PORT ANGELES — When a young Doberman-mix dog’s life was on the line, the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society answered the call.
The humane society spent nearly all of its medical reserves saving 1-year-old Jackson and now needs help to replenish the funds.
“Typically, if it’s a young dog, nice disposition, we do everything we can to save that dog,” said Mary Beth Wegener, executive director of the humane society. “That was the case with Jackson.”
Jackson was taken to the humane society June 24 after two tourists found him wandering near Neah Bay.
He was dehydrated, weak and unable to eat. It was clear he would need advanced care, so the humane society worked with Olympic Veterinary Clinic in Port Angeles to rehabilitate Jackson.
The issue, though: No one knew what his problem was.
“Nothing made sense,” Wegener said.
They decided to do exploratory surgery in hopes of finding the problem but found nothing. After putting Jackson on a host of medications, he finally started to rebound, she said.
Veterinarians now think Jackson was poisoned and expect him to need occasional monitoring throughout his life.
Wegener estimated that Jackson needed more than $10,000 in care, more than the humane society has ever spent on an animal in her memory.
She said she is thankful Olympic Veterinary Clinic worked with the humane society on the bill, meaning that the humane society will likely pay only a few thousand dollars.
“If they hadn’t been so generous and done such a great job, we would have been calling around trying to get him to another rescue organization with more funds that could follow through with all the vet care,” she said.
“It would have been pretty hard on him to have to go somewhere else.”
Now that Jackson is feeling better, it’s time for him to find a new home.
The humane society is taking applications for Jackson’s adoption now. Wegener said workers will be selective about who gets to adopt him.
“We want to make sure that whoever gets him understands he could have more issues as he gets older,” she said.
A few applications have been filed for his adoption; more will be accepted. Wegener expects Jackson will likely have a new home in the coming weeks.
Now that he’s rehabilitated, the humane society is asking the community for help again, she said.
“Right behind Jackson could be a dog with a broken leg,” Wegener said. “We’re always going to take care of those animals.
“When we get the fund as low is it is, we need to ask for donations to build it back up so we can respond quickly when an animal comes in.”
She estimated that after bills are paid, about $500 will be left in Jerry’s Fund.
The fund is named after a springer spaniel that was brought to the humane society several years ago as an ill puppy. Because it lacked a medical fund, the humane society called on the public to fund his treatment.
The public responded, but Jerry died before he could be treated.
“The organization decided that can’t happen again,” Wegener said.
To make a donation, stop by any branch of Kitsap Bank or the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society and mention that the donation is for Jerry’s Fund. The shelter is located at 1743 Old Olympic Highway, Port Angeles.
Donations are also accepted over the phone at 360-457-8206 or by mail at OPHS, P.O. Box 3124, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].