trip to the Impound on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Cass Lake, Minnesota.  I made the three-hour trip to northern Minnesota with five other volunteers, all of us a little nervous as to what we would find when we arrived.

We were greeted by Rory, the animal control officer at the Impound.  Rory welcomed us with open arms, obviously happy that we were there.  He is a fabulous guy who loves dogs and is a great caretaker for the dogs at the Impound.

We walked back to the kennel area which went from utter quiet to utter hysteria in a matter of seconds as the dogs realized they had visitors and every one of them wanted to be the first to get our attention.

I walked to the last of the 10 kennels and was greeted by a pair of impossibly sad brown eyes, attached to Patches, an emaciated, very pregnant St. Bernard.  She patiently waited as I struggled to unhinge the lock on her kennel and then attempted to get the leash over her very large head.

As we walked out the door of the Impound, Patches took control of the situation and literally dragged me toward the woods surrounding the impound.  I do believe she was very ready to have her babies and wanted to find a place for a nest in the woods.  With the assistance of another volunteer (and a bucket of food), I was able to coax her out of the woods.

For the next half hour, Patches did nothing but eat, drink and poop.  One of the things I have noticed about the dogs that we rescue from the Reservation is how thirsty all of them are.  I would guess that they don’t have much access to water on a regular basis.

I was finally able to convince her to lay down so I could start picking ticks from her body.  I started with the 20 HUGE ticks that were attached to her jutting spine and then moved on to the many, many ticks on her ears and head (we ended up picking more than 400 ticks from her body, ew).

I did not have a big enough kennel for Patches so she ended up riding in the very back of my SUV where she patiently sat for the three-hour trip home.  Julie Cross from Secondhand Hounds fell in love with Patches (and renamed her Madeline) and brought her into her home to help nurse her back to health and assist with the birth of her puppies.

Madeline started having her puppies at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11, and was in labor for 15 hours.  She gave birth to 21 puppies of which 11 survived.

Madeline tested positive for heartworm, Lyme’s disease and a tick-borne illness.  She was extremely underweight, starving and anemic.  And she went through 15 hours of labor to give birth to 11 (now) very healthy puppies.  What an amazing dog.

Not every dog we bring back from the Reservation is in such dire straits as Madeline.  However, most of them are very underweight and suffer from various medical issues including broken bones, mange, heartworm, Lyme’s disease and other various maladies.

Madeline is now a happy, healthy canine who is getting ready to be placed up for adoption.  She is a shining example of what we can accomplish when we work together to save those creatures among us who have no voice.

If you are interested in adopting Madeline or any of her puppies (picture below), please visit Secondhand Hounds’ website for additional information.

Thanks for visiting.  Hope to see you again soon.


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