Father’s Day Fate

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Some times fate has a way of stepping in. For Opal, fate saved her life. What’s happened since then has been a long and sometimes extremely difficult path for her. In the the first year of her life, kismet has continued to save her as she consistently fought to live. A broken leg, a cliff, and parvo have all been monumental obstacles this 3 pound Papillon has had to overcome to find her forever home.

On June 18th, our friend, Sherri, set the ball in motion. Unsure of going to local legendarily dangerous cliffs alone to spread her father’s ashes off “The Rock”, we  told her we would take her and help her commemorate her father. Once we arrived at The Rock, Sherri stated her peace for her dad, and his remains conjoined the magnificent view of the Potomac River. There was something odd going on since we kept hearing sounds of sliding stones. Would dust really make that much sound as it hit the earth below the cliff’s edge? Then the whining began. We peered over to see a tiny speck of black and white. What was it? We didn’t know at first, but it looked like it was fighting yet backsliding, with a potential to completely hit the bottom. Then we saw the tail. A dog! What is a dog doing over a cliff? There wasn’t much time to contemplate, but driven to action, Sherri suddenly walked to the edge, sat down and was going to attempt to slide down. Quickly Jim told her he had a rope and would be able to fasten himself  to our car and retrieve this displaced dog. Here is the footage Sherri captured…

Once Opal was secured from the 50 foot precipice, we got her home and had her seen by a local vet. Her leg was broken, and she had a cast put on to allow her leg to heal. During the initial couple of days, we were sharing pictures and her story online. One of the Animal Control Officers alerted us to the fact that a man had came to the shelter the previous Thursday with this dog, her leg broken, and he wanted the shelter to take her to the vet. This man was told that he needed to take his dog to the vet. I then found out that the man did attempt to take her to the vet, but since he didn’t have any money and wouldn’t apply for Care Credit, some words were exchanged which led to him being escorted off of the property by law enforcement…. with his dog and her broken leg.

Within a week of having Opal, I woke up one morning and after taking her outside, she threw up 6 times within 45 minutes. I immediately called my vet, and once there, she was diagnosed with parvo. After a 4 day stay, she came home to recover. My heart has bled for this dog. This 10 month old who was discarded as if her life were of no value. This dog that up to the point of Father’s Day had been given no more consideration than a piece of trash.

I contacted the Allegany County Animal Shelter to see what legal actions could be taken on her behalf. Since the crime occurred in neighboring Mineral County, West Virginia, it would be up to them to pursue the case.  The ACAS told me they would work with and provide the complaint they had filled out when the man came in to their shelter with Opal, before he dumped her to assist in filing the charges. I called the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, who directed me to the Mineral County Animal Control. I have called them dozens of times, left several messages, none of which have been answered or returned.

Opal has become a blessing for us, all it takes is just a look into her eyes after she’s been playing to understand the innocence of this soul which is far larger than her tiny body. She’s fought a hard fight the last couple of months, but she has overcome. Her cast was just removed and she is learning to walk again. She has a bit of atrophy, but her life is full of love and joy. She has received an outpouring of support from our community who has watched her rescue from the cliffs and followed her progress online. She even visited the nation’s capitol during the No Kill Conference in July. Thanks to everyone who helped us during her battle. Your love and support is greatly appreciated.

Some pictures of Opal throughout her journey….

Opal with her cast

Opal visiting Washington, D.C. during the No Kill Conference…

Opal at the Washington Monument
Visiting the White House, Opal barks, "Pass CAPA!"

If any body within society should set the example of what is and is not acceptable treatment towards animals, one should surely be municipal animal services. Isn’t that their purpose? Is that not the reason our tax dollars are provided to them; To uphold the law and protect and shelter those in need? What examples are being set for our children and those who look for guidance? Are these the lessons we really want to teach? I know the lessons that I want to profess, and what values I want instilled throughout our society, and while Mineral County Animal Control may ignore my calls, they will be seeing me at their October rabies clinic. They won’t be able to ignore me there.