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Animal problems continue in county

Animal problems continue in county
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
It’s a heartbreaking story involving a pair of shepherd puppies that were on their way to being euthanized.
The story has a happy ending, but is indicative of why Sue Archer is pushing so hard for a countywide animal shelter.
Mrs. Archer is the president of Pudge-N-Pals, the local animal rescue organization that has become the go-to agency for abandoned dogs and cats.
She and others involved with Pudge-N-Pals use foster families to temporarily adopt abandoned and abused animals until they can be successfully adopted. It’s a calling that keeps Mrs. Archer and others committed to their cause but also frustrates her when it comes to abandoned animals.
Pudge-N-Pals’ network of volunteers continues to be overwhelmed by the number of reports of abandoned and abused animals across the county.
“We recently got a call from the local animal hospital about a man who brought in a couple of shepherd puppies that someone had dumped at his house,” Mrs. Archer told The Messenger. “He was crying.”
The two puppies were about nine weeks old and were going to have to be euthanized at the animal hospital.
“He said he didn’t want to do it, but he didn’t have a choice,” Mrs. Archer said. “It’s ridiculous.”
“They’ve already been adopted,” Lisa Adkins, who works at the Reelfoot Animal Hospital, said. “He just brought them in here and he was standing there bawling and wiping his eyes, but I told him to let us help and take care of the puppies.”
Pup 1 and Pup 2, as they were named, have been taken to a no-kill animal shelter in Carroll County.
The man explained to the staff at the animal hospital that people dump animals at his house all the time and he can’t afford to take care of them all. It’s a story that’s been heard many times over by Mrs. Archer.
“There are people in East Tennessee that will take them (abandoned dogs), but the problem is transportation,” Mrs. Archer said.
“It’s just a sad, sad story,” she said as she choked back tears.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken them (abandoned animals brought to the Reelfoot Animal Hospital) and found them a good home,” Mrs. Adkins said. “I wish I had a dollar for every animal I’ve found a home for.”
Mrs. Adkins said the local animal hospital handles an average of 50 phone calls a day about abandoned and abused animals.
“The phone calls are unreal,” Mrs. Adkins said.
The animal hospital even has a bulletin board set up in the lobby covered with flyers about abandoned animals looking for a good home.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 3.30.12

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