By Gary Brock
A lot has changed in the life of “Rocky,” the Adams County dog, since his story of abuse and neglect was first reported in The People’s Defender last week and updated in last weekend’s edition.
Rocky is now at a veterinarian hospital and has berrn fully “vetted” and ready for a foster home. In addition, we now know more about the dog’s “back story.”
The smile on Rocky’s face in a picture sent after his rescue Jan. 22 is worth a thousand words. No, make that a hundred thousand words.
The photo was one of several taken of Rocky “The Yard Dog” by Adams County Humane Society Board member Jessica Huxmann after she and others were able to get to the property where Rocky had been attached to a logging chain outside of a home on Brummer Road for all of his four years of life.
Huxmann said that once the roads were passable last Wednesday, they got to the home and unleashed Rocky for the first time. She said he was one very happy dog. “The two photos were taken during Rocky’s ‘freedom ride’ right after he was unhooked from the chain,” she said. “See his smile.”
He was taken to the Lewis Animal Clinic in Cincinnati, where he remains today. On Tuesday, Huxmann gave an update on Rocky’s condition.
“The vetting process for Rocky is complete. He was neutered, given all his shots, wormed and examined thoroughly,” she said. “Rocky came out of it with a clean bill of health - he came out of the exam with flying colors.” Later Tuesday, she reported that she spoke with Dr. Pulaski at Lewis Animal Hospital and, “He stated that he has not seen any indication that Rocky is going blind. Rocky has been cooperative at the vet clinic and does not bark when kenneled. Overall, he’s been a good patient. They’ll continue to board him until other arrangements can be made.”
She said that after Rocky was rescued last Wednesday, she posted online and in social media a request for a foster home and for donations to help pay for the veterinarian bills. “If you are unable to foster Rocky, but would like to donate money to help cover his vet and travel expenses, please send your check to HSAC, P.O. Box 245, West Union, OH 45693, and state that the funds are for “Rocky”, or go to adamscountyanimals.org and pay securely using PayPal. Thank you for your support of this abused boy! Rocky thanks you!!” was her message.
On Tuesday, she said the donations surpassed the vet bill.
“The veterinarian bill was $400. We have already raised $470,” she said, pointing out how many kind and generous people there are in Adams County. She said the Humane Society will still accept donations for Rocky, with the additional money going for his boarding and any other costs of putting him in a foster home.
She said they are looking for a foster home for Rocky because the Columbus organization “Cause for Paws” that had originally agreed to shelter Rocky had to back out last week. “So we really need a good foster home for Rocky,.” she said.
”When a victim of abuse is rescued, he/she does not heal spontaneously; it takes time and love,” she said in an emailing to the community.
Huxmann said that the Humane Society of Adams County “wishes to thank everyone who helped Rocky - he sure has touched a lot of hearts! Now the Humane Society must find a rescue for him. Some folks might wonder why the Humane Society can’t just put him in the beautiful new Animal Shelter in West Union. The answer is that there are not enough funds to operate the new facility yet. It is estimated that it will take at least $60,000 to run the Animal Shelter for one year. The Humane Society is collecting donations and holding fundraisers to reach that goal. When the new shelter finally opens, animals like Rocky will be able to get a second chance right here in Adams County.”
On Wednesday, Huxmann reported that a local residents has paid to have a professional dog trainer go the animal hospital in Cincinnati and evaluate Rocky in terms of temperment and ability to be trained.
“In an ongoing news story about “Rocky the Yard Dog”, Rocky’s former owner saw the news articles in local papers and decided to tell his side of the story. The Humane Society of Adams County is thrilled that Mr. Baldwin has come forward because his knowledge helps shed light on both Rocky’s past and the mystifying circumstances of Rocky’s need for a new home.
“What had Rocky really been through in his life? Why had he been given up? Mr. Baldwin revealed that Rocky, whom he loved, was just a puppy when he acquired him seven years ago after the little guy was saved from a house fire. When he became ill with the deadly disease Canine Parvovirus, Mr. Baldwin nursed Rocky back to health by feeding him Pedialyte, defying a veterinarian’s prognosis that Rocky would die. Later, when Rocky was injured by a horse, he again survived the ordeal under Mr. Baldwin’s care. Though Mr. Baldwin did not wish to give up his pets, his life circumstances denied him the opportunity to keep them. When he realized he could no longer properly care for Rocky or his horse, Mr. Baldwin surrendered both animals to the property owner. The property owner then contacted the Humane Society of Adams County to help find homes for them.
Gary Brock, who received a number of calls about this story when the article appeared last week and loves hearing from readers, can be reached at 937-382-2574 or by Twitter at @GBrock4